Joan Vinuesa Baliu. Hem d’anar a l’Índia (records d’un viatge freak)

() Tres llibres inauguren la col·lecció “Biblioteca Secreta”, tres volums que recuperen personatges necessaris de la Barcelona més underground. Pep Gómez escriu sobre Pepe Otal, Joan Vinuesa narra el seu viatge a l’Índia i Xavi Cot explica què va ser el Cuc Sonat.

Barcelones. Manuel Vázquez Montalbán

The book Vázquez Montalbán published in 1987 and which has now been republished in Spanish and translated into Catalan and English would be the ideal book because at the same time as you read it you can tour it as though it were a city.

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Frankenstein walks in Barcelona

José Ángel Montañés

Comanegra is celebrating the two-hundredth anniversary of Mary Shelley’s novel with seven new titles in which the monster is present and which are set against great moments in the life of the city.

El barri de la Perona. Barcelona 1980-1990

() Esteve Lucerón recull els últims anys de la Perona gitana, quan el barri vivia des de feia temps en el conflicte i l’exclusió, i ho fa sense prejudicis i amb naturalitat.

Els barcelonins

The book by Pujol Cruells is neither pleasing nor insulting. By means of the passing of the year, he draws an image of the people of Barcelona based on a meticulous observation of their customs, oddities and craziness.

Periodisme gris. Jaume Fabre

Grey journalism

Jordi Amat

Fabre is one the journalists who best knows his city. He wrote a splendid doctoral thesis on 1939 Barcelona and played a decisive role in safeguarding the memory of his guild. His new book, which avoids moral condemnation, returns to the post-war world of journalism.

Taxi, Carlos Zanón

Harry Crews said that talent wasn’t a bad thing in literature, but what mattered was courage. Zanón has more than enough. He speaks of parents and children and grandmothers, of Horta and Guinardó, of the bourgeoisie or of ‘the bottom of the middle class’. When he gets stuck into his neighbourhood and background, his talent spurts like a geyser.

Un regalo para Kushbu

For some time now, non-fiction not only fills the pages of well-known writers like Capote, Mailer, Carrère or Caparrós, but also the illustrated pages of graphic novels, which have allowed the rigorous and socially committed binomium between journalism and comics. Un regalo para Kushbu is the closest example we have in time and space of this hybridisation of genres.

Foto: J. Postius. AFB

Dalí i Barcelona [Dalí and Barcelona] Author: Ricard Mas Publisher: Barcelona City Council 555 pages Barcelona, 2017 In 1974 my parents took me to a Dalí “happening” at Plaça de la Porxada in Granollers. Dalí was surrounded by an impressive

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Catalonia, soiled

Matthew Tree

Nazis a Barcelona. L’esplendor feixista de postguerra (1939-1945) [Nazis in Barcelona. The fascist splendour of the post-war period (1939-1945).] Authors: Mireia Capdevila and Francesc Vilanova Publisher: L’Avenç and Barcelona City Council 227 pages Barcelona, 2017 It is no secret that

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Return to China Town

Lilian Neuman

Transvestitism and brazen homosexuality reigned supreme on Carrer del Cid. So, too, did treachery, dishonesty and the broken, questionable condition of the people. The owner of La Criolla, who presided over a bar that would turn from a seedy joint into a hotspot, started by playing dirty and ended up worse off.

Photo: AFB

It is in the squares and streets of the Barcelona of 1992 – the city whose Olympic mascot was Cobi, a Catalan sheepdog – where the author sets the story of Ferran Simó, a young man that war, in the words of the narrator, has turned into a dog. Baulenas once again adds touches of magical realism to the novel.

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What “Barcelona Model”?

Genís Barnosell

Today, the term “Barcelona Model” has several different meanings, not just because the elements it incorporates have evolved over the years, but because there is much discussion on which elements actually form part of it.

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Great (hi)stories

Jordi Amat

Nacionalisme espanyol i catalanitat. Cap a una revisió de la Renaixença (Spanish Nationalism and Catalanism. A new perspective on the Catalan Renaissance) Author: Joan-Lluís Marfany Edicions 62 950 pages Barcelona, 2017 La voluntat i la quimera. El noucentisme català entre

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Photographic dreams of Barcelona

Josep Maria Cortina

As its title implies (Infrared Barcelona. The enchanted city), it is a compilation of 170 photographs taken with analogue film, which picks up infrared light that is invisible to the naked eye.

