My name is Elizabeth and I follow the path, “he wrote Vicent Andrés Estellés in a last verse dedicated to his wife. That beautiful poem, Sonata for Isabel, he recited it Ovidi Montllor with the guitar of Toti Soler, and it is already part of our sentimental landscape. The verse came to my head during these sad times, because to say Isabel, in our literature, has been to say the names of the two women who have marked the Valencian letters with a deeper footprint: Isabel de Villena in the Golden Age, i Isabel-Clara Simon in modernity.
Monday, the day of the 20th anniversary of the death of Enric Valor -Which did so much for the normalization of the Valencian language and for the spread of country folk tales-, we knew with sadness the loss of Isabel-Clara Simó. Without a doubt, the Alcoyana storyteller was our great writer. With more than fifty books written. With almost every major prize a writer can aspire to. With hundreds of thousands of readers of all ages. With a work translated into German, English, Basque, Spanish, French, Galician, Italian, Dutch and Swedish.
Due to all this, Isabel-Clara Simó has become a special case in Valencian lands since, at the age of twenty, she decided that the language of Alcoy was also a way of expressing the art that she carried inside her. A doubly extraordinary case, being the Valencian of a minority language – forbidden during her childhood – and being a woman in a world so masculinized, when not masculine, as has been the writing.
And yet, his word never found a barrier. As if it were the indomitable landscape of the Alcoyan lands – so fertile for Valencian art that in four months they also lost the actor Pep Cortés and the singer Camilo Sesto-, Isabel-Clara made freedom and love for the land her currency. And in that spirit, radically democratic and radically committed, this proletarian of culture, in the noblest and most Alcoholic sense of the term, has entered into our literary pantheon on its own merits.
We had the literary “little men”, like Joan Fuster, Enric Valor, Vicent Andrés Estellés or Manuel Sanchis Guarner . In Isabel-Clara Simon we had a “donut”, our great “donut”. And we will continue to have it. Because she, who never stopped at anything or anyone, as the protagonist of her novel Julia, will continue to speak to us through a rich and extensive work. That is why, with the sadness of the moment and the hope that has bequeathed us, say Isabel and continue on our way.