During his residency at the IAS-Nantes in 2015-2016, José-Emilio Burucua kept a diary which he has just published at the Adriana Hidalgo publishing house in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
"With the same ease and erudition as his "American Letters", "Letters from the Eastern Mediterranean" and "Letters from Berlin", José Emilio Burucúa recounts his long research residency in Nantes, with great rigour and a great sense of humour, offering the reader a cultural, artistic, historical, musical, cinematographic, tourist and gastronomic journey. Upon his arrival in the city, Burucúa opens his fascinating "Diary of Nantes" with these lines: "This city is an interesting mix of Gothic, French neoclassical Baroque and very contemporary architecture (erected mainly in the neighbourhoods destroyed by the Allied bombings in 1943-44; here, nearby, in Saint-Nazaire, the Nazis had one of the most formidable submarine bases in the entire Atlantic). From the seventeenth to the nineteenth century, there was no institution, no social link, no enterprise, no personal or collective project in Nantes that was not conditioned by the slave trade. This infamous trade, initially managed by the ship-owners of the shipyards located at the mouths of the Loire River, poured its immeasurable profits into the comfort and beauty of the architecture, into the valiant customs of a bourgeoisie that sourced the most refined and expensive objects, fabrics and foodstuffs from the West Indies and India. My contact with barbarism has become a habit, which allows me to keep a ruthless eye on the scourges of the world..." ».
(Description of the Adriana Hidalgo publishing house)
The book is available in electronic version here.