The Narrow Street, the poetry of banality

2001 marked the fiftieth anniversary of when the Editorial Selecta de Josep M. Cruzet first published the novel El carrer Estret (The Narrow Street) by Josep Pla. Written between Palfrugell and Cadaqués, from the autumn of 1949 to spring 1951, this work, preceded by an important prologue of reflection about the novel genre, is one of the most famous and most re-edited of Josep Pla’s books. El carrer Estretwon the 1951 night of Santa Llúcia, the third convocatory of the Joanot Martorell novel prize, awarded by a jury comprising Miquel Llor, Salvador Espriu, Maurici Serrahima, Antoni Vilanova and Josep Miracle.

The exhibition commemorated these events and displayed certain documents from the time the novel was published, the first reactions from critics, and a brief analysis of the most remarkable features of the work. El carrer Estret, la poètica de banalitat (The Narrow Street, the poetry of banality) accompanied the reader on entering Pla’s literary game, where seduction tests the mediocrity of daily life and the passion for “small things”, thanks to the “poetic genius” of the author.

The exhibition was complemented by the Jornada d’Estudi 50 anys de El carrer Estret (educational conference Fifty years of El carrer Estret) which featured contributions from Xavier Pla, De la Prehistória literària a El carrer Estret: dos capitols inèdits de la relació de Josep Pla amb la novel·la (Of the literary prehistory of El carrer Estret: Two unedited chapters about the relationship between Josep Pla and the novel); Maria Josepa Gallofré, Un llibre inèditEl carrer Estret (An unedited book: El carrer Estret); Jordi Gràcia, L’heterodòxia del moralista o la novel·la de Pla a l’Espanya Feixista (The heterodoxy of the moralist or Pla’s novel in fascist Spain); Lluis Bonada, Una lectura de la novel·la El carrer Estret (A Reading of the novel ‘El carrer Estret‘) and Antoni Vilanova, Josep Pla i l’editor Josep M. Cruzet (Josep Pla and the editor Josep M. Cruzet). The minutes of the educational conference have been published by Departament de Filologia i Filosofia de la Universitat de Girona (The Department of Philology and Philosophy of the University of Girona) and the Fundació Josep Pla in the Diversitas collection [39] (2003).

“Per a la meva cuinera, furetejar en la vida dels altres constitueix una voluptuositat”

Josep Pla. El carrer Estret. OC VIII, 489.