A “bottomless well”?
How to Read Death in Spring by Mercè Rodoreda
This article proposes a comparison of the different existing editions of the posthumous novel by Mercè Rodoreda, La mort i la primavera (Death in Spring), to understand the hermeneutic consequences they have on the meaning of the work. The article shows that disagreements over how the text should be organised are based on three issues: the unknown about the resumption of the novel in the 1980s; whether it is necessary to consider the novel as unfinished but complete and with organic coherence or, on the contrary, as manifestly incomplete; and, finally, whether to prioritise originals or carbon copies. These three aspects have had hermeneutical and technical consequences when editing the preserved typescripts, and are at the heart of the differences between the editions. The aim of this article is not ecdotic, it does not propose how the novel should be edited, but how to read in the light of the existing editions a novel that has gone unnoticed for decades until 2017, when it started to have a great impact on the Catalan literary field.
Keywords: Edicions pòstumes • Writing process • Procés d’escriptura • La mort i la primavera • Posthumous editions • Interpretació hermenèutica • Hermeneutic interpretation • Death in Spring • Mercè Rodoreda