The series of lectures organised by the Nahmanides Institute for Jewish Studies during the first part of this year bore the title Jewish authors of the 20th Century (Autors i autores jueus del segle XX). During these past months, intellectuals and professors such as Adriŕ Chavarria, Robert Caner, Giovanni Levi or Pepa Balsach have been at the lecture room of the Institute to talk about some of the most important Jewish writers of the literary scene of the 20th century. At monthly intervals the words and lives of Simone Weil, Paul Celan, Primo Levi, Franz Kafka, Irene Némirovsky and Yehuda Amikhai have been present at the Call of Girona, enabling us to appreciate the value and diversity of their respective work.
The Jewish culture, as has often been said, is a culture of the word: on the one hand, due to the weight of the written word in the Holy Scriptures; on the other hand, because a people who historically has been forced to exile and migration could not establish itself on the base of accumulating architectural or material historic heritage. It has always been through the word, in oral and written transmission throughout the centuries, that the Jewish people have kept their history and their memory; they have founded their identity on it. Therefore we mustn't be surprised by the great wealth of literature that has been left to us by writers of Jewish origin, independent of whether they wrote about subjects related to their culture or not. The poets, novelists and essayists that we have assembled this year only represent a small sample of this wealth, which we wanted to offer you through the contributions of specialists who are familiar with their work. We hope that we will have more occasions in the future to invite everybody to discover, at the Call, such a valuable literary legate as that of the Jewish authors throughout history.
Deputy Mayor of Culture and Education