The professor of Language and Literature Teaching Josep Ballester wins the 35th Josep Vallverdú Essay Award

  • Scientific Culture and Innovation Unit
  • November 22nd, 2018
Josep Ballester

The philologist Josep Ballester Roca (Alzira, 1961) has been awarded the 35th Josep Vallverdú essay prize for his work Water and Stone Atlas. This essay book, with the theme of human beings travels, looks for its most literary aspect.

Josep Ballester is a professor at the Department of Language and Literature Teaching at the University of Valencia. With the award-winning work, he draws a critical view of the landscape from fiction, but at the same time from an ironic view of space, since this is fundamental, such as time in literature, since both define reality.

“At this beginning of the 21st century, where it seems that all the space in the terrain sphere is measured, we have given name and surname to each continent, each island, each sea, each valley, each mountain range or small place”, explains Ballester. For the philologist, many times this fact has caused travel to confirm the perfection of a map and let the society to abandon other routes that lead to new issues to discover. For this reason, the author decided to analyse space and territory from reflection and thought.

The defence of the figure of this traveller without Google Maps made by Josep Ballester in Atles d’aigua i pedra has been one of the main reasons for the jury to award the prize. “Receiving one of the most important and with a long history essay awards of Catalan literature has been an honour”, said the professor, who added that it was very exciting when Josep Vallverdú congratulated him personally.

The Josep Vallverdú Essay Award is a literary prize in Catalan language, which has been held annually by the Paeria de Lleida since 1984 and is endowed with 9,000 euros. The university professor of the University of Valencia received the 2018 award this Friday, November 16 at the Enric Granados Municipal Auditorium of Lleida.

Josep Ballester, throughout his literary career, has been recognised with other prestigious prizes such as the Vicent Andrés Estellés poetry award of October 1996 and the Ciutat d’Alzira Novel award in 2008.