Ana Briongos, the fascination of distance | Culture | EUROtoday

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In the central sq. of Isfahan there’s a window displaying Ana Briongos' books. You need to enter from the north and the flaps in Turkish, Persian, Spanish and Catalan are Ali Baba's Cave (1997) y Black on black (2002) resulting in the doorway of essentially the most lovely sq. on the planet. I returned to Iran in November, took a photograph of the books to ship to her, however I by no means acquired round to sending it. Ana, our expensive Ana. Ancestor, good friend, trainer, beneficiant, good, she handed away final Tuesday on the age of 77, and has left us much more alone.

In Isfahan, she was well-known. People would point out her out there, on the streets, within the retailers. When you mentioned the place you got here from, the Isfahanis would speak about her. She had first travelled to the nation in 1974 on a PhD scholarship. She had additionally returned to Kabul within the late Sixties to work. These had been typically her causes for travelling, ways in which allowed her to reside with others and to make her personal cultures that in the first place appeared overseas. She informed me how one can get a visa in 2005 for my first journey to Iran and how one can renew it within the nation if I wished to remain longer in 2014. From then on, it was friendship. The present that have to be cared for like a backyard and that Ana cultivated like nobody else. “Could we join each other for introductions?” we determined when she revealed Intimate Geographies (2015). Ana was a traveler to comply with and had one of many nice presents of those that journey. She was at all times there, altruistic, serving to, giving, figuring out that we’re all vacationers (and strangers) and that we will be in bother and in want of assist at any time.

I noticed on the desk throughout a breakfast we shared on the resort the place the Tres Culturas Foundation had accommodated us: “Are you Ana Briongos from The southern seas from the novel by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán?” “Yes,” he answered. Like the protagonist, he lived in pursuit of his political commitment. Ana had studied Physics and had been a member of the PSUC. That morning she also told me that her father used to lull her to sleep as a child singing the Face to sun. I had published A winter in Kandahar (2000) y This is Calcutta (2017), travel books by someone who knew the languages ​​where he went, spent long periods of time there and made great friends. Seeing the world through others. Another lesson and wisdom that he leaves us.

I presented his latest book in Barcelona, My purple notebook. The longest journey (2023). Three trips in one. Her life during Franco's Barcelona, ​​her travels through Asia and her last stays in Berkeley accompanying her daughter and grandchildren. This last trip was the most precious. She had made the everyday a humanistic, close and friendly story. Living day to day as if it were a trip, seeing what surrounded her (despite how much she had traveled, lived and her age) with wonder and perplexity. When I presented my Menorcan-Iranian novel, The lives I didn't livehighlighted the theme of saffron, a symbol so Iranian, which was also cultivated in Menorca and united the geography of the two territories.

Last March she wrote to me. I was in Japan, she was going to spend a few weeks in Tokyo and wanted recommendations of places to visit. I imagined her in Koyasan, the Buddhist centre of the country, among dazzling orange tones and in Ise, the Shinto centre of Japan and perfect nature; but she never got to visit them. She had to go back after learning that she was ill.

Friends tell me that in recent weeks he enjoyed looking at the sea from the windows of his house. He said he felt he was beginning a new stage. “The fascination of distance,” he wrote in his latest book, his call.

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