October 29, 2003 by

Manuel Vazquez Montalban

1 comment

Categories: Politicians, Writers/Editors

mmontalban.jpgManuel Vazquez Montalban, a poet, playwright and best-selling Spanish mystery novelist, died on Oct. 17 from heart failure. He was 64. Montalban was on his way back to Madrid from Sydney, Australia, when he collapsed during a stopover in Bangkok.
Montalban’s youth was spent in opposition of dictator Gen. Francisco Franco. His political writings and commitment to liberal politics landed him in jail for three years during the 1960s.
When he was released, Montalban wrote his first collection of poetry. For the next four decades, he published numerous articles, books and poems. His 1990 novel, “Galindez,” won Spain’s National Literature Award and the European Literature Award. It was also adapted into the film, “The Galindez Mystery,” starring Saffron Burrows and Harvey Keitel.
Montalban was best known for creating Barcelona detective Pepe Carvalho, a private eye with gourmet tastes who appeared in 23 books. For this series, Montalban won the Raymond Chandler Prize and the French Grand Prix for Detective Fiction.

One Response to Manuel Vazquez Montalban

  1. Gacina Bozidar

    It was to be 14th June 1939 when a son of Don Evaristo and Rosa is born in Barcelona.Homeland is Spain and in this exact time this wonderfull country(Bravo Spain)is just starting to struggle under long and difficult dictatorship.Don Evaristo who went in France will be arrested by
    the Fascists returning to see newborn and the future best ever writer Manolo Vazquez Montalban.It being happened in the Raval also known as Barrio Chino and 5th District.His tiny street is called Botella and his house of childhood dates from 1848.Isidro Godo run the
    school San Luis Gonzaga where in 1949 Manuel Vazquez Montalban is enrolled.It is the school of
    Barcelona’s 5th district.In 1956/1957 he starts
    the studies of philosophy and literature.In his early childhood he didn’t go out from his home in Botella Street exept to play table tenis with his friend Josep Benet.His father Don Evaristo returned after six years from francoist prison.
    One of his first friends was Sergio Beser.What I want to say to you now and from my heart is what happened to be the most important quality of beloved writer Manolo is his fantastic and extraordinary flash-back of his childhood and early life.Manolo,our Manolo was serious professional author of so many books.What I loved was his childhood story presented in highest quality interview given to Georges Tyras a main Vazquez Montalbanian in France.Just to underline the providencial qualities:To keep Memory as an history with clearest vision of a child in the immediate post-war era of by Franco
    seized city including all the terrors and insecurities so typical for dictatorship time.How a little boy lived through all that not knowing still as a newborn will he have his dad executed or not and at any time what would happen next.I keep this tribute at the time when Manolo is a boy.It was univers for itself coincidented with the words of Margarita Nelken rather then Pasionaria:”Oblivion and Amnesty No”
    regarding the Fascism in Spain and abroad.This highly intelligent view was so genuinely reproduced in many of quality books and quality thoughts as I would like to say.Manolo was being inspired by this anti-oblivion idea of Margarita Nelken which brought the thousands of pages of enormous historical work or the best chronicles of the city.Barcelona.My first love by confession is a 15 years girl from Valencia when Manolo participated at the Congress of Intelectuals held in Valencia in 1987 to mark 40 years earlier of the same event of 1937.I must say that it is appropriate to retrace what Manolo spoke about his early life with the words from Esther’s prayer in the Old Testament:
    O God,whose strength prevails over all,
    listen to the voice of the desperate,
    save us from the hand of wicked,
    and free me from my fear.
    Apart of what was going in Barcelona of 1940-s and remembered by this prayer came that terrible emotional shock of 2003 for many of us who loved Manolo and retraced by Maruja Torres saying what Manolo did,in the Memory is your only destiny.
    Love to Manolo.

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