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Aurora Bertrana, a traveller ahead of her time

The recent publication of the Memories Oceanic paradises rescues the almost secret figure of the writer

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Aurora Bertrana, a traveller ahead of her time

The recent publication of Oceanic paradises not only restores a debt to a writer and a book of exceptional travel, but also means rescue of an almost secret and dazzling figure, that of a woman ahead of her time and pioneer in daring and The risky job of living against current and according to principles. Paradisos Oceànics was originally published in Catalan in editorial Proa in 1930, and given immediate success it aroused, three years later a Spanish translation was published under title Islands of Dream (popular editions Iberia). The complete edition that presents se days editorial rat adds a chapter of Book of Memories of Aurora Bertrana (Memòries fins 1935), translated by writer Jenn Diaz, dedicated to gestation and welcome of work that gave her to know as a reporter tender and Luminous, in addition to graphic documents, biographical and editing notes, and several supporting texts that help to position this author in literature written by women in twentieth century.

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  • All about Aurora Bertrana, in country

Aurora Bertrana was daughter of Catalan writer Prudenci Bertrana (author of Jehoshaphat, a classic modernist reading compulsory for so many students in Catalonia) and his wife Neus Salazar. He was born in 1892 in Girona, a place that soon was small. As well as Mar Abad in prologue to Castilian edition, at age of ten he wrote a story that he gave to his far. This, frightened by possibility that a girl could dedicate to letters-but also recognizing that it would be difficult to channel it in crochet and bobbin laces-, not only accused her of copying it, but also sought a cello teacher. At age of 18 he traveled alone several times a week to Barcelona to study music. The same Bertrana recounted experience: "It was considered by Girona of time as a unique feat in history of feminine liberties." None of girls I knew would have dared to do so, and if I wanted to, ir parents would not have allowed it. As soon as he learned of existence of Dalcroze Institute in Geneva, Barcelona was also very small. Thus, in 1923 he already played cello in orchestra of a hotel in Mürren and, n, in Geneva, he founded first female jazz band in Europe. It was Roaring Twenties. Freedom, in Switzerland, was something visible and tangible. But, alas, y too (freedom, Switzerland) were left small. Because re he knew love, embodied in image of an electrical engineer with much good: Monsieur Choffat, who went to live three years in Polynesia, from 1926 to 1929, where he had to mount a power plant.

Ocean Paradises is set of Chronicles that Aurora Bertrana wrote from re recounting experience of facing exotic and virgin world of French Pacific Islands, and can be read as a travel book, a learning novel or a story of Adventures. It highlights evocative power of descriptions, in which, through a cultured and perceptive Catalan, suggestive images converge and an endearing combination of daily life and metaphorical intentionality. ("A true oceanic night, woven with subtle perfumes, soft celajes, fantastic vegetable masses, on which moon slides without penetrating." An abandoned garden still stretches through flirtatious city and Florida, "a Chinatown is read in Chronicle in an oceanic city." His is a candidly poetic and liquid prose, thanks to which reader feels, sees, smells, palpates and hears mysterious song of Pacific. Of course, y are chronicles away from postcard, so it fits ugly, danger, sadness. The same intensity describes a sunset, an indigenous and festive burial or thymus that suffers some guiris. There's humor, tenderness, respect. And, above all, willingness to integrate (without becoming) into unknown forms of life, in a completely alien culture. They are narrations attentive to details, colors, nuances, and in m is very vivid love to landscape. Bertrana observes and absorbs. A good example is chronicle titled The Mail of California, which tells how physiognomy and vitality of town of Papeete change days The mail arrives, its only link with civilization, on a ship that puts everyone in motion. "The Mail, behold magic word that transfigures everything, and whose single evocation means a myriad of things: sentimental and business emotions, administrative vengeance, honors, hopes, everything brings mail." From letter of a son or mor who live separated by all thickness of earth, to gasoline, dresses, canned cans. The mail will keep latent our great weaknesses of civilized, of our eternal restlessness. We are powerless against toxic of European or American cities, we carry it in blood like a hereditary microbe, and we do not think that re, on our back, solitary forest is a whole world, brimming with fruits and pure water, beauty and serenity. ... The avenues are populated by quirky tourists of both sexes. It's conquest of island! Those who go on foot pass in groups, unwrapped and yelling. They usually go with a short skirt or skirt, Kodak in a shoulder bag and smoked glasses. The Indians, discreetly secluded, watch m go through a kind of malicious condescension. The Anglo-Saxon seems to be found everywhere in his house. Maori (since it has been conquered) never feel in ir land, except inside jungle. An hour after arrival, Papeete has fallen into power of England. Taxi drivers that day know no or language than English or or currency than dollar. "If enter to a store you will have to dispatch yourselves, or wait next day ...".

Neus Real, in Catalan edition, points to restlessness of author, who took him to a pilgrimage through a few roads that were almost impassable by women, writers and authors of his time. The image of modernity that conveyed ir texts provoked imminent feeling of reading something absolutely new. The editor, Iolanda Batallé, highlights importance of travel books written by women and sees m "especially happy, books that confirm a double victory." On one hand, victory of someone who manages to leave behind comfort of a culture, a family, a landscape. On or hand, triumph and enormous pride in finding that this victory is achieved by a woman, someone who flees from that culture, from that landscape, from that family, from what ors expect of it. For Jenn Diaz, what makes this reading essential is precisely innocence of author in that first encounter with scripture. "The seams of first book of Bertrana are visible because y can be, because y must be, it is a beautiful book as it is written: we should stop thinking that a naive, time book, without a critical spirit, needs our mischievous, intellectual gaze," Criticism, as if so hope. Error. "The first teenage work of a mature Bertrana Aurora didn't need anyone to help her, her success was no coincidence."

After adventure in Polynesia, Aurora Bertrana returned to Catalonia. It was abandoned by electrical engineer. He got into politics, lived exile, traveled a lot to Morocco, tried to be a single mor without achieving it. It lived of writing and according to its beginnings until 1974. In 1967, Alfaguara published his book Vent de Grop and in lapel she herself took care of biographical note: "I love Justice in capital letters, without judges or courts." I love good books, conversation of a friend, music of Mozart. "I think world is wonderful and life is a pool with few results and one or two successes."


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