The booklet in your hands is a small treasure trove of the oral transmission of the myths and legends of our land.
The three stories that make up it are based on real characters of banditry in the Valencian Community. The author, Joan Guerola, as the bandits of this work, is a good connoisseur of the places he cites. Born in Otos, in the same village as the famous good bandit, he treads on a field that is familiar to him: farmhouses and villages in the Costera, Vall d’Albaida and Comtat counties.
It should be made clear that the peculiarity of presenting this compilation in dual linguistic format (central and Valencian Catalan) does not respond to