150 new books are being launched at over 200 events right now in Barcelona – it’s Catalan Book Week. There is much to celebrate, not least the 20th Trajectòria Award going to translator Anna Casassas.
You don’t have to go to Barcelona though – you can join in celebrating the first author to write in Catalan, Ramon Llull (1232-1316), wherever you are. He was born in Majorca, one of the first people to write in the vernacular in any European language, and shaped Catalan. He wrote poetry, prose, mystical and theological works, which he strove to publish multilingual editions, in Catalan, Latin and Arabic. Few manuscripts survive, but some of his earliest writing in Catalan with English commentary is on the Ministry of Culture website about him. Sign up to find more of his work in the University of Barcelona’s online database.
The Breviculum a beautiful 14th century set of miniatures about Llull’s life, can be viewed online with translations in 7 languages, thanks to the work of a team of translators and scholars. The image here, showing a theological debate between Christians and Muslims, is from this codex, now in the state library in Karlsruhe, Germany.