Literary and sporting excitement at the Madrid Book Fair: meetings, tributes and debates on the eve of the closing

Martín Caparrós: ​​«I write about football so I can watch it»

The Madrid Book Fair dawned on the eve of its closing with the nerves and impatience of a long-distance runner who knows that the finish line is near. The readers of Alice Kellenwho until three hours before the opening of the booths were queuing to get their signed copy.

Many visitors also came to the Fair to stroll among books and enjoy the cultural programming.

During the last Saturday of this edition it was the turn of one of the most anticipated meetings of this edition to bring together journalists and writers Martin Caparros, Belen Gopegui and Lucia Taboada. Together they talked about football and stories, following the The discount: 100 stories beyond the game (Panenka,2024), a compilation of short stories about this sport and the conversations and social phenomena that are created around it. “Football reproduces the social story,” he explained. Gopegui, exemplifying with a family scene: «When my son, from Madrid, argues with my husband, from Barça, they are two irrationalities arguing for something that does not exist, which is objectivity. Instead of saying “I know it was a penalty” they would have to say: “I feel like it was a penalty.” Taboada He offered the other version of the hobby, football as a link for being “capable of changing the “them” for the “us””. Caparros, After years covering football matches, he closed the match saying: “I write about football so I can watch it.”

Catalan and Belgian poetry

100 years have passed since the death of the Catalan poet Joan Salvat Papasseitand the book has been presented I ran into a man passing byof Jordi Cornudella. An anthology of poetry and prose to keep the poet’s name in vogue. The writer Luis García Montero has spoken with Cornudella about how Salvat Papasseit He is one of the most important figures in Catalan poetry and one of the references in terms of identity. «Salvat Papasseit defines the I as a place of conflict, a place that suffers the tensions of its own subjectivity. He referred to it like this Garcia Montero because his commitment to Catalan identity is anti-bourgeois. “It ends when the Catalan identifies with the rich and the Catalan bourgeoisie,” he added. In his own words Salvat Papasseithe recalled Garcia Montero: “A good cause does not justify an injustice.”

Cornudellatranslator of the poetry of Salvat, demonstrated that he knew the author in depth: “In his first work he tells immediate, unpolished truths.” To the point, he stated, that “there are invented words, and songs to which it is very difficult to give voice and meaning,” he stated. Cornudella. On the opposite point, when he seeks the popular, he moves away from the cliché and folklore, which in his opinion denigrates the most impoverished people, and approaches the street, the people. “Salvat said that the pen wet her heart,” concluded the Catalan translator.

On the last Saturday of FMadrid24, the Europe Pavilion received Lisette LombeBelgian National Literature Prize for the novel Eunice, which is traditionally elected every two years. Furthermore, it coincides with the Belgian presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The event consisted of three different parts. The presentation of the book, the reading by Lombeand a relaxed meeting with readers to exchange impressions while enjoying a Spanish wine served for the occasion.

eSports: the mental sport

Saturday was also the day chosen by the organization to invite visitors to the Fair to cross the screen at the meeting. Competing in two dimensions: eSports and its cultural revolutionwhich took place in the Eugenio Trías Municipal Library.

Rachel Esperanzaplayer, influencer and eSports team manager KOIfrom Movistar; Borja Vazvideo game critic for El Cultural and contributor to RNE’s Las mornings; Enrique Garcia, project manager at PlayTheGame; and Susana Gonzalez, journalist specialized in eSports and CEO of E-Spartans, talked about virtual competitions and their cultural importance. In a meeting moderated by the journalist specialized in video games Jorge Morlashared what are the possible paths for the industry that has been relegated to the background until recently and that now seems to be a train that everyone wants to get on.

Tribute to Cortazar at FLMadrid24

Hopscotch is forever

The tribute to the writer Julio Cortazar on the 70th birthday of the work Hopscotch has coincided with the publisher’s 60th birthday Alfaguara“and there is no one better than Cortázar to personalize the spirit of the publishing house,” he said. Benjamin Pradojournalist invited to pay tribute to the writer, along with Clara Sanchis and Sergio Wonderful Martinez, Argentine boxer. Prado remembered Cortazar as a writer with many faces. Cortázar the narrator and Cortázar the poet, less known. He praised the verse facet of the Argentine author: “It is imaginative poetry, very psychological, that appeals to you.” His poetics are still valid, according to Prado. Sanchís recalled, supporting his argument that the poem To read interrogatively It continues to maintain the same validity today. Sanchís simplified the author with a phrase: “Cortázar unsettles you, he makes you recover your capacity for wonder.” At the end of the talk, the boxer Sergio Wonderful Martínez, has read an excerpt from the work little bull to remember Cortazar.

I Las Yubartas AwardLas Yubartas Hispano-American Fiction Prize

The Madrid Book Fair has been the setting chosen to announce the winner of the Las Yubartas Hispanic American Fiction Prize, promoted by the New York City International Book Fair and ten publishing labels: Laguna Libros (Colombia), Hueders (Chile), Pesopluma (Peru), Sigilo (Argentina), Dum Dum (Bolivia), Severo (Ecuador), Hum (Uruguay), Las Afueras (Spain), Antelope (Mexico) and Chatos Inhumanos (United States).

The president of the New York International Book Fair, Jose Higuera, highlighted the three main objectives of the award, which is part of the 17 outreach initiatives that the CUNY Institute of Mexican Studies keeps active: «The award is a launching platform. It seeks, first of all, the union and projection of Hispanic publishing, both Spanish and Latin American and American publishers. Secondly, reflect literary diversity; and, thirdly, promote the recognition of the publishing ecosystem.

The director of the New York Book Fair, Dejanira Alvarezhas celebrated, together with Paloma Reaño, by Pesopluma, the diversity of the ten finalist manuscripts and the literary quality of the more than 3,200 received. To finish, Dejanira read the list with the name of the winner and the 10 finalists: The winner, Amauri René Sánchez Apiariesfrom Mexico, with the work Irrigation ditchhidden under the pseudonym Bola de Fuego.

‘We run into dragons, Sancho’

Saturday afternoon also left some tears: La Cervantina, the Spanish National Team of Football Writers, lost against Los Dragones de Lavapiés in the match played at the La Chopera field, in El Retiro. A 4 – 5 could be read on the scoreboard when the referee whistled the end of the game.

Jorge Bustos at FLMadrid24

The disputed meeting showed that football and literature can/should go hand in hand, as Jorge Bustos later expressed in ‘El Micro de la Feria’.

Photo © Gustavo Valiente

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