First Lines: Gaudí in Manhattan

Back in September 2004 I was in Barcelona for a couple of days. I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I should have, since I was sick for about half of the trip. Must’ve been something I ate.

One of the things that I did get to enjoy, was what’s finished of Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia. Stylistically, it’s a grotesque mess. But a lovely mess. Over the past few years and trips I’ve seen a lot of churches, but besides St. Peter’s in Rome I can’t think of one that made an impression as big as this one did. When I go back to Barcelona, I’ll just have to go and see what kind of progress they’ve made.

In Gaudí in Manhattan, the master is invited to design a skyscraper. If he agrees to do so, he will be rewarded with enough money to complete the construction of the Sagrada Familia. Strange things happen, end of story. With just sixteen pages of text, this lushly designed “book” should be seen as an attempt to whet the appetite for the real follow up of The Shadow of the Wind. Which it does.

Carlos Ruiz Zafón — Gaudí in Manhattan (translated by Nelleke Geel)
Jaren later, toen ik gadesloeg hoe de rouwstoet van mijn meester door de Paseo de Gracia trok, moest ik denken aan het jaar dat ik Gaudí leerde kennen, en hij mijn lot voorgoed veranderde.