The beautiful rocky coast of the Costa Brava is perhaps one of the best known touristic regions in all of Spain, and it is definitely one of the gems of Catalonia. The region is well-known all over the world for its steep coastal areas, which offer superb vantage points over the waters of the sea, and it’s uncanny to realize that the Costa Brava has only been employed as a tourist destination for the no more than the past six decades, starting with the 1950s. That is when the Spanish Government first identified the region as being suitable for development, in order to be transformed into a resort—what followed thereafter quickly became the stuff of legends. Legions of tourists from all over the world (but especially from Northern Europe) started to pour in, and among them some remarkable literati, who forever changed our perception of the area. We will be exploring three of those literary bodies of work today.
The popular author and journalist was born and lived in Girona, and albeit traveling all over the world, from France to Germany and Russia, it’s safe to assume that he remained forever attached to his native region of Spain. Pla is controversial amid present-day Catalans, for his political affiliation, which included a connection with Franco’s regime, yet his three most popular books remain Guía de la Costa Brava (1941), Las ciudades del mar (1942), and Viaje en autobús (1942), all of them set in the landscape of Costa Brava. Nowadays, tourists can take guided tours around Costa Brava, which accurately recreate the itinerary in his works. One such tour starts out in Carrer Nou and leads all the way to Platja del Port Bo and back to Palafrugell.
The American writer best known for Breakfast at Tiffany’s, came to Costa Brava in 1952 to write In Cold Blood. Along with his partner, fellow writer Jack Dunphy, he stayed at the Hotel Trias in Palamos, after a four-day trip by ship from France to Costa Brava. Nowadays, there are villas for rent on www.whitebeachholidays.com, which will allow you to live in Palamos—and the area hasn’t changed much in beauty and spirit since the days of Capote, Dunphy and their murder mysteries. After that fateful summer in 1952, Capote often returned to Palamos, where he was mesmerized by the beauty of the savage landscape, and charmed by the presence of so many other fellow writers, who made the atmosphere propitious for creation, light-hearted and filled with merriment.
Federico Garcia Llorca
Llorca is one of the most famous literary figures of inter-war Spain, a prominent member of the so-called Generation of ’27. The writer found his demise at the hands of fascists, during the Spanish Civil War, but, prior to his death, he left an impressive body of work to posterity. Unlike Pla, Llorca did not write much about the Costa Brava per se, yet he did travel to the area and enjoyed working in the area. Alongside Picaaso, Marc Chagall, Man Ray, Luis Bunuel and Paul Eluard, Llorca is one of the foremost experimentalists and innovators to have worked there.
Guest Writer: Paul Groberts