La ciutat trasbalsada. Ròmul Brotons i Segarra

This book presents the turbulent history of the first ten years of the 20th century, which were to guide Barcelona into the modern age.

Escenes barcelonines. Emili Vilanova

Don’t look for any gossip in this book, as what you will find is the humble day-to-day muted routine of the inhabitants of the Barcelona of his time, the second half of the 19th century.

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The free city

Quim Noguero

A good book on books. This book thus weaves a stimulating tale about how we have surrounded ourselves with these encapsulated records of memory, and about the role they have played in the city in private and public libraries, publishers, bookshops, mobile libraries, library banks (before the war, on Passeig de Sant Joan), reading campaigns and new social advances that emphasised an educated city where high culture was within reach of the majority.

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Liquid Barcelona

Xavier Theros

This book is very well documented and contains a selection of priceless photographs It also reminds us of how many traces still exist of what was once the city’s main water course. By following El Rec, the book guides us through a thousand years of Barcelona’s history.

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Demonstrations that made history

Josep Maria Cortina

The Barcelona City Council has published an updated edition of the book Cops de gent. The new edition, with minimal changes, follows the same structure as the original version and expands it with seven new demonstrations that were held between 2004 and 2014.

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When life triumphs

Jaume Pons Alorda

‘Poesia Contracultura Barcelona’ enables us to enter a time and some works of writing that fought against everything, and even worked to their own detriment. This is the risk of taking on poetry as a way of life, as a form of anger, in a way that could be understood as an act of immolation.

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Two recent books by journalist and historian Marc Andreu, published by Els Llibres de L’Avenç, offer a realistic view of the reality of Catalan cities in the second half of the 20th century and early 21st century.

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The city as a symbol of itself

Aleix Porta Alonso

The city transmits a wealth of information that one must know how to interpret. Urban design is amongst the transmitters: a reinterpretation of a particular understanding of the space in which we must live and make things happen. To walk around a city is to continuously decode both obvious and hidden meanings.

Publicitat i ephemera

The writer Josep Pla said that we Catalans get lost in aesthetics. This book is testament to that. It is a collection of prints, but also an expression of the most popular aesthetics, an account of the quality of the communications professionals of the past and of the roots of Catalan graphic design.

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A biography of a city

Daniel Venteo

The history of Barcelona can be explained through its documents or through its people, institutions and stones. That is what has been done and presented to us through a story with over 800 pages, in which the journalist Enric Calpena interviews Barcelona.

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In the infinite city

Bernat Puigtobella

El Hachmi had already recounted her experience in two earlier works. While El Hachmi dealt mainly with a relationship with a father in ‘The last patriarch’, in ‘La filla estrangera’ she focuses on a mother-daughter relation ship.

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Barcelona City Council and Viena Edicions publish the history about the golden age of the circus in Barcelona in the 19th and 20th centuries. This is a work of Ramon Bech, investigator on circus and cofounder of the Circus Arts Foundation.

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Inspiring Barcelona

Martí Crespo

There are nearly 800 domestic tourism proposals for local travellers via buildings and places that are (in)directly linked to intellectual Barcelona, all of which are efficiently organised into three large geographical areas.

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It has been 40 years since the satirical magazine Butifarra! was founded. To celebrate, Barcelona City Council and the Barcelona Federation of Residents’ Associations (FAVB) have published a collective piece of work that does justice to one of the leading graphic magazines of that period.

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A tumultuous Barcelona?

Esteve Miralles

This is an extraordinary book. On the one hand, it is an excellent autobiographical novel, a brilliant example of the virtues attainable by the so-called self-literature of our day and age. On the other hand, it is also the most accurate portrayal of Barcelona in the essay genre to come about in the first three lustra of the 21st century.

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The editors of the work were religiously intent on vindicating ‘Barcelona journalism’, a school in which Luján is a leading figure. In terms of the author’s style, they stress the influence of the great school of journalism represented by Pla, but also by Sagarra and Camba.

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Catalans uncovered

Marga Pont

He will ultimately capture us as participants from Antoni Bernad’s subjective point of view, which shows us from an unexpected angle, as unknown individuals.

