Miquel Bauçà

A Writer Shrouded in Myth
by Julià Guillamon.
A few years ago, Jordi Coca wrote that Miquel Bauçà was like Greta Garbo. Since Carrer Marsala [Marsala Street] appeared in 1985, a myth began to be built up around Bauçà, based on his strange way of life. Unsociable and furtive, Bauçà did not frequent literary circles. It was said that he lived apart from everyone, like a penniless outcast, in a caravan. Some people claimed they had seen him in a street, or in a bar. The veterans told stories about his first days in Barcelona. Apparently he wrote in one of the porched areas of the Paral.lel, where he had set up his office. He would turn up at the house of one of his writer friends and spend the night there whether they wanted him to or not. Where was Bauçà? Had he gone back to Majorca? Was he living in the Eixample district of Barcelona? Tired of all this rumour-mongering, Coca stood up at a congress of young writers, among which there were fervent admirers and myth-makers, and with the greatest respect, but with absolute firmness, affirmed that Bauçà was reproducing the syndrome of the invisible, besieged actress, and that the obscurer aspects of his life were attracting more attention than his literary work, and that one had to be careful, because Bauçà was a sick man.

Since then, two very clear positions have existed in regard to Bauçà. There are those who think that Bauçà is a modern classic and his work, a vital enigma, and those who believe that independently of the strength of his imagination and the power of his language, there is a lack of order and cohesive thought in the work of Bauçà. One interpretation does not exclude the other. Bauçà is both lucid and obtuse, holy and crazy, a symptom and an excrescence. Empúries has now published his Els estats de la connivència (The States of Connivance) which follows the encyclopaedic format of his most recent books, L'estuari (The Estuary) (1990), El crepuscle encén estels (The Twilight Lights Up Stars) (1992) and El canvi [The Change] (1998). The debate continues.

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