Les Veus del Pamano

(De Jaume Cabré)

The storyline:

Set in a little village in the Àssua Valley, in Pallars Sobirà, Les veus del Pamano explains the secrets of the Spanish Civil War and of the post-war period, to reveal nuances that often go unnoticed and that give meaning to historic events and the need to keeping them alive in our memory. The author uses different narrative levels and a really complex grid of characters and times to construct a precise description of some events that managed to defy time and persist from the Spanish Civil War to our days, making clear the persistence and moral responsibility of each individual for their actions, despite the passage of the years.

The link to Àssua Valley:

Jaume Cabré took the Àssua Valley as the main setting for his work. Somewhere between reality and fiction, the places with the greatest prominence appear, such as the imaginary village of Torena, which uses different parts of Llessui and mixes them with others or transforms them with the creative license used by authors. Torena school, for example, was created in the author's mind based on the school in Pujalt, as well as the elegant Casa Gravat, which takes images and cuttings from Casa Sobirà in Altron or Casa el Tor in Alós. Other locations, such as the ski slopes of La Tuca Negra, are materialised with greater or lesser reality in the Àssua Valley; as well as all the places that take on true names in the novel and that if the reader looks for, can be found on the map: River Pamano; Mounts Montsent and Montorroio; El Tuc de la Cometa; Altars mountain range; the villages of Seurí, Sorre, Altron, Bernui, Caregue, Enviny, Pujalt and many others.

However, the events that are explained in Les veus del Pamano are fictitious although, as the author says, they are not that far removed from what happened in this sort of place in the Pyrenees.

Summary:

In 1943, the teacher Oriol Fontelles arrives in the Pyrenees village of Torena with his wife who is expecting a baby. Little does he realise at that moment that he will soon be deeply involved in a double life, a secret agent of the Maquis (French resistance) organisation and a fervent Falangist and ally of the despot of the village in the eyes of everyone. The hate, the bitterness and the greed for power during that post-war period interweave with the life of the teacher; of Elisenda Vilabrú, daughter of the most influential, well-off family in Torena; of the people of the village; of the despot and mayor Targa and of all the people around them, reaching the present almost intact.

In December 2001, the teacher in Sort, Tina Bros, discovers, thanks to a builder, a series of notebooks hidden behind the blackboard in Torena School, about to be demolished. They are the stories that Oriol Fontelles had dedicated to his daughter, who never got to know him. At that point in time, the real life of the Torena teacher starts along a path to be disclosed. A path that the book reveals little by little and that possibly will never reach its end.