Mel i metzines

(De Maria Barbal)


Mel i metzines again recaptures the landscape and time of peasantry through the memories of Agustí Ribera, born in Olp, but a resident of France, where was exiled by the Spanish Civil War. Throughout the book it relates his childhood, leaving his paternal house to go and study and work, first in Rialp and after that in France, where he began to work washing dishes and ended up being a refined chef.



The link to El Batlliu de Sort:

As the author brings out, names appear in the novel that correspond to the towns of the Pallars Sobirà region. These towns still exist, like Olp, the town where main character is from, but Rialp, Sort and Gerri as well; even so, the characters and story are fiction


Agustí Riberas is the second born of a modest family in the town of Olp. This fact, in the era in which this story transpires (beginning-middle of the 20th century) completely determines his life. Whereas the oldest brother, the heir, has a clear view of his future, Agustí must bring home the bacon. The narrative, explained in the past by this protagonist, summarises his whole life. First his childhood in Olp, and afterwards between Olp and Rialp, where his parents decide to bring him to continue his studies and work as servant in a big house; later during his youth, when Agustí works as a harvester and mole exterminator for the first time...; love; his work relationship with France, like so many inhabitants of the Pallars region, to go do the wine harvest; the arrival of the war, and life on the front as a Republican soldier; and finally, the difficulties with being able to survive in France, first in concentration camps and afterwards with modest work, until he gets a good job and a calm life, but full of sacrifices and nostalgia for one of the things that he had always considered an indispensable part of his life: his town and his parents’ house.




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