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These are expansive stories, with hints of Carver passed through a Mediterranean filter and featuring Barcelonians from a devalued middle class: young people who have done the low-cost holiday, who go to Casa Àsia and Starbucks, less narcissistic than they seem, driven out from the city, their education at odds with the insecurity they are experiencing.

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Globalisation has turned the old states into structures that are insufficient for developing democracy. Power is changing hands. The old metropolises can no longer compete via militarism, bureaucracy or mass production.

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Smoke, noise and machines

Marta Ballesta

Centres of artistic creation, design studios and craft workshops are just some of the different uses that are currently being made of spaces previously dedicated to the mass manufacturing of the most varied of products. This book brings to life the activity of these manufacturing centres and recognises the contributions of their workers.

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This book sets out to recover the legacy of Catalan photography in the first three decades of the 20th century until the Civil War, a period that witnessed the birth of photojournalism.

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Jaume Subirana explores the book collections of thirteen Barcelonians whose professions are all directly involved with the printed word. This is done through thought-provoking interviews, each accompanied by a selection of four books that hold particularly special meanings for their owners, and also by photos of the libraries.

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Doing justice to August Font

Daniel Giralt-Miracle

Very few of Barcelona’s population know that high up in the city there is a small street dedicated to the architect August Font i Carreras (1845–1924); even fewer know who this man was, and of those who do, not many can identify his works. August Font is ne of the most unknown – and perhaps also most undervalued – architects of 19th century Catalan architecture.

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At 1915 Adolf was one of Catalonia’s most famous and, undoubtedly, its most international photographer. Adolf was a regular on the modernist and cultural scene, attending intellectual discussions at establishments such as Els Quatre Gats, where he was known for his behind-the-camera sensitivity and enthusiasm.

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This book is a journey along the avenue that connects Carrer de Balmes with Tibidabo. The old residential homes of Barcelona’s most opulent that line Avinguda Tibidabo are now houses of great architectural value, solemnly standing up to modernity in the midst of a cosmopolitan city.

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The organic city

Enric Vila Delclòs

According to Guallart, globalisation will force humanity to surpass the current model of the modern metropolis. The book insists that if we continue to build cities following past blueprints, a global collapse awaits since humanity will not have the necessary resources to complete the urbanisation process in which it is immersed.

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An indispensable surprise

Albert Mestres

There have been many more studies on Modernisme, as well as a range of books exploring it from a photographic perspective. Missing, however, was a book confirming what we already suspected: that, in addition to the great monuments of Modernisme that we know inside and out, many buildings in Barcelona and throughout Catalonia and Mallorca harbour real treasures in their interiors.

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Cities are made by what they forget and the journalist Xavi Ayén was troubled because in his Barcelona there remained no trace of the most important 20th-century literary movement in Spanish. The Latin American boom was multifaceted, with as many capitals as nationalities among its authors, but it is undeniable that they all spent some decisive years in Catalonia.

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The modernist city of toys

Carles Domènec

Toys are historical objects. The teacher, researcher and painter Pere Capellà Simó (Palma, 1981) confirms that in his book ‘La ciutat de les joguines’ [City of Toys], which merited the 2013 Agustí Duran i Sanpere Barcelona History Prize, awarded in February as one of the City of Barcelona awards.

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‘Passejades per la Barcelona verda’ is more than a photographic list of parks and gardens, and it is more than the usual collection of routes found in some tourist guides too. In fact, it is an invitation to experience the city, a tool for getting to know the everyday

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Cyborgs at forty

Marina Espasa

Mobile phone, tablet and computer screens, instant messaging… They fill up the pages of ‘L’altra’ depicting people disoriented and bewildered by the crisis so that they cling to these gadgets like a red-hot poker. Life and literature, side-by-side on the screen.

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It all derives from the ‘Guía secreta de Barcelona’ (Secret Guide to Barcelona), by Josep Maria Carandell, of which this volume is an update. Forty years ago, Carandell shed light on a Barcelona hidden beneath Francoist discourse to reveal a repressed truth. By contrast, Theros moves through a larger-than-life landscape, a Barcelona turned theme park, with no blood in its veins, a city devoured by its own image. A decadent simulacrum.

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Archived Barcelonas

Manuel Foraster

This autobiography of Barcelona is a powerful book written by the historian Daniel Venteo, with an introduction by Joaquim Borràs, chief archivist of the City Council, that brings to life over 550 documents spanning more than eight centuries of history. Easier said than done.