Catalan Review

THROUGH THE EYES OF ANOTHER: WALTRAUD’S INFLUENCE IN ALBERT SÁNCHEZ PIÑOL’S VICTUS

Catalan Review (2018), 32, (1), 67–84.

Abstract

The publication of Victus in 2012 by Albert Sánchez Piñol reflected the strong feelings of nationalism in Catalonia as the region approached the three-hundredth anniversary of the Siege of Barcelona (1713–1714). While the novel portrays a Catalan narrative as it shows the life of engineer Martí Zuviria during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714), the author decided to write and publish the novel in Spanish, so it was the first of his novels to be written initially in a language other than Catalan. The need to write in Spanish is explained in the novel by the inclusion of an Austrian nurse, Waltraud, who serves throughout as the narrative’s scribe, taking down Martí’s words in one of the only languages they share — Spanish. This article looks at the role she plays in the novel’s construction and the way her presence alters the distinctly Catalan narrative and allows a wider, non-Catalan, audience to become more involved with and interpret the work.

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Author details

SINGH, ADAM