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The Time of the Doves

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Barcelona, early 1930s: Natalia, a pretty shop-girl from the working-class quarter of Gracia, is hesitant when a stranger asks her to dance at the fiesta in Diamond Square. But Joe is charming and forceful, and she takes his hand. They marry and soon have two children; for Natalia it is an awakening, both good and bad. When Joe decides to breed pigeons, the birds delight his son and daughter - and infuriate his wife. Then the Spanish Civil War erupts, and lays waste to the city and to their simple existence. Natalia remains in Barcelona, struggling to feed her family, while Joe goes to fight the fascists, and one by one his beloved birds fly away. A highly acclaimed classic that has been translated into more than twenty languages, In Diamond Square is the moving, vivid and powerful story of a woman caught up in a convulsive period of history.

201 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1962

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About the author

Mercè Rodoreda

85 books451 followers
Mercè Rodoreda i Gurguí was a Catalan novelist.

She is considered by many to be the most important Catalan novelist of the postwar period. Her novel "La plaça del diamant" ('The diamond square', translated as 'The Time of the Doves', 1962) has become the most acclaimed Catalan novel of all time and since the year it was published for the first time, it has been translated into over 20 languages. It's also considered by many to be best novel dealing with the Spanish Civil War.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 933 reviews
Profile Image for Jim Fonseca.
1,100 reviews7,194 followers
February 21, 2016
A novel set in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War and translated from the Catalan. Originally published in 1962, it is and it isn’t “another Spanish Civil War novel.” There is no fighting or scenes from the front. We only hear of the war from the perspective of a woman whose husband is fighting with the Republicans while she slaves at home and as a maid and cleaning lady trying to feed herself and her two children. So we hear of the war only from neighborhood women, talk in the streets, the grocer and very occasional visits from her husband or his friends.

We learn about their brief courtship and their life before the war started. This is early 1900’s, so he’s a tyrant; jealous, suspicious, demanding everything his way. He a furniture maker and he makes himself a chair that his wife and children are forbidden to sit in. Then he gets the crazy idea of raising pigeons on their apartment’s rooftop. Little by little the pigeons take over the entire house, nesting in rooms. Now the main character becomes a slave to the pigeons as well, lugging food and water and cleaning up after them.

The Spanish Civil War comes along and of course her husband is a casualty. She never learns how or where he died or where he is buried. All his buddies and essentially every male she ever knew also died in the war. But she has bigger problems. As the war drags on she and her children are starving to the point where she plans to kill them and then herself to end the suffering. The pigeons are gone now and so is every item in the home, sold for food – the bed and mattress, clothing, curtains, furniture.

Yet the women and her children survive. The war ends, she remarries, and the new family even achieve a measure of prosperity. But the story takes a new twist. Let’s call it PTSD. You can’t go through all that hell and years later just “keep calm and carry on.”

A great story that has been translated into 20 languages. The author, who died in 1983, has a literary award named in her honor. She lived in exile in France and Switzerland during the War and is best known for her first novel, Aloma. Here’s a couple of examples of her great writing: “…I thought I should rein my sadness in, keep it small, not let it surround me, or spread to my bloodstream or thereabouts. Turn it into a ball, bullet or pellet. Swallow it quick.” Writing of boys at an orphans camp: “They all had shaved heads covered in scabs and their faces were all eyes.” Well worth a read.

Profile Image for Guille.
784 reviews1,748 followers
March 23, 2022

“La plaza del diamante” es una novela bella y triste. La voz que nos cuenta su vida, la de aquella Natalia joven en la fiesta de la Plaza del Diamante, luego la Colometa del Quimet, después Natalia de nuevo, ya mayor, en la misma plaza, es de una sencillez poética conmovedora, casi naif, una voz que solo puede surgir de una sensibilidad innata que las circunstancias impidieron un florecimiento mayor.
“En casa vivíamos sin palabras y las cosas que yo llevaba por dentro me daban miedo porque no sabía si eran mías…”
Quimet encontró a una Natlia que no había empezado a ser, que no “sabía muy bien para qué estaba en el mundo”.
“Mi madre muerta hacía años y sin poder aconsejarme y mi padre casado con otra. Mi padre casado con otra y yo sin madre, que sólo había vivido para cuidarme. Y mi padre casado y yo jovencita y sola en la Plaza del Diamante...”
Por su parte, Natalia se vio deslumbrada por la vitalidad y la seguridad de Quimet, y este le metió a la Colometa en el cuerpo y como la Colometa vivió al lado de Quimet, sumisa y resignada ella, manipulador y controlador, él.
“Si quería ser su mujer tenía que empezar a encontrar bien todo lo que él encontraba bien.”
Una historia de violencia machista cuando no se sabía qué era eso de la violencia machista, en la que Quimet redujo la vida de su Colometa a sus propios amigos, a la señora Enriqueta, una segunda madre, y a sus hijos. Los acontecimientos del mundo exterior a ese reducido núcleo familiar solo aparecen en sus consecuencias, de pronto llega la república, de pronto llega la guerra, que ni se nombra como tal (“vino lo que vino, que parecía una cosa que tenía ser muy corta”), de pronto termina la guerra y Colometa tiene que sacar a su familia adelante con el estigma de ser la mujer de un rojo.
“…la señora Enriqueta me había dicho que teníamos muchas vidas, entrelazadas unas con otras, pero que una muerte o una boda, a veces, no siempre, las separaba, y la vida de verdad, libre de todos los lazos de vida pequeña que la habían atado, podía vivir como habría tenido que vivir siempre si las vidas pequeñas y malas la hubieran dejado sola.”
La historia de Colometa termina con un grito, “un grito de infierno”. Hay quién lo interpreta feliz, aunque… bueno, ustedes lo interpretarán como quieran, yo no soy de esa opinión.
“Un grito que debía hacer muchos años que llevaba dentro y con aquel grito, tan ancho que le costó mucho pasar por la garganta, me salió de la boca una pizca de cosa de nada, como un escarabajo de saliva… y aquella pizca de cosa de nada que había vivido tanto tiempo encerrada dentro, era mi juventud que se escapaba con un grito que no sabía bien lo que era…”
Profile Image for Jeff Jackson.
Author 4 books478 followers
February 9, 2017
There's a reason why Gabriel Garcia Marquez learned Catalan just read to this novel. He called it "the most beautiful novel published in Spain since the Civil War."

