Saturday, January 06, 2007

The day that the 3 Magic Kings came to Massachusetts

As expected, since I had left my shoes under the Christmas tree, the three Magic Kings, Melchior, Caspar and Balthasar came to our home in Massachusetts to visit one of the few idealistic Catalans that still exist. They did a great job in combination with eBay and Barnes and Nobles, maybe because they heard that I paid off my mortgage in December.

This is the list of things I got:
  1. A "made in Taiwan" Catalan flag (“la senyera”) that is now proudly hanging from the veranda that overlooks our family room. Unfortunately I will not be able to display it on our national day, since believe it or not, it’s on September 11th.

  2. An old “3 QUARTOS” coin from the Principality of Catalonia dated 1811

  3. A 1734 original map of Arragonia & Catalonia by Gerardus Mercator, published in the Mercator Atlas Minor 1734 edition; attractively colored with a fine hand, strong impression, in very good condition on clean white paper with minor marginal soiling. Absolutely guaranteed an original antique map.

  4. A novel from Patrick O'Brian called THE CATALANS, a dark story of love and betrayal set against the brilliant colors of the Catalan country in southern France, long out of print. According to the publisher it is a powerful successor to Testimonies, Patrick O'Brian's first novel written for adults. It is set in that corner of France that became O'Brian's adopted home, where the long dark wall of the Pyrenees runs headlong to meet the Mediterranean. I am curious to read this novel that situates Catalonia in France, maybe it takes place in northern Catalonia, but I doubt it

  5. And finally a history book, out of print, called, guess how? THE CATALANS by Jan Read. “This is not a formal 'history book' account; it touches on the literary and scientific achievements of a Ramon Llull or Arnold of Vilanova, the origins of the Catalan language, the nineteenth-century literary revival of the *Renaixença" and resurgence of nationalism, the emergence of the labour movement in Barcelona and the divisions between parties of the left during the Civil War. Jan Read's graphic and carefully researched book, the only one of its kind in English, will interest any reader who wishes to look beyond the headlines and to understand the situation in Catalonia today."
I hope you also got as many presents as I did.

Happy New year 2007 – Bon Any 2007