“Majorca is a paradise, if you can stand it”

Gertrude Stein, 1929
 

Walking on words is an invitation to tour Majorca in good company: by the side of the artists who have written on the island and about the island. The words of Jules Verne, Frédéric Chopin, Robert Graves, Julio Cortázar, Josep Pla and Villalonga, etch out new paths in the landscape and give extra depth to our own view of each place we visit. They connect history with the present, architecture with the countryside, cuisine with our traditions. Walking on words takes us beyond words, and opens new doors so we can admire our heritage with the exciting WOW app, a resource based on augmented reality and geolocation technologies to show the island as never before. Walking on words, in short, is a guided tour around the real Majorca, revealing the delights of a paradise full of history, life and literature.

INFO

The Fundació Casa Museu Llorenç Villalonga, Pare Ginard i Blai Bonet is an outstanding organisation in Majorca, managing the museums of three writers who are vital to the culture of this land. As an organisation funded by the Consell de Mallorca, it has been working since 1999 towards a genuine promotion of these authors and the cultural values they represent. Their own houses where the museums are based are both museums and archives open to researchers, and also dynamic centres that let us discover literary content through various activities: festivals, shows, open-air recitals, courses, public lectures and more. Key activities are our literary itineraries: regular guided walks that have led groups of visitors to discover the links between Majorca’s landscape and the work of its writers. The Fundació is a member of Espais Escrits. Xarxa del Patrimoni Literari Català (Written Spaces: Catalan Literary Heritage Network) and has participated in the development of the Mapa Literari Català (Catalan Literary Map, www.mapaliterari.cat), a pioneering project in the promotion of literary texts, making use of digital geolocation tools.
The Fundació’s literary itineraries have led it to investigate the links between the land and texts, and rigorously develop and promote the paths walked by the words of many authors in many places: Llorenç Villalonga’s Bearn and Mort de Dama; the Palmas of Rosselló-Pòrcel and Bartomeu Fiol; Blai Bonet’s world that unfolds in the streets of Santanyí; the universe of fairy-tale fantasy that has spread across Majorca’s inland plain… The fruit of this work, beyond the walks themselves, is the creation of an incredible map where all of the place names are accompanied by literary figures, detailed descriptions and shining images that emphasise the aesthetic and cultural values of all the places visited.
This line of work gave rise to the idea to create something larger, for the whole island, shining a dignified light on our literary heritage: a resource that would support the importance of literature as artistic creation and at the same time a wealth of history, popular knowledge, testimony and culture in the widest sense. This would also be something accessible to all, both residents on the island and visitors to it, and it would lead them by the hand to museums dedicated to literature, such as the houses of Llorenç Villalonga and Robert Graves, amongst others. In short, in would give an almost tangible presence to the ideas and words that form part of the immaterial heritage of Majorca, which can so easily be inaccessible and invisible for visitors to the islands, whether through a lack of awareness on their part, poor promotion, or linguistic barriers.
The response to these aims is the project Walking on Words. Literary Majorca. It is an invitation to tour Majorca in good company: by the side of the artists who have written on the island and about the island. The words of Jules Verne, Frédéric Chopin, Robert Graves, Julio Cortázar, Josep Pla and Villalonga, etch out new paths in the landscape and give extra depth to our own view of each place we visit. They connect history with the present, architecture with the countryside, cuisine with our traditions. Walking on Words takes us beyond words, and opens new doors so we can admire our heritage with the exciting WoW! app, a resource based on augmented reality and geolocation technologies to show the island as we have never seen it before. Walking on Words, in short, is a guided tour around the real Majorca, revealing the delights of a paradise full of history, life and literature.

MUSEUMS TO DISCOVER, PATHS TO WALK
The Walking on Words project has been structured around the following key concepts:
– Quotes / Cites: These are the literary texts, which will be on signs in each place they are related to. The quotes are in the language they were originally created in. The project begins with the selection and geolocation of seventy-two quotes from forty-nine different authors, as well as many oral and popular sources from the island.
– Places / Indrets: These are the places themselves, related to literature in many ways: places visited and/or described by writers, places referred to or recreated in works, and places identified in the collective imaginary as a legendary or mythical space. In the initial phase of the project seventy-two places have been identified, each one associated with a quote, and these will be signposted. These places take us to forty-five different locations on the island (we must remember that twelve of them are concentrated in Palma’s old town), across thirty-two local authorities.
– Homes / Museus: These are the museums and cultural spaces with specifically literary content and focus, which offer a more relaxed journey. These museums are the starting point for each of the itineraries, which means they also perform a support and promote the project.
– Walks / Routes: These are the literary itineraries that go from place to place. In this first phase there are seven itineraries, which cover a good deal of Majorca’s geography. The walks have been developed along lines of both subject and place, to create seven coherent and practical walks for visitors.

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