Artists and writers in the Ampurdan
The most famous person from the Ampurdan was Salvador Dalí, who died in 1989 (I covered his funeral for the Irish Times!) but is a bigger money-spinner than ever posthumously for his “friends” in the Dalí Foundation. The Dalí triangle consists of the Teatre/Museu Dalí in Figueres (which he personally prepared as his eternal resting place, and where he is duly entombed), his home in Portlligat near Cadaques, and the Castell Gala Dalí museum in Puból. Only the Teatre/Museu in Figueres is open to visitors year round, whereas the Púbol and Portlligat homes are privately owned, and have only been opened to the general public since 1997, usually from Easter through mid-September .For information on the Dalí triangle, or to make reservations to see the house in Portlligat, which can only be visited in small groups, call 972 25 80 63.A lot of artists live and work in the Ampurdan, which they say has extraordinarily good light for painting. There are also many sculptors and ceramicists
As regards literature, the most famous writer from the Ampurdan is Josep Plà. Josep Pla (Palafrugell, 1897 – Mas Pla de Llofriu, 1981). He devoted his life to literature and journalism and is the most widely read and popular Catalan writer of all time, although controversial for his alleged links with Franco’s regime. His lyrical descriptions of ordinary life in the area are very beautiful, but as far as I know are not available in English. Hemingway never got near Catalonia, thank God! The only book set in the Ampurdan and written in English that I know, apart from a couple of trashy thrillers, is Voices of the Old Sea by Norman Lewis, an account of a Costa Brava village in the late 1940s and early 1950s, just before tourism began. It is very interesting, but contains a remarkably bleak vision of Besalu! Lewis calls the village El Farol, and my tentative identification is either Fanals or Colera.
This article was written by Francis Barrett. See also Francis' excellent guide to Ireland irelandbyways.com
Information about the Ampurdan
Ampurdan main page
Information about the Costa Brava
Accommodation in the Ampurdan and the Costa Brava