Institutional goodbye to Josep Maria Espinàs, the author refractory to grand gestures

A simple coffin covered by the flag and a bouquet of roses. A photo that was once taken by the graphic journalist of this newspaper Santiago Bartholomew and that shows Josep Maria Espinas, He died last Sunday at the age of 95, with the inseparable Olivetti from whom a good part of the 90 books and 11,000 articles (the last 20 years for EL PERIÓDICO) came to write. A minimal table that supports precisely that typewriter, the five pipes with which he smoked his ideas, the dictionaries that helped him to specify them, the bust that Subirachs dedicated to him and a Barça shirt with his name that the club of his friends gave him. loves. That’s all. total austerity As Jordi Solà, one of those anonymous readers who came to the Saló Sant Jordi, pointed out at the entrance to the Palau de la Generalitat this Tuesday, not to pay homage but to say goodbye to a close and daily author refractory to grand gestures.

We do not know what Espinàs would have commented on this burning chapel in such a main place. His closest colleague and friend, Isabel Marti, with whom he founded the La Campana label 34 years ago and without a doubt one of the people who knew him best, an adventure that would surely relativize so much distinction and so much media repercussion: “They do this -I would say- because I am already very old and because I no longer bother & rdquor ;. In fact, Espinàs himself came to think and write about his hypothetical funeral –Georges Brassens whom he admired so much, he also spoke of it many times in his songs – and asked specifying that the people at the exit refrain from talking about politics, religion or the state of the Catalan language and that ‘El cants del ocells’, a much happier piece than would correspond to the sadness of a funeral. The Futbol Club Barcelona should not have read that article from El PERIÓDICO because last Sunday at the Barça-Sevilla match that song popularized by Pau Casals was played. Nor did Joan Laporta make an appearance this Tuesday, replaced by Elena Fortspokesperson for the club that Espinàs endowed with a hymn that today forms part of its DNA.

Few authors yesterday in the burning chapel but a lot of official representation. The president pere Aragonese, first thing in the morning, he broke the ice by recalling the “quiet journalism & rdquor; of the author and hours later, the mayoress Ada Colau crossed the Sant Jaume square to claim “the close, popular and transversal character & rdquor; From the writer. Between one and the other passed the former president of Parliament, Laura Borras, who recalled a phrase by Espinàs – “affection endures in the memory of gestures & rdquor; – to show that the author leaves “well loaded with affection & rdquor;; the Minister of Culture, Natalia Garriga, -seen and unseen- passed like an exhalation on the way to the table and meeting of spokespersons in the Parliament of Catalonia. The passage of the former president Artur Mas was also discreet. they were joined Salvador Illahead of the socialist opposition; Albert Batet and Monica Salas of together and Ernest Maragall of the Republican Left. Much expectation caused the arrival of a Jordi Pujol significantly lacking in strength. Izaskun Arretxe, director of the Institució de les Letres Catalanes, highlighted two fundamental aspects of Espinàs: “He is an important link in the chain of Catalan literature. It prevented it from breaking in difficult moments like those of the postwar period. He also did something important: he made a literature for everyone, without renouncing the literary demand & rdquor ;.

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The president of the Association of Llibreters Eric of the Arc He regretted that there is no greater presence of Espinàs’s work in bookstores, who since 2019 has moved away from public life due to his incipient cognitive problems. “Perhaps a small canon should be made and a collection made to make it easier for those who want to recover it to access it.” Joan Riambaucurrent publisher La Campana -, which has recently recovered three titles from his journeys on foot – announced the intention that Espinàs’ work be present on the next Sant Jordi “because he was the great pillar of the festival& rdquor ;.

The funeral, that funeral in which he asked please not to applaud at the end to accompany him in his silence, will be held this Wednesday at the Sancho de Ávila Funeral Home. Circumstances have wanted it to be the same day, four years later, that the day of his beloved daughter was celebrated Olga, affected by Down syndrome. “The light that has never failed me has gone & rdquor ;, she wrote then.