Great translation by poet David Rosenthal that captures the gorgeously off-handed rhythms and glowing repetitions of Rodereda's prose. Avoid the newer version called "In Diamond Plaza."
Profile Image for Nikos Tsentemeidis.
413 reviews216 followers
June 23, 2019
Ένα βιβλίο γεμάτο ανθρωπιά, αθωότητα, μιας άλλης εποχής που θα θέλαμε τα χαρακτηριστικά της να ήταν ζωντανά στη δικιά μας εποχή.
Profile Image for Aubrey.
1,359 reviews793 followers
December 30, 2015
I'm writing this on the back of my doctor's note because it's the only paper I have with me at the coffee shop and a bad bout of illness has me out of sickness-induced superstition loathe to leave this composing till I go home. Yes, I know, not the best place/activity for an invalid, but I (not contagious, mind you) already had one and one too many of those days two yesters ago where no writing and a mere twelve pages of reading left me with the feeling of a small bone rotting away from lack of use. Lack of structure. I'll not compare being too ill to engage in literary matters to surviving the Spanish Civil War, but the style of prose fit the motion of my stomach-swamped brain, a pinball autopilot where not much seems to help and even less is not a threat and one obliges the familiar for as long as one can.

This work creeps up on you. Maybe more so to me with my usual "Is this abuse? Is this misogyny?" until nightmarish paranoia of years and years set three-quarters in to the novel deemed, yes. That the author meant. It's a book where the soldiers would be better off not coming home and the conditioning of peacetime kills quicker than the complicity of wartime, albeit wartime being an uncertain word when civilization incorporates so much. In short, there's a woman who was once a girl, children who were once eggs, friends of the family who were once alive, and the revenge of a much taken for granted housewife that happens to convulse with the bloodborne seizures of a country. There's losing and winning for this small scale woman and her small scale children, and what she knows of the war is drawn from the availability of work, of food, of hydrochloric acid. I could go into gender politics and bigotry and yadda yadda yadda, but I'm too tired to belittle this much grappling with the trauma of hallucinatory life.

In terms of kudoes, how often do you read Catalan literature penned by a woman? In terms of references for swift comparison purposes, an single self internalized Regeneration of another country, another time, another gender, another breed of PTSD, but a similar refrain: nothing is worth this. Nothing.
Profile Image for Charles.
181 reviews
April 5, 2023
Pigeons, pigeons everywhere for a while in Natalia’s married life, as her young husband goes nuts for them and breeds them at home, letting them fly through one end of the apartment to the other. She’s left to clean up after them whereas her husband goes to his workshop during the day, as an independent furniture maker. These birds made for a few arresting chapters in a book that was full of them.

Set in the first half of the 20th century, in a Barcelona that carried on without tourists at the time but would soon face the Spanish Civil War, In Diamond Square offers a colorful blue-collar perspective of times long gone, setting before the reader’s eyes everyday marvels that are sure to make an impression.

A doe-eyed young woman when we first meet her, though soon to be married, Natalia will preserve an engaging candor as she relates her marital and parental experiences, then her work life and her growing older, and faces domestic and personal challenges alike, dealing with mourning, dealing with poverty, overcoming it all while never quite losing her sweet innocence.

Hers is a sensory existence, in which colors, smells, sounds and textures are often referenced, and Natalia's personal mythologies draw from the very essence of everything that surrounds her, from birds to flowers to people, to wooden furniture. Her tale is often sad in ways that go from big to small, but also rife with images pulled straight out of an imaginative urban dweller’s dreaming heart – regardless of her age. She is one with her home, one with her neighborhood, given to noticing low-key beauty in modest surroundings, and closing In Diamond Square’s cover a final time, I feel like the author’s heart spoke directly to mine despite all the differences in time, place, and culture.

Thanks to Emily M for putting this slim novel on my literary path. It took me a while to get around to it, but the enchantment took.
Profile Image for Enrique.
375 reviews111 followers
August 4, 2023
Literatura de alto nivel. Doña Merce Rodoreda es capaz de poner al descubierto de una forma franca el alma humana, el alma de una mujer asfixiada por la condición que le ha tocado en suerte. Usa un estilo depurado (creo que a base de mucho reescribir) de escritora con muchísimo oficio. Es imposible no apreciar alguna influencia de V. Woolf en ese desasosiego existencial que ambas logran transmitir de manera magistral en sus mujeres protagonistas. Aunque pudiera resultar curioso, también encuentro conexiones entre la autora y la posterior Toni Morrison, aparte de la pequeña dosis de lo que después se llamaría realismo mágico, además en un punto central del libro, en la trama se ve una similitud que no se puede obviar con la de Beloved y la forma de enfrentar sus problemas y el de sus hijos, el capítulo 36 es sobresaliente, y el final de ese capítulo...buaahh.
La Colometa es un personaje de ficción que permanece en la cultura y tradición española por la proyección en los 80 de una serie que protagonizaba la genial Silvia Munt, al leer el libro resulta mucho más fácil ponerle a la protagonista el rostro de de esa gran actriz catalana, aunque realmente sí soy sincero, creo que el libro está por encima de lo que recuerdo de la serie, gana en profundidad esa narración en primera persona que te hace sentir lo arduo de la vida.
Profile Image for Malacorda.
516 reviews306 followers
June 5, 2018
Solitamente si tende a identificare nei bambini la bocca della verità, la massima espressione di sincerità in quanto creature innocenti. Io trovo che questo sia inesatto, un bambino che sia in grado di parlare è già un essere giunto a un certo livello di complessità, ed è perfettamente in grado di affettare pose, eventualmente fingere e recitare e mentire se questo può agevolare il suo tornaconto o mitigare una punizione e/o una umiliazione. Gli esseri veramente puri e semplici sono solo gli sciocchi, quelli la cui semplicità sfocia nella stupidità.
Un'amica di mia mamma aveva un figlio autistico. Entrambi i genitori hanno molto accudito il ragazzo e fatto tutto il possibile perché ricevesse sempre tutti gli stimoli e gli spunti che il suo cervello poteva essere in grado, anche solo per un poco, di assorbire. Con lui viaggiavano molto, e in occasione di uno di quei viaggi la madre cercava come sempre di entusiasmarlo: "Vedrai quante cose belle, vedrai come ci divertiremo, quando saremo là potremo fare questo, potremo fare quello...". In realtà in quel viaggio andò tutto storto, una pioggia torrenziale e una serie di altri disguidi lo resero uno di quei week-end memorabili per tale livello di disdetta. E all'ennesimo imprevisto, mentre erano sulla strada fradici di pioggia e stanchi morti, il ragazzo – memore delle parole della madre – con il suo sorriso pacato le chiede conferma: "Ci stiamo divertendo, mamma?". La disarmante voce della verità.

