The ‘Italian’ Castellet
A ‘Bridge’ for the New Latin American Literature
This paper seeks to recall the ‘Italian route’ of the critic Josep Maria Castellet in the last century, a key figure in Spanish and Catalan literature. The Italian publishing and literary worlds served as a point of reference for Castellet, and also for his closest literary companions (José Agustín Goytisolo and Carlos Barral). All of these individuals formed part of the so-called Barcelona School. Over the course of at least two decades, these men managed to build and maintain a bridge to the main Italian publishing houses, thereby opening up new opportunities for Spanish literature during the Franco era. Thanks to these links, new Spanish names gained visibility even in the catalogues of Italian publishing houses. Looking at the period from the mid- 1950s to the end of the 1960s, the article focuses on the Italian contacts of Castellet as well as his publications in Italy. The study concludes with a comment on his Latin American connections, showing how this literary ‘bridge’ between Barcelona and Italy also contributed to exposing an Italian audience to the Latin American literary boom.