Tomás Eloy Martínezthe author of Saint Evita, who was of the lineage of Josep Maria Marti Fontdied this Monday, February twelfth in Barcelona, he told the stories before writing them. Tomás Eloy told them (he told Saint Evita, for example) as if he would have already said them in another life, or in another world, and then there would be time to make them live on paper. First, the stories were born, his occurrences around reality to make them seem like fictions, in his mind, and then they were anything, even books.
With Josep Maria Martí Font, who has just died in Barcelona at 71, exactly the same thing happened. He was a journalist, he was until the end, but he was an art gallery owner, he was a newspaper writer, fruitful and generous, but Above all, he was a storyteller, someone who knew the whole world.but he was capable of remaining silent so that it gave the impression that whoever knew was the other, Your partner.
After his death, which has saddened so many of us, colleagues or not, his colleague The country Iker Seisdedos He wrote this tweet from Washington, where he works: “He was funny, cultured and generous. One of those journalists who as an editor you called just to see what was being said. And something interesting was always told.”
He always told something interesting. She even told it to those he went to see with the purpose of getting them to tell her what his life or books were about. She passed, being him responsible for Culture and Books The country, around 1992, when he went to see Peter Esterhazy, the great Hungarian novelist of very noble lineage. When the novelist came to Madrid to present the book they had talked about in Budapest, Esterhazy looked everywhere for Martí Font, and found him, naturally, working at the desk of his newspaper.
What the noble (by birth, also very noble as a person) Hungarian writer wanted was for that journalist who knew his story as if he had lived it to continue telling him something that had already started when he went to see him at his house in Hungary.
He worked as if he were only watching work. She sat at the table, with her elbows and arms searching through imaginary papers, she smoothed her hair, which was becoming thinner, and in reality what she did was to look for ideas for others, so that others could look for the stories that had been revealed to him by reading, above all, foreign press.
He was a writer (a journalist) of the world, he was bored by the outskirts of Spain and all of Spain, always seeing himself in the old mirror of his importance, and he found more freshness in the spirit that marked his life: the spirit of the correspondent. He wanted to have breakfast with whatever was out there, not with the usual appetizer of a world whose laziness made the newspapers seem inhabited by the appearance of action when in reality what they delivered was, so often, pure boredom.
Colleagues from various newspapers (Mar Padilla in The country, Manuel Manchón in The Spanish, Catalina Serra, who was his partner in The country, in Ara) have written about his death (and about his life) in a way that reveals, in all cases, the journalistic essence of his generosity: he never did anything other than help look. And he himself did nothing but watch to tell. But with everyone (with this journalist too, and how much I appreciate it) it always seemed like the one who was behind, listening to tell you “I was there, that’s not how it was” because, as has been said now, I was there by chance, and by smell, in middle of almost all the stories he told. In the Berlin Wall, in the twists and turns (which he traveled knowingly) of Hollywood, in car races or in the adventures of Allen Ginsberg in San Francisco and that beautiful bookstore, City Lights, by Ferlingetti, in the underground that helped him be modern, in the newsrooms that only increased his ability to be generous with those of us who knew less but presumed more.
When I found out about his death (through a tweet, or an Ana Pantaleonihis partner The country, My life turned upside down. Due to the vagaries of this job, this Monday when he was leaving I went, like an old journalist, to interview in Barcelona, to fulfill an unforgettable assignment, on the other hand. The beautiful city, those bookstores, the joy of being in Barcelona. At that time, this man who seemed to fly among the memories of so many of us who loved him would perhaps be struggling with a goodbye that was already a door full of farewell inscriptions.
When that time he went to interview Esterhazy he had just sat down at what had been one of my destinations, and he called me to find out what I knew about that Hungarian author, whose recent editor I was at that time. He had to be the one to explain to me why it was interesting that Alfaguara, that was my destiny, published the author of Little Hungarian porna novel about which he ended up knowing more than its author.
I see his eyes now in the photographs. Without attracting attention, calm, his gaze was that of a good person who gave quality to this job, telling stories because he knew them.