Ecco, la protagonista di questo racconto non è autistica ma il suo essere sempliciotta rasenta effettivamente la stupidità; la sua incertezza nel trovare le parole adatte ad esprimere i propri sentimenti, anzi diciamo pure la sua inadeguatezza e insufficienza nel mettere a fuoco sentimenti e sensazioni umane, tutto questo insieme di carenze la rendono quanto di più simile vi possa essere alla voce della verità. Ho notato una certa qual somiglianza tra Natàlia/Colometa e Arturo della Morante: entrambi incapaci di comprendere appieno ed esprimere le proprie sensazioni. Così come il marito di Natàlia ha molti punti in comune con il padre di Arturo: entrambi ostentano forza per nascondere una debolezza più profonda.

Ed è dunque con la voce semplice di Natàlia che l'autrice ci racconta di una vita nella Barcellona degli gli anni '30 e della guerra civile. Una storia limpida e cristallina, fatta di persone ma anche di case e di oggetti: agli occhi di Natàlia, una teiera o un imbuto smaltato o un nastro colorato o una conchiglia, sono come amuleti, sono catalizzatori di vita.
Il cuore pulsante e magnetico del racconto è una faccenda seria, non ha nulla a che spartire con la frivolezza e la superficialità della voce narrante. C'è la frustrazione, c'è la guerra, c'è il baratro della miseria e della fame. Ha a che fare con l'ingenuità, certo, perché Natàlia è ingenua: una vittima ingenua. E l'ingenuità con cui questa vittima si sottomette alla vita è un tema quanto mai attuale, dato che oggi viviamo in tempi non meno difficili di quelli in cui è ambientato il racconto: magari più agiati, ma altrettanto difficili. Concordo con quanto era già stato scritto da altri nei panegirici: qui si dimostra il tema dell'annullamento. Il titolo fa riferimento al luogo in cui tutto ha avuto inizio: lui, da vero galletto, e forse anche in maniera un po' prepotente, la invita a ballare. E lei semplicemente accetta. Prima di quel momento, la giovinezza nella mente di lei è solo una indistinta foschia. E dal quel momento in avanti, la vita sarà per lei una sorta di assenza a sé stessa e annullamento del suo essere nel gorgo degli eventi che - come in ogni buon romanzo - è il vortice formato dalla vita di tutti i giorni ma anche dai contraccolpi che questa subisce a causa della Storia.

E' un racconto in crescendo, e sostiene bene la tensione fino al finale ottimamente strutturato, con una chiusura dolceamara perché il lieto fine nella realtà non esiste, e tuttavia esiste la possibilità di scaricarsi un peso di dosso. Quattro stelle sicure, magari ripensandoci nei prossimi mesi potrebbero anche diventare qualcosina in più.

"Le dissi che mi sarebbe davvero piaciuto passare una notte come quella che lei aveva passato così innamorata, ma che lavoravo a pulire uffici e a spolverare e a occuparmi dei bambini e tutte le cose belle della vita, come il vento e l'edera e i cipressi che bucavano l'aria e le foglie di un giardino svolazzanti qua e là, non erano fatte per me. Per me tutto era finito e mi aspettavano solo tristezza e grattacapi."

"Mentre camminavamo per la strada tutti e tre, io mezzo e un figlio per parte, senza sapere perché mi salì da dentro un fiotto caldo di pena, e mi si incastrò in gola."

"...così l'avremmo fatta finita e tutti sarebbero stati contenti, perché non facevamo male a nessuno e nessuno ci voleva bene."
Profile Image for Zanna.
676 reviews967 followers
December 8, 2016
3.5 stars

Lacking a mother to advise her, Natalia, whose ideas of romance and beauty seem to be symbolised by the colour white, which she loves to wear, is picked up by a douchecanoe so selfish and arrogant he takes her name from her and proceeds to arrange her life and possessions at his service. Eventually he fills their home with doves, another white creature coerced violently into confinement. Natalia is living in hell, but it seems there is a hell below this one because along comes the civil war and a famine that sucks the heart and spirit and flesh from the shell of the body

We learn all of this from Natalia's stream of consciousness, creating a special sense of melancholy since she has no interlocutor to share her thoughts. In giving Natalia a voice, Rodoreda extends a feminist solidarity that is absent from her life. Her sympathisers include two women friends but neither of them offer sufficient emotional support; Natalia remains materially dependent on men and her life is defined by them for better or worse.

I think this is a helpful novel of trauma because I felt it demanded a lot of me to understand Natalia's strange thoughts, the bizarre shapes her world took, the tenderness of odd things that mattered to her, and that it is a kind of violence to be forced to care for someone who has abused you and that this is one of the violences of war. Some suffering poisons the wells and the roots of the crops but nonetheless becomes a solid shaft that you climb and cling onto and when it's pulled out it's touch and go with you whether you survive...
Profile Image for Steve.
441 reviews491 followers
August 17, 2017

Mercè Rodoreda i Gurguí (1908-1983)

We went up a narrow stone staircase with very high steps and a ceiling over it and walls on each side and came out in a yard full of boys. Their heads were all shaved and covered with lumps and their faces were nothing but eyes.

One of the unfortunate many to have been born in Europe during the first third of the 20th century, the Catalonian Mercè Rodoreda started publishing early, but the Spanish Civil War intervened and when it ended in 1939 Rodoreda - a fervent supporter of the Republican cause - had to spend the Franco years in exile in France and Switzerland running from the Nazis. Franco forbade the public use of the many regional languages of Spain, so Catalan literature rarely saw the light of day; Rodoreda herself didn't publish for two decades. But the success of a collection of short stories (Vint-i-dos contes, 1958) encouraged her to write and publish La plaça del diamant (available in English translation under the title The Time of the Doves) in 1962, a popular and critical success translated meanwhile into thirty languages and taught in Catalonia's schools.

Unsurprisingly, La plaça del diamant is set during the Civil War but the means by which Rodoreda chose to approach the Spanish trauma is quite unexpected. Working class Barcelona before, during and after the Civil War is presented via the stream of consciousness of a young, naive and submissive woman, Natalia, who understands next to nothing of the world and is swept off her feet by a pushy, possessive, domineering jerk. A match made in Heaven.

Joan Miró,
Nocturne - 1940

The quotidian, the trivial, the completely normal life of hard work, of bearing and raising young children - told with a certain apt poetic flair and with a plentiful supply of eccentric characters - gives way at the halfway point to the war as seen by poor Natalia. Her husband is off to the front, and each time he returns it is with less food and in a more bedraggled state. The utilities fail and there are rumors of mass executions by the Falangists. And then things get really bad.

The excruciating poetry of survival in extremis is followed by the quotidian, the trivial, the completely normal life of hard work, of children growing, marrying and having children of their own, but this life reverberates with the memory of that excruciating poetry...no, it is more than memory.
Profile Image for Ratko.
241 reviews60 followers
May 1, 2022
Трг дијаманта (или Дијамантски трг у српском преводу) најпознатији је роман каталонске/шпанске књижевнице Мерсе Рудуреде.

