Like Borges, José Carlos Llop wanted above all to be a poet—“I always wanted to be a poet and from a given moment onward I knew I was a poet. But one is a poet when one writes poetry. And at that very moment, I mean” —and like his admired Philip Larkin he was a librarían. His native Mallorca has something of Joseph Brodsky’s Venice about it and something of the Trieste of Claudio Magris and of Italo Svevo, who was not a librarían but divided his day between writing and his job in the Bankers’ Union (l’Unione Bancaria). For in Llop’s Mallorca the great tradition of Mitteleuropa converges with Mediterranean culture, a convergence that is in turn inscribed in the pages of the translator, poet and narrator, now the subject of a long and extremely interesting interview conducted by Nadal Suau and Daniel Capó and published by Elba (José Carlos Llop: una conversación).
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