On April 30, the Círculo Ecuestre held a new installment of the cycle of talks: Barcelona through its writers with the presence of the writer Ildefonso Falcones. 

After the welcome from the president of the Círculo Ecuestre, Enrique Lacalle, Falcones held a dialogue with the chief culture editor of La Vanguardia, Xavier Ayén.

The author began the discussion by recalling his beginnings as a writer: "I had always written, but no one published anything for me. I thought what can I write that might interest people and I jumped to the middle of Barcelona, where there was nothing written, especially about Santa María del Mar", he explained. Regarding the development of his masterpiece, he revealed that “it was a hard stage, because my job was as a lawyer and writing took me many hours. Publishing it took us five years, the publishers rejected it”. “There was not a single publisher that did not reject ‘The Cathedral of the Sea’”, he said.

During the talk, the author described Barcelona in the 14th century, highlighting its luminosity and the sanitary measures of the time: "Important sanitary measures were taken. A lot of effort was made for hygiene, despite being a medieval city. It was not what sometimes we see it in the movies". Likewise, he addressed the issue of Catalan civil law and the complexity of its social fabric.

Falcones also shared his motivations for choosing the themes of his books, mentioning the persecution of gypsies as an example of a little-known but fascinating story. Regarding modernism, he stated that "No city has the modernist park that Barcelona has".

Asked by the interviewer, the writer explained why the social theme is so present in his books: “When you start writing you realize complex situations such as that there were 10,000 children who fell ill and died on the streets of Barcelona under no control or protection. Also, during that time, from Plaza Catalunya down the ground was infected, there was typhus. Everything that went up there affected the health of the people who lived in the area”.

Along these lines, Falcones also recalled “the construction of the Vía Laietana, which evicted thousands of people who were taken to La Mina or the houses of Montjuïc, kicking them out of their homes with the aim of building a direct road between Barcelona and the sea". Along these lines, he was harsh with “the appearance of a mayor who took care of everything without taking into account the effort made 150 years ago to connect the city with the port”, referring to the previous municipal legislature.

Regarding his works and his reception, Falcones highlighted the global impact of his novels and his satisfaction in reaching diverse audiences. "I would like to write another 'Catedral del Mar', it would be difficult, but I could do it again", he declared. Likewise, he insisted on the importance of listening to the opinions of the editorial experts: “'La Catedral del Mar was going to be called 'El Bastaix', referring to the port unloaders who are known as impellers, along with the sea workers and the surrounding residents, of the construction of Santa María del Mar, but who was going to buy that title?” he asked himself and then informed the public that he no longer chooses the title of his novels.

To continue with the literary discussion, Ildefonso Falcones defended that “there is no book about Barcelona that has impacted me or that talks about the city like, for example, Victor Hugo with Paris and Notre Dame”. In a reflective closing, the author emphasized the importance of literary simplicity and the inclusion of female characters in his works. "The public is always right", he concluded.