Живот у Бареслони тридесетих година ХХ века живописно је приказан кроз визуру једноставне, помало и наивне девојке Наталије, продавачице у посластичарници. Непромишљено остављање дечка којег је волела због летње авантуре, која ће прерасти у (мукотрпан) брак, донеће јој доста муке. Муж је посесиван, љубоморан, често је њихов однос на граници психичког и физичког насиља. Наталијин живот се углавном води у четири зида, са двоје деце и непрекидним домаћичким пословима, а све уз претварање стана у својеврсни голубарник због голубова које њен муж пасионирано гаји (занимљива је та симболика голубова и оно што се са њима напослетку догађа, а и Наталија је за мужа - Голубица).

Ускоро долази Шпански грађански рат и све оно што сваки рат са собом носи – смрт, патња, глад и немаштина. Ипак, овде се рат експлицитно практично ни не помиње, нема овде великих догађаја, фронтовских борби или филозофских и политичких трактата. Приказује се живот малог, обичног човека у тешким и смутним временима. Када јој муж погине на фронту, немаштина ће постати све неиздржљивија. Све то она подноси без непотребног роптања и самосажаљења. Наталијин језик је једноставан, сведен, догађаји се приказују онаквим каквим јесу, без улепшавања или бескрајног анализирања. Из сиромаштва и ратне немаштине, Наталија ће се избавити удајом за ситног трговца, но ипак, нешто ће се у њој променити и надаље то неће бити она иста особа...

Каталонска књижевност је практично непозната код нас, али се последњих година све више преводи, што је заиста сјајно. А, Мерсе Рудуреду свакако вреди читати.
Profile Image for Hakan.
684 reviews474 followers
May 26, 2020
Marquez’in hayran olduğu anlaşılan Katalan yazar Rodoreda (1908-1983), sade bir üslupla, öncesi ve sonrasıyla, ana kahraman Natalia’nın ağzından İspanya iç savaşı döneminde Barcelona’daki yaşamdan etkileyici bir kesit sunmuş. Natalia’nın genç kızlığından başlayarak, önce kötü bir insan olmayan ancak bencilliğiyle öne çıkan kocasıyla ilişkileri, sonra da, iki küçük çocuğuyla savaşın getirdiği zorluklarla mücadelesi, hayata tutunma çabası anlatılmış. Kitabın özellikle ikinci yarısı, savaş patlak verdikten sonraki bölümü içinize işliyor. Ama kafanıza vurmadan. Rodoreda, söylemedikleriyle etki yaratabilen yazarlardan olduğunu göstermiş. Savaşın başlaması bile belli belirsiz yansıtılmış. Zaten savaş derken, cephe, kan, şan, şeref gibi konulara girilmemiş. Bunlar arkaplana itilirken, savaşın cephe gerisinde yarattığı yıkıcı etkilere odaklanılmış. Kitabın sonuna konulan Yazarın Sözü’nde belirtildiği gibi yalın ve insancıl bir roman Güvercinler Gittiğinde. Kıyıda köşede kalmış böylesine iyi bir romanı bastıkları için yayıncı Alef’e teşekkür edelim. Ama arka kapak yazılarında bu kadar abartıya kaçmaları pek şık değil. Çeviri de (Suna Kılıç) iyi.
Profile Image for [P].
145 reviews525 followers
November 19, 2015
You should never ignore the signs. In a relationship, I mean. It is easy to tell yourself that you are overreacting, or imagining things, that your doubts are unreasonable or that what you see or feel is insignificant relative to the positives, but you ought to trust your instincts [or your counter-instincts, if your instincts are telling you that things will work out ok with someone who is giving you the impression of being a douche]. The reality is that, contrary to what we are repeatedly told, no one ever ‘suddenly flips’, no one’s personality completely changes for the worse with a snap of the fingers; the clues to someone’s future behaviour or attitudes are always there, sometimes subtly disguised perhaps, but there nevertheless.

I was once talking to a friend of mine and she told me about a guy she had been seeing and how he would get aroused when she cried. I’m not making this up. He got an erection…when she cried. And as I listened to this story I was sure that the conclusion would be that she had freaked out and ended the relationship, but no. She thought it was ‘a bit odd’, sure, but it never crossed her mind to stop seeing the man who was made horny by her unhappiness. No doubt some of you will dismiss my example as a one-off, as an extreme or unusual incident that is not representative of anything, that is not applicable to people-in-general. You might say ‘no right thinking person would have given him the benefit of the doubt in those circumstances’, and yet I have heard hundreds of similar anecdotes and stories, often with unpleasant outcomes.

All of which is to say that as I was reading Mercè Rodoreda’s La plaça del diamant [or The Time of the Doves in the best English translation] I was struck by how depressingly familiar, how predictable, the trajectory of Natalia’s and Quimet’s relationship is. In the early stages, one’s impression of Natalia, who narrates the novel, is that she is kind and gentle, but green or naïve, perhaps even weak. The book opens with the young woman attending a party, dressed all in white. I do not think that this is a coincidence. White is, of course, traditionally worn by brides, and in this way the dress is a hint at her forthcoming marriage, but it also says something about her character, in that the colour is representative of virginity, of purity, even innocence. Likewise, Quimet’s name for Natalia, ‘Colometa’ or dove, which he bestows upon her almost immediately, is obviously significant. Doves are regarded as an emblem of peace and love, which is ironic because Quimet delivers little of either of these two things.

“I covered my face with my arms to protect myself from i don’t know what and i let out a hellish scream. A scream I must have been carrying around inside me for many years, so thick it was hard for it to get through my throat, and with that scream a little bit of nothing trickled out of my mouth, like a cockroach made of spit…and that bit of nothing that had lived so long trapped inside me was my youth and it flew off with a scream of I don’t know what…letting go?”

It is worth noting that Quimet is sweating heavily when Natalia first meets him at the party in the plaça del diamant, for this suggests manliness, and, as the sweating is caused by him having been dancing, sensuality too. Moreover, Natalia compares his eyes to those of a monkey, indicating a brutish animality. From the very beginning Quimet dictates to Natalia, informing her that one day she will be his wife. Even giving her a nickname is an attempt to establish ownership; it is a way of making her his. As the couple continue to spend time together these negative signs, or indications, as to his character become more pronounced. He jealously accuses Natalia of taking a walk with her ex-boyfriend [and she, who is innocent, almost comes to believe that she had done so]; he attempts to make her quit her job; he grabs her around the throat. He is, then, quite clearly a possessive, self-centred bully; he is, as we in Yorkshire might say, a wrong ‘un, and Natalia ought to get rid, because life with him will not be happy, but she, of course, does not.

