In the words of the writer Montserrat Roig: “Blanes is a town full of history and literature”. Few places can boast of having welcomed and been a source of inspiration for authors as prolific as those who have wielded their notebooks and pens in Blanes.
The town has provided a refuge for a large number of writers and artists, including Josep Maria de Sagarra, Joan Maragall, Roberto Bolaño, Ferran Agulló and seen the birth of Joaquim Ruyra, Vicenç Coma Soley, Josep Cortils i Vieta, Josep Alemany Borràs, Joan Ribas Carreras and Pere Puig i Llensa. Not to mention such outstanding artists as Lluïsa Vidal, Àngel Planells, Maria Teresa Bedós and Joan Roig i Soler, father of the Emerencià brothers and Josep Roig i Raventós.
Blanes appears as a a setting for the adventures of its protagonists in the pages of many a novel. In addition, it has hosted notable literary gatherings and the Floral Games, while in 1920 it was the site where the magazine Recvll was first published. Still in circulation today, the magazine gave rise to the Recvll literary awards, some of the most important in Catalonia.
Among so much abundance, the visitor can choose to follow more specific trajectories, such as those of Roberto Bolaño or Joaquim Ruyra, two authors separated by time but who decisively influenced the literature of their era. The former fell in love with the town after reading Últimas tardes con Teresa by Joan Marsé. Although he was born in Girona, Ruyra had family ties in Blanes andthe home of this master of Catalan prose, known as Can Creus, is located in Carrer Ample in Blanes.
Bolaño and Ruyra were both authors who were short on literary production but high on quality. One because he was a great perfectionist, the other because he died young. Ruyra wrote when the 20th century was just beginning; Bolaño, when it was ending and the next one starting.
Although there is a century of separation between the two very different authors, they have left their marks on the streets and corners of Blanes and its surroundings. They are marks that the town offers to literature lovers, with some very good routes to follow through the town.
The country of light and joy
The great Catalan writer Josep Pla said that the people of Blanes were obsessed with the figure of Joaquim Ruyra i Oms, and he also confessed that he could not write a single line about the sea of Blanes because the maestro Ruyra had already exhausted all of the possibilities. Ruyra himself acknowledged his esteem for Blanes when he stated that “Blanes is my history, my homeland, my main love”, and “In the depths of my heart, Blanes is the country of summer, of light and of joy”.