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In The night that I arrived at the Café Gijón , Francisco Threshold describes his early literary in the this coffee and their gatherings played an essential role. The author of Deadly and rose ended up in the café madrid in the sixties of the last century. In the present, is still standing, and it is precisely a reference to some writers of today.

Well, Lorenzo Silva points out that now occasionally goes to Gijón, Carmen Posadas says: “it Is one of my favorites and customary”, and Antonio Soler claims that, with some frequency, holds meetings and gatherings there. For Julia Navarro holds a halo especially mythical, and it is tied to memories more pleasant: “When I was a teenager, I was with my father. I spent my time people-watching, so long ago… In the Gijón met writers, artists, journalists, painters….

it seemed to Me a fascinating place and he dreamed to become part of the “civil population”. Time passes and the truth is that for many years that I’m not going. But it is part of my life.”

Manuel Vilas

For its part, Marta Sanz says: “I have a memory to borrow, not own, the gatherings of Gijón. I would have liked to go and enjoy the intelligence and also the rogue point and farandulero of the people who participated in them.” Apart from Gijón, Silva mentioned the Lion, frequented in his youth, and Inns, the Varela and the Commercial.

Ghosts of yesteryear

All in your travels go to cafes, where perhaps walk around the ghosts of the artists who visited. Soler alludes to the lisbon To Brasileria, steeped in the shadow of Pessoa; the Greco, in Rome (Goethe, Lord Byron, Orson Welles…), and the Floridita, in Havana. Manuel Vilas indicates that he was particularly struck this café habanero, and that he did have a photo with the statue of Hemingway, who presides. For its part, says Marta Sanz, “ I chased the trail of Hemingway, although it seems to me that there, both for Ernst and for me, the most important were the daikiris”. Silva highlights the buenos aires to London City, the choice of Cortázar, and Inns, the Les Deux Margots, in Paris, which were attended by Rimbaud, Gide, Breton, Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. Julia Navarro also stresses this cafe the French capital, although he laments that “today is for tourists” , and opts for central europeans, especially the viennese Lantmann, where they passed through Freud and Mahler.


Also, confess their attendance more or less regular gatherings, at least at some point in their life, especially in time of youth. Well, Vilas, emphasized: “In Spain, where I trained as a writer, to the end of the eighties, there were no schools of writers. The literary cafés and their get-togethers they were the only university that had then for a writer. The literary café could be described, using a very interesting concept of Bolaño, as the “university zone””.

Marta Sanz

Posadas says that they have enjoyed, although, “more as a listener than as a participant: unfortunately for me, I’m pretty dumb”. Antonio Soler recalls that, with a few friends, established in Malaga a weekly meal in Bilmore, “playful and creative, where they talked of literature and of everything.” And Marta Sanz points out that he attended the created by Lourdes Ortiz in the Café Ruiz , who years ago, along with some friends, inspired a cultural magazine Or talk, whose “office” was The Parnasillo, already disappeared.

Graham Greene was The third man in the Café Mozart, in Vienna. Lorenzo Silva states that has written pieces in cafes , and “even in a booth during my military service, and Julia Navarro points out that maybe you do, “who knows?”.

The literary cafés are not, however, for these authors a place to write: “I would Not feel comfortable: I would be myself,” explains Sanz – as an impostor who wants to be recognized in the action of writing”. In this vision abounds Vilas, it has been raised, but that will inquietaría: “First, the fact that I see the people, because it would give the impression of something impostado, and, second, to occupy a table for many hours. How many lattes you would have to consume for it my occupation being profitable? Then, the presence of the waiter. is Would end up writing about the waiter, insurance “. Soler notes: “as a young man tempted me, more by mythology than by pragmatism. Would have been outstanding to the public, of the inputs and outputs. The cafes have been places of gathering of material”.


they All point to, well, her house as the usual space of creation, but to highlight positively the phenomenon of the coffee shop-bookstore . Vilas stresses that it is a renovation that you love it : “I like it a lot buy a book and start to read it in the same library in front of a coffee with milk, a croissant with butter and orange juice. And the life then lights up a little bit.”

Lorenzo Silva

Posadas takes advantage of it to pay homage to booksellers : “Not only for the time being so complicated now, but by the work they do organizing talks, reading clubs, outside of his working hours with great effort and enthusiasm.” For his part, Lorenzo Silva points out: “I Hope to go to more. Is a form of symbiosis between two species in danger that can help to the mutual survival. And it generates spaces precious. I think in the cafeteria of the library More Pure Verse of Montevideo, one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen”. And Marta Sanz says: “it’s a reinvention of a business, the bookstores, that active imagination the spirit of these literary gatherings of yesteryear. On the one hand, it gives me a bit of grief that a bookstore may not be just a bookstore , but on the other I understand and I am a regular visitor of many of these bookstores that have become epicenters of cultural neighborhoods that are installed… My only concern is that the hospitality and alcohol can phagocytose the professionalism library, but from my experience I can say that almost never occurs that act of cannibalism, but the other way around: there are converts and converts that come to the interest in the literature since the talk shared in the coffee”.

Gatherings “on line”

do you Host the time in which we are living chats on line? Carmen Posadas recalls his experience: “The other day I made one and it turned out very well, I am not very technological but the Zoom seems like a good invention”. Lorenzo Silva points out: “human beings, if they want to, can converse in almost any circumstance . Until they have invented an artifact that lets you do this with the dead and the not-yet-born”, and to Antonio Soler “can be a substitute, a decaffeinated. But better that than the loneliness”. Manuel Vilas sees them as a lesser evil:”there is No other remedy. But a conversation on-line has no sense. Still we are not aware that everything done online is a humiliation , is a degradation of life. Life has been degraded. All of this that has become fashionable the pandemic of meetings online, you have the indelible mark of the humiliation of life. Every morning, when I awake, I give thanks to God for being still sensitive to the humiliation of the life. People live humiliated and believes life is, or has to be so”.

Julia Navarro

Marta Sanz abounds on this: “Now almost everything seems to me possible on-line: classes, reading clubs, presentations and vermouth with friends… Who I was going to say.

I’ve made a teckie -I think it says so in the jargon of telematics – and, however, forgiveness for the sadness, but it is not the same thing…”.

we Need the other

Be that as it may, it is clear that, as he reflects Julia Navarro, “the confinement has led us to seek a way of relating with others. We need the “other”… listening, speaking…”, and that, concludes Lorenzo Silva, after the confinement, “we will need to spaces where you feel that the world is still having odor , volume, texture.” And where to learn, as, reveals Marta Sanz, happened to his grandfather: “My grandfather Ramon was a mechanic that came to be forged as a man of worship by being a regular at the literary gatherings, political and, above all, theatre, and music: your love by the zarzuela, his eagerness to talk about what fascinated him and get to know artists, woke up an appetite cultural that never came to quench at all. Died with 93 years old and still participating in a tertulia musical in the centro gallego, even though he was madrid’s street of the Head, and visited her in her house every Thursday morning to the maestro Sorozábal”.

Antonio Soler

Threshold referred to the literary cafés as a “ship epic, political, and lyrical” . And the ship is going.