As a result of all this, one cannot help but read The Time of the Doves with a heavy heart, with frustration and a sense of helplessness. It is like watching, from a safe distance, a car skid off the road and into a ditch. However, although on the surface this appears to be a novel about family and responsibility, poverty and suffering, it struck me that it is ultimately about power and control. And, yes, this refers to Quimet’s desire to dominate his wife, to have her, as he himself says, like everything he likes [which results in the ridiculous situation with the doves], but it relates to Natalia also, and her efforts to wrest control of her life back, from her spouse and from the world-at-large. For example, when Quimet’s dove-mania reaches its apex, and he has them moved into the family apartment, Natalia sabotages them, and tries to murder the chicks. Then, later, when the family are starving, she makes the decision to kill her two children and herself.

[La plaça del diamant in Barcelona]

It has been said that The Time of the Doves is a political novel, and, although the action takes place over thirty years, covering Franco’s ascension, the Spanish Civil War, and World War Two, and although all of these things are mentioned in the text, it may still strike one as a strange claim. That is because these events are kept in the background; they are never the primary focus. Natalia appears to do her best to not acknowledge politics, or at least not take a serious interest in it outside of the effect it has upon her day-to-day life; and she certainly does not choose a side, being, for example, neither obviously in favour of the republicans or the revolutionaries.

In order to understand the political nature of the story it is necessary to return to what I was discussing previously: power and control. First of all, to be an ordinary citizen in times of conflict or strife is to be at the mercy of a bunch of madmen who will decide the direction of your life, who are, specifically, fighting in order to have that level of control over you. Moreover, it is important to keep in mind that the novel is set in Barcelona, and that Natalia is Catalan, as was the author. Francisco Franco, who was Head of State from the 1930’s until his death in 1975, was a brutal dictator, and one of his policies was to make Spanish or Castilian the dominant language in Spain. In order to achieve this he made it the official language, and banned the public use of any others, including Catalan. I don’t want to speak for Catalans, but it seems reasonable to suggest that they would have felt as though they could not be themselves, as though they were being forced to be something other than who they were, as though they were being stripped of their identity, and this is similar to how Natalia is portrayed, as someone always constrained, but who is looking to be at ease, to be free like the doves.
Profile Image for Argos.
1,032 reviews313 followers
March 28, 2018
Kitabın ilk bölümü roman kahramanı Natalia’nın sonradan kocası olacak Quimet ile tanışmasını, evliliklerini ve yaşamlarını anlatıyor. Bu bölümde hikaye yer yer büyük boşluklar barındırıyor, sanki yazarın acelesi varmışcasına nefes nefese yazılmış kıs kısa cümlelelerle tatsız bir anlatım var. Üç yıldızı zor hak eder.
İkinci bölüm ise İspanya İç Savaşı sırasındaki Barselona’yı anlatıyor, kocası ve çevresinin savaşta yaptıklarını ve savaşın yıkıcılığını resmediyor. Bu bölüm ilk bölümden tamamen farklı, kısa olmalarına rağmen derinlikli ve duyarlıklı cümleler, güzel tanımlamalar ve sürükleyici bir okuma ile kitabın sonuna ulaşılıyor. Beş yıldızlık bir bölüm bu.
Sonunda yazarın bir “sonsöz” bölümü var ki neden buna gerek dıymuş anlamadım. Adeta bir yorumcu,bir eleştirmen gibi kendi kitabını okuyuculara anlatıyor, “anlamadıysanız ben bunu demek istedim” der gibi. Kitabın beni etkilediğini söyleyemem ama Bask ve Katalan Edebiyatı’nın kredisi yüksek bende...
Profile Image for Judy.
1,709 reviews295 followers
February 25, 2017

Ah, this was a beautiful book. It is tragic and sad so how did she make it so beautiful? The author, a Catalonian woman who came of age during the Spanish Civil War, saw her early novels burned by the authorities of the time as she became a refugee in France and did not write again for eight years. The Time of the Doves was her first novel after that hiatus.

Though I have not ever had to live where a war was being fought, this novel was personal to me for other reasons. I was raised by parents whose childhoods were shadowed by the Great Depression and whose young adult years were crimped by the fears and deprivations of WWII. In the 50s we had all we needed, though the Cold War was a distant but ever-present threat. My sisters and I were taught to believe that happiness was ours if we behaved ourselves, trusted that Jesus loved us, and did well in school.

So I grew up thinking that happiness was the goal and I pursued it madly, not by being a well-behaved believer in Jesus, but still sure it was my birthright. It was not! Now as I approach my elderly years, I know that happiness is as fleeting as spring flowers.

Suddenly, while reading The Time of the Doves, I realized, as the Eastern sages have been saying for eons, that happiness and sorrow are only polarities as are riches and poverty, success and failure, and on and on. There is a strange beauty in all of it.

Natalia, whose mother died when she was young and whose father barely acknowledged her existence, meets Quimet during a dance in one of the town squares of Barcelona. He woos her away from her current fiance, he bullies her yet holds for her a strange fascination. They marry and have two children but Quimet becomes obsessed with raising doves on the roof of their apartment building and stops making money. Natalia goes to work as a cleaning woman, the Spanish Civil War begins, and eventually she loses her husband, her job, and barely survives with those kids, all nearly starving to death.

Finally rescue, safety, and even love come back into her life but she cannot recover from the trauma or believe in love anymore. It is only because of Merce Rodoreda's exquisite prose (probably even more so in Catalan) that the whole picture of this woman's desires, fortitude, despair, and finally hope kept me from collapsing under all of Natalia's misfortune. I was sure she was doomed but there was beauty everywhere in the writing.

By the end, another one of my mother's lessons finally made sense to me. Only if one keeps going, one foot in front of the other, doing one's duties, does one have a chance at happiness, survival, and even life itself. As a child I thought she meant it was my duty to be happy. But she knew how fleeting happiness is, she already knew how long life could be, and that there is no sense crying about it. Instead she grew flowers, played the piano, and kept an orderly home. Thanks Mom. Thanks Merce Rodoreda. They both knew that beauty matters.
Profile Image for SilviaG.
336 reviews
January 11, 2020
4.5. La pluma de Mercè Rodoreda me ha resultado muy personal. Al principio, te cuesta introducirte en su prosa, en lo que te quiere decir. Tienes que dejarte llevar, y llega un momento en que algo hace "clic", y la historia te lleva como mecida por las olas.
La plaza del diamante es la historia de Natalia (de la "Palometa"), una mujer crecida en el barrio de Gracia de Barcelona de principios del siglo XX. Es una mujer de su época, que sigue la vida que la sociedad espera de ella: encontrar un novio, casarse, tener hijos, cuidar de su familia...... Pero la mala suerte hace que le toque vivir una guerra, unas circunstancias familiares difíciles y una situación económica complicada. Pero ella, con su tesón, su fuerza y su adaptación a los tiempos, consigue salir adelante, prosperar y dar un futuro a sus hijos.
Voy a seguir con la obra de esta escritora, a mi parecer, poco conocida.
Profile Image for Carlos Cózar.
Author 7 books167 followers
July 28, 2023
Hay libros que cuando los leo y voy subrayando, deseo que lo que estoy subrayando no se me olvide nunca y lo tenga siempre presente. Este libro está lleno de cosas así, y por eso me ha dado una pena enorme que se me acabara.

Tenía miedo de que fuera una lectura seca, sobria y exigente, y todo lo contrario. Es fresco, entretenido, dinamiquísimo. Además es una escritura muy interesante, que, parapetada tras una aparente sencillez, utiliza el lenguaje de una forma tan hábil como potente. ¡Lleva a muchos sitios este libro!
Profile Image for Els Book Hunters.
292 reviews251 followers
July 30, 2022
A aquestes alçades, seria una mica absurd posar-me a fer aquí una sinopsi de 'La plaça del Diamant', però sí que vull compartir amb vosaltres les meves impressions i destacar-ne alguns factors.

- La Natàlia ens explica la seva història personal des de ben joveneta, però també ens explica la història d'una Barcelona, concretament la del barri de Gràcia, que viu la prosperitat de les classes treballadores, la decadència que va portar la guerra civil i la misèria que es vivia després. El retrat que fa és tan realista, tan versemblant, que és pràcticament una lliçó d'història social.

- L'evolució de la protagonista, des de la més tendra innocència, fins l'acceptació de la maduresa, passant per fases de desesperació, és meravellosa. En cap cas m'ha semblat beneita, ni fleuma, és una heroïna que topa amb un marit masclista, controlador i maltractador, una persona impulsiva i penques de qui n'està molt, però que pel lector actual no li fa ni un bri d'ombra a la Natàlia.

- Aquelles que diuen que Rodoreda és 'la jefa' tenen raó. Aquest llibre va aconseguir enganxar-me des de la primera pàgina, i això té molt de mèrit perquè narra una vida amb totes les seves fases, desgràcies i alegries, derrotes i petits èxits. Això s'ha de saber fer. L'estil, la capacitat descriptiva, el saber novel·lar temes que li preocupen. Destresa i talent desbordants. Un exemple només: com exposa diferents sensibilitats ideològiques respecte el conflicte bèl·lic.

- No llegia Rodoreda des de l'institut. Em van fer llegir 'Mirall trencat' i en tenia un record tediós, el vaig trobar molt avorrit. Llegida de gran l'autora m'ha semblat brillant i voldré llegir-la més. Això em porta a fer la pregunta que us deixo a baix. Però des d'ara mateix la meva percepció de Mercè Rodoreda canvia. Tot un tresor de les nostres lletres.

Profile Image for realymagico.
153 reviews28 followers
January 26, 2021
Esta obra de arte literario de los pies a la cabeza no solo me ha puesto delante de un abismo, me ha lanzado a él, y el vacío del abismo se me ha quedado dentro para siempre.
Si alguien me pregunta ¿qué es la literatura? le diría, es La plaza del Diamante.
» https://www.instagram.com/p/CKTuvVtFO...
Profile Image for gatos_y_letras Maria Correas.
201 reviews79 followers
August 21, 2020
Si alguien me pregunta qué libro despertó en mí el amor por la literatura, la respuesta es clara:
La Plaça del Diamant de Mercè Rodoreda.
Ya van cuatro lecturas de esta obra mayúscula de la literatura universal (sí, universal, no sólo catalana) y siempre descubro matices y sutilezas nuevas. Jamás defrauda. Jamás se hace tediosa. Siempre me aporta más y más.
La elegancia y sencillez de Rodoreda te llama, te agarra y no te suelta. Te remueve por dentro hasta sentir que caes en el abismo. Que te falta el aire y no puedes respirar.
Y es que si el mismísimo García Márquez aprendió a leer en catalán para apreciar esta obra en su idioma origial... sería por algo.
Profile Image for Makis Dionis.
487 reviews120 followers
January 27, 2020
Νοσταλγικό υφος, με μια εικόνα αθωοτητας να αιωρείται , στα ορια της αδιαφορίας το πρωτο μισό
Συγκλονιστικό το δευτερο , τα χρονια του εμφυλίου μεσα απο τα μάτια αυτών που μένουν πισω απο το μέτωπο
Profile Image for Guillermo.
269 reviews95 followers
August 22, 2023
«En casa vivíamos sin palabras y las cosas que yo llevaba por dentro me daban miedo porque no sabía si eran mías…»
Profile Image for ·Karen·.
617 reviews767 followers
February 20, 2023
I was thinking how I had done everything I had ever done not knowing where I was or when, as if it were all planted and rooted in a time that had no memory...

Natalia, the first person narrator of this deeply disturbing novel, speaks these words very near the end, in a passage where at last she seems able to connect. Everything before is marked by a sense of dissociation, everything happens to her, without her active participation, often without her consent. She is a person without desires of her own.

My mother had never told me about men. She and my father spent years and years together arguing and a good few more not saying a word. They'd spend Sunday afternoons sitting in the dining room not saying a word. When my mother died, this life without words extended. And when my father remarried several years later I had nothing at home to latch on to. I lived a cat's life, running all over, tail up, tail down, time to eat, time to sleep, except a cat doesn't have to work to survive. We lived in a house without words and I found the things that came to me frightening because I never knew what sparked them off...

And the things that come to her are frightening: a husband who recognizes the blankness that he can fill.

... he said that if I wanted to be his wife I'd have to start liking every single thing he liked. He gave me a long sermon about men and women and their respective rights and when I managed to get a word in I asked, 'And what if I don't like something one little bit?'
'You've just got to, you don't have a clue.'

Then come pigeons; frightening, smelly birds that take over the living space, take over the children, like some alien life form invading this planet.

And then war.

The whole thing is nightmarish, which throws the one and only tender scene in the novel into such sharp relief. Natalia has survived, she has married again. A kind man, a gentle man. At last she dares to feel, and see, and know. She can connect with this husband, Anthony. She climbs into bed to warm him.

I pressed my cheek against his back, against his knobbly bones, and it was as if I could hear everything alive inside, that was also him: his heart, his lungs and his liver, all swimming in juices and blood. And I began to move my hand gingerly over his belly because he was my cripple and pressing my head against his back I thought how I didn't want him to die on me and I wanted to tell him everything I was thinking, that I thought more than I said, and thoughts you can't say, and said nothing and my feet were warming up and we went to sleep like that...

May 28, 2020
Πώς γίνεται κάθε φορά ένα ισπανικό μυθιστόρημα να είναι ικανό να με ρουφάει με τέτοιον τρόπο μέσα του και όταν το κλείνω, να νιώθω σαν να έχουν φυσήξει μέσα στο μυαλό μου τόσα πράματα που πριν δεν είχα;

Είναι ένα φοβερό βιβλίο από μια συγγραφέα που έγραφε στα καταλανικά και δεν γνώριζα πριν απ' αυτό το βιβλίο. Είναι συγκλονιστικό πώς χτίζεται η ιστορία των ηρώων, πως δείχνει την πραγματική πάλη με τον εαυτό του που βιώνει κανείς μεγαλώνοντας, πόσο μάλλον όταν μεγαλώνει με τόσο ιδιαίτερες συνθήκες όπως ένας εμφύλιος πόλεμος και όταν χάνει μια ολόκληρη ζωή και όταν πρέπει να θυσιάσει μια άλλη. Γιατί η ζωή δεν είναι μόνο μια, έχει τόσα μονοπάτια που απλά τυχαία σε διαλέγουν τη τελευταία στιγμή.

Η πολυπλοκότητα των χαρακτήρων των ηρώων που με μια πρώτη αίσθηση μοιάζουν τόσο παράξενοι, τόσο αντίθετοι... Με μια ηρωίδα να ακολουθεί παθητικά ο,τι της συμβαίνει αλλά αυτή η παθητικότητα να αποδεικνύεται στα αλήθεια μια τεράστια δύναμη που τα υπερνικά όλα και είναι η κόλλα που τους ενώνει όλους, αλλά είναι τόσο μόνη της, μόνη με δύο παιδιά και έναν άντρα. Και έναν ανείπωτο έρωτα. Και μια ανείπωτη δυστυχία που την πνίγει αλλά δεν είναι και κάτι τόσο σοβαρό για εκείνην που έχει συνηθίσει να έχει κάτι να την πνίγει.

Και μετά ο εμφύλιος. Η συγγραφέας περιγράφει με μια πολύ διεισδυτική ματιά πως επιβίωσε η ηρωίδα στον εμφύλιο της Ισπανίας, μια πηγή κι άλλων γνώσεων για τον αναγνώστη που καταλήγουν στην τελική και στην αποκαρδιωτική λύση. Που μερικές φορές ξεχνούσα ότι είναι Ισπανίδα, ότι είναι μια ηρωιδα σε ένα βιβλίο και νόμιζα ότι διαβάζω αληθινή μαρτυρία , ότι αυτή τη γυναίκα την ξέρω, κ ότι θα μπορούσα να είμαι εγώ χωρίς να έχω βρει ούτε το παραμικρό που να έχω κοινό μαζί της.

Και η γλώσσα φαινομενικά τόσο απλή. Σαν να μιλάει κάποιος στη γειτόνισσα αλλά είναι σα χείμαρρος και οι περιγραφές σε ανατριχιάζουν, ο συμβολισμός είναι κυρίαρχος τόσο πολύ που δεν ξέρεις πια ποιος συμβολίζει τι.

Φοβερό βιβλίο, θα μπορούσα να πω κι άλλα πολλά, αλλά καλύτερα να το διαβάσετε.
Profile Image for Miglė.
Author 13 books395 followers
September 25, 2023
Romanas apie, rodos, itin paprastą moters kasdienybę Ispanijos pilietinio karo fone – bet nepaprastai gražus, tiesiog hipnotizuojantis.
ir priėjau Deimanto aikštę: tuščia dėžė, padaryta iš senų namų, o vietoj dangčio – dangus. Ir per patį to dangčio vidurį pamačiau skrendančius mažyčius šešėlius, ir visi namai pradėjo siūbuoti, lyg būtų įmerkti į vandenį ir kažinkas palengva jį maišytų, ir namų sienos ištįso į viršų ir pradėjo linkti vienos prie kitų susiglausdamos, o skylė, ant kurios buvo dangtis, vis siaurėjo ir įgavo piltuvo pavidalą. <...> ir pajutau kylant audringą vėją, kurio gūsiai būrėsi jau beveik visai susiaurėjusiame piltuve, ir užsidengdama rankomis veidą, kad išsigelbėčiau nežinojau nuo ko, sušukau, lyg mane temptų į pragarą. Tai buvo riksmas, kaupęsis manyje daugelį metų, ir su tuo taip išsiplėtusiu riksmu, kad jis vos pralindo per gerklę, išslydo iš burnos trupinėlis nieko, lyg koks vabaliukas iš seilių... ir tas mažas trupinėlis, tiek laiko gyvenęs uždarytas viduje, buvo mano jaunystė, kuri mane apleido su šauksmu, kurio reikšmės negalėjau atspėti...
Profile Image for Κατερίνα Μαλακατέ.
Author 6 books543 followers
July 15, 2019

Η Μερσέ Ροδορέδα είναι μάλλον η σπουδαιότερη Καταλανή συγγραφέας και η Πλατεία Διαμαντιού το πιο συζητημένο έργο της. Δεν είναι τυχαίο πως ο Χάρολντ Μπλουμ την περιλαμβάνει στον «Δυτικό κανόνα» στο «Η χαοτική εποχή: μια προφητεία για τον κανόνα». Πρόκειται για μια συγγραφέα που αναγκάστηκε να αφήσει την Ισπανία μετά τον εμφύλιο, να ζήσει σχεδόν όλη της τη ζωή ως πολιτική πρόσφυγας, και να γυρίσει στην πατρίδα της μόλις τρία χρόνια πριν πεθάνει. Ο θάνατός της δεν έγινε γνωστός εκτός Ισπανίας, αλλά όταν ο Γκαμπριέλ Γκαρσία Μάρκες έμαθε για το χαμό της, έγραψε ένα εκπληκτικό κείμενο στη μνήμη της.

Όταν η Ροδορέδα έγραφε την Πλατεία Διαμαντιού, μόλις και μετά βίας θυμόταν πια πώς ήταν το μέρος, είχε χρόνια να το επισκεφτεί. Παρ’ όλα αυτά κατάφερε να στήσει ένα μυθιστόρημα που ο τόπος και η ιστορία πρωταγωνιστούν εξίσου, όσο κι οι ήρωες. Κεντρική φιγούρα και αφηγήτρια η Νατάλια, ένα κορίτσι που παντρεύτηκε νωρίς έναν άντρα μπλεγμένο με τα πολιτικά και μονίμως απόντα στον πόλεμο. Προσπάθησε να τα καταφέρει όσο καλύτερα μπορούσε, σε ένα σπίτι γεμάτο περιστέρια- η εμμονή του άντρα της- και δύο παιδιά που αγαπούσε με τον τρόπο της, να βρει τον εαυτό της ενώ γύρω της το πολιτικό και κοινωνικό γίγνεσθαι έβραζε και την παρέσερνε.

Η αφήγηση είναι εξαιρετικά χαμηλότονη, μιλά για πράγματα σκαιά με τον πιο φυσικό τρόπο και για αυτό ο πόνος που αποπνέει το κείμενο είναι ασφυκτικός. Η Νατάλια ακόμα κι όταν σκέφτ��ται λόγω της πείνας στον Πόλεμο να αυτοκτονήσει αφού σκοτώσει τα παιδιά της, το κάνει απαλά, σαν να είναι κι αυτό μέρος της ζωής και της ανάσας. Το μυθιστόρημα έχει πολλά κομμάτια stream of consciousness, η δράση φαίνεται μέσα από τα λεγόμενα, σαν να πέφτει μια αραχνούφαντη κουρτίνα πάνω στα γεγονότα. Αυτό κάνει τα πράγματα σπαρακτικά.

Πρόκειται για ένα πολυδιασπασμένο, πρωτοπρόσωπο κείμενο στα πρότυπα του μοντερνισμού. Τα ζητήματα που θίγονται είναι θέματα φύλου, εθνικής ταυτότητας, κοινωνικής τάξης, θρησκευτικής πίστης. Το βασικό μοτίβο όμως είναι η ζωή κι ο θάνατος και το μάταιο ενδιάμεσό τους. Ό,τι συμβαίνει, γίνεται μέρος της ρουτίνας, αυτού που είναι να γίνει, το σημαντικό μπλέκεται με το ασήμαντο∙ ακόμα κι όταν η πραγματικότητα σε γρονθοκοπά, κι αυτό να είναι μέρος της καθημερινότητας.

Η γραφή της Μερσέ Ροδορέδα μου θύμισε έντονα Βιρτζίνια Γουλφ, μια Ισπανίδα Γουλφ με διαφορετική ποιότητα θλίψης. Οι ηρωίδες τους, ο τρόπος που αρχίζουν αργά και σταδιακά να αντιλαμβάνονται το φύλο και τον εαυτό τους, αλλά και η γραφή που μοιάζει χωρίς κορυφώσεις συναισθηματικές ενώ στην πράξη φλέγεται, τις κατατάσσει πολύ κοντά στο μυαλό μου. Οι δυο τους μίλησαν για έμφυλα και πολιτικά ζητήματα, με έναν τρόπο γυναικείο και καθαρό.

Η Πλατεία Διαμαντιού είναι ένα πραγματικά καλό μυθιστόρημα, από αυτά που θα μείνουν κλασικά. Μιλάμε για ένα βιβλίο γοητευτικό, που δεν σε παρασύρει στον ρυθμό του, που τελειώνει αργά μα το θυμάσαι για καιρό. Μέρες μετά την ανάγνωση συνεχίζω να το σκέφτομαι, ζηλεύω τη θαυμαστή του οικονομία, νιώθω δέος για το πώς- μόνο η λογοτεχνία μπορεί- να εκφράσει αυτό που βρίσκεται βαθιά μέσα μας. Κάτι ανθρώπινο και απάνθρωπο συνάμα, που μας κάνει να συνεχίζουμε πορευόμαστε όσο κι αν ο κόσμος γύρω μας σκάει σε χίλια κομμάτια.

Profile Image for Markus.
216 reviews70 followers
November 30, 2020
Es sind die kleinen, scheinbar unwichtigen Dinge, die Natália wahrnimmt und minuziös beschreibt, das Rosenmuster auf der Bettdecke oder den Tintenfleck auf der Tischdecke, über den man die Vase mit den künstlichen Rosen und Margareten gestellt hat. Warum Krieg ist und wer gegen wen kämpft, ist nicht erwähnenswert, nur den Hunger und die Sorge um die Kinder, das fühlt man. Es ist die unmittelbare Wahrnehmung, die zählt, das Sichtbare und Spürbare, und man muss es so ertragen, wie es kommt und geht. Wie ein Blatt, das vom Baum fällt und das der Wind irgendwohin trägt, so ist Natália ins Leben gefallen.

Man muss gar nicht viel über die Zeit rund um den spanischen Bürgerkrieg wissen, um Geschichte ganz intuitiv aus der Sicht einer einfachen katalanischen Frau zu erleben und den Sog der gesellschaftlichen Verhältnisse aus den Worten Natàlias zu erspüren.

Die Worte und Sätze erzeugen eine subtile Stimmung und Farbe, das Wesentliche passiert dahinter. Es ist erstaunlich, wie selbstverständlich und mühelos Mercè Rodoreda dieses Kunststück zu Wege bringt. Die unverbildete, klare Stimme mit dem melancholischen aber nie wehleidigen Ton zeugt von tiefem Einfühlungsvermögen aber auch von der politischen Haltung der Autorin. Das Buch wirkt nachhaltig und macht betroffen. Ganz große Literatur!
Profile Image for Txe Polon.
500 reviews41 followers
December 6, 2013
Una autèntica delícia des del principi fins al final. Amb moments antològics com l'inicial ball a la plaça del Diamant, la lluita contra els coloms, el casament de la Rita o el climàtic final, es tracta d'una novel·la plena de sensibilitat que emociona fins al moll de l'os gràcies al talent narratiu d'una escriptora que, com a tècnica narrativa, és capaç de camuflar el seu propi llenguatge sota el d'un personatge ja esdevingut emblemàtic. A través de les limitacions d'aquest llenguatge, la Natàlia-Colometa expressa la seva visió dels fets i reflecteix com va evolucionant a mesura que canvien les circumstàncies, contant la seva pròpia història que, malgrat ser dura i sense contemplacions, no deixa de ser poètica en les imatges aparentment naïfs que transmet la protagonista i que li serveixen per interpretar i transmetre uns fets que no sempre acaba de copsar. I quan sembla que no es pot millorar, argumentalment sorgeix un amor pur que sublima la trama i que duu la protagonista a un estat de plena autorealització.
Profile Image for Jessica.
15 reviews5 followers
February 15, 2014
I'm a little speechless, a little breathless. The Time of the Doves is one of the most beautiful things I've encountered in a long time. I'm overwhelmed; I need a moment. I don't know. Read this book.
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