December 2nd, 2010

"The Painter and the Traveler" by Patricia Almarcegui

As a last minute gift of 2010, at Pontas we can announce that Patricia Almarcegui’s first novel, El pintor y la viajera (The Painter and the Traveler) will be published in Spanish language byEdiciones B next April 2011.


In the author’s words:


"This novel is the result of an impossible wish. The desire to make the painter Ingres and Lady Montagu coincide in time and meet each other. Something that could never happen since Lady Montagu was born in 1689, a century before Ingres. It all started several years ago in the room devoted to Ingres at the Louvre Museum in Paris. While watching the picture The Little Bather, I realized that the two figures in the background belonged to an engraving of a travel book written two centuries earlier. I decided to start aformal research to discover which travel books Ingres had seen and read. I was amazed when, reading his diaries, I found that one of his main sources were the letters written by Lady Montagu on her trip toTurkey, and also later when I found that, among other things, he had written her name in the margins of some of his works. I already knew the traveler because I had written an article about her and selected herhandwritten letters for an exhibition, and I thought that this was an important discovery, at least for me. Oneafternoon I started imagining them together. Tired of the demands of the academic writing, I decided that I had to get them together. I would forget everything I had learned about them and I would give shape tothis desire. Like in real life itself, reality and fiction have been mixing in this novel. Sometimes so much that I was forced to interrupt the words of the traveler and the painter to introduce entire excerpts of their diaries and letters. Everything else is the result of another encounter: myself with two fascinating charactersand the process of writing this fiction. "


Patricia Almarcegui  (Zaragoza, 1969) holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy and has been teaching in several universities. She has spent the past eight years doing research in Orientalism and Travel Literature, topicsshe has written (and published) about in over twenty articles. She has been a visiting professor at TheAmerican University of Cairo and at the Sorbonne Paris IV. Her books include Ali Bey y los viajeros europeos a Oriente  (Bellaterra, 2007) and, in collaboration with L. Romero Tobar, Los libros de viaje: la realidad vivida y los géneros literarios (Akal, 2004). As a  traveler, she can’t keep still for a minute and worksin various media (especially press and radio). The Painter and the Traveler is her first novel.


Translation and film rights available: