Juan Marsé did not usually speak of Journey to the South , his lost book , his only travel book, a narrative sociological experiment with the appearance of a chronicle that he intended, like the Campos de Níjar, by Juan Goytisolo (1960), to combat the false idea of Spain that Franco’s propaganda offered.
He did not speak of him, recalls his daughter, Berta Marsé, because he had given up on him. “I didn’t even know it existed myself until it reappeared. She had once spoken of a trip she had made to Andalusia in the 1960s, of the impression she had made of how the Third World had seemed to her.
But not of what she had written ”, she recalls. That that rarity, the vibrant sample of the extent to which Marsé could have also become an excellent chronicler had not fate ruined his plans, has become his testament , closes, in some way, the circle.
“It’s like going back to the beginning the force of my father’s prose is there. He was not able to remember exactly anything, not even the pseudonym he had put, hence the difficulty in finding the manuscript in the archives of Ruedo Spanish publishing house in exile that had commissioned the book from Marsé and never did And when they finally found him, something completely accidental that he no longer had, he was afraid he would have to correct too much ”, says Berta.
Regarding his reaction to the finding, he says: “At first it made him a tremendous illusion but he was already tired and he was afraid that he was not as well as he should be.”
She lent herself to read it, and was fascinated. “I read it with a pencil in my hand thinking about writing things down, and soon I forgot everything. I couldn’t stop reading.
There was nothing to touch was perfect she remembers book which arrives today in bookstores thanks to Lumen was due to be published in June or July but the pandemic delayed it.