139 postcards to Claudio Magris

May 30th, 2011 No Comments

Next week, when Claudio Magris gets home from the University, he’ll find an unusual amount of post in his letterbox: the 139 postcards that visitors to “The Trieste of Magris”, Barcelona residents and tourists alike, sent to him on 18 May, International Museum Day.

The “Postcards to Claudio Magris” activity took place in the framework of the exhibition at the CCCB as an opportunity to establish a direct dialogue with Magris, who will soon be writing a collective reply to the letters received from Barcelona.

Once the postcards have been counted and their content recorded, we want to show you the great variety of messages that visitors to our Trieste sent Magris. The postcards were written in Catalan, Spanish, Italian, French, English, Portuguese, German and even Russian, messages thanking him for the exhibition abut also for his books, which many visitors have enjoyed and say they often reread. There are also messages thanking him for the introduction to Trieste, with its nooks and crannies, its cafés and bookshops, and one from a couple who announced that the exhibition had prompted them to go out and buy tickets to Trieste these holidays.

Postcards written by adults, with profound reflections on Europe or memory, but also postcards written by children, in a more light-hearted vein, and others with drawings dedicated to the writer. You can be sure that this was the first time in years that many of the participants who wrote to Magris had sent a postcard!

The postcards also contained many recommendations to Claudio Magris, both literary, relating him to writers such as Louis-Ferdinand Céline and Elias Canetti, and touristic, telling him about hidden places in Barcelona. “La Barceloneta and the harbour, untouched by time”, one visitor told him. “El cafè de l’Òpera”, another recommended. “You have to see Barcelona from the mountain, bounded by the sea”, added a third. A street, Carrer del Bisbe, was also highly recommended, as was the secret oasis that is the garden of the Marés Museum: “Sit on the terrace in the museum’s garden while an opera singer outside takes you by surprise…” We’ve scanned a selection of 50 of the 139 postcards sent, and you can see and read them in our Flickr album of International Museum Day.

We at the CCCB would like to thank the 139 people who wrote a postcard to Claudio Magris, and the two who contacted Magris by leaving a reply to the previous post, and to remind you that as soon as we receive Claudio Magris’s reply to all of you, we’ll post it for you to read on this blog!

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