El anorak de Picasso

Picasso's Parka | Candaya, 2010

In 1997, Garriga Vela published Muntaner 38, a beautiful novel that recaptured the site and sentiment of his childhood home. It was a book where he interwove realty and fiction with confidence and daring; as time passed, he himself seemed unable to discern which aspects pertained to reality and which were fiction, because his novel was made, like all important novels, from imagined reality and true fiction.

In Picasso’s Parka, a volume that brings together texts that interconnect and could be stories or essays or confessions—it ultimately matters little what you call them—Garriga Vela tells some of his stories from that house on Muntaner 38, where he was a child and where, before he came into the world, ghosts saturated the air with their voices and images.

In the text that begins the volume, we are told, for example, the wonderful story of a parka (or anorak) commissioned by Picasso to the author’s father in his shop on Muntaner road, where years before Rusiñol and other modernists founded the Cau Ferrat. It is a jacket that that could not be delivered until 20 years after it was made. These are stories that move and entertain in a book that is a gateway to the world of Garriga Vela—as well as a gateway to a haunted house. Enchanted by fiction and delighted by life. Juan Bonilla