Viaje al sur
Non-fiction , 2020
A lost story by Marsé finally published
In 1962 Juan Marsé toured the provinces of Seville, Cadiz and Malaga accompanied by his friend Antonio Pérez and the photographer Albert Ripoll Guspi. His intention was to write an account of that trip, interspersing photographs and headlines from the Francoist press in such a way that his story would penetrate the reality silenced by officialdom. Because of financial problems and the pressure of censorship, this magnificent literary and political document that was due to be published by the legendary publishing house Ruedo Ibérico, founded in Paris by a group of Spanish exiles shortly before, never saw the light of day and for a long time it was thought that the manuscript had been lost.
Signed under the pseudonym of Manolo Reyes – the real name of Pijoaparte, who would star a few years later in Últimas tardes con Teresa (Last Afternoons with Teresa), the novel which consecrated Marsé – this book languished under another title in the archives of Ruedo Ibérico in Amsterdam. Following painstaking investigations, Lumen has managed to recover the story almost sixty years after it was written, including the original photographs.
Lying somewhere between travel writing, political denunciation and the modern photo story, Viaje al sur (Journey to the South) is a social and moral portrait of a Spain emerging from the post-war period and about to undergo a decisive transformation. It is a dazzling story that already displays Juan Marsé’s extraordinary ability to capture voices, portray characters and recreate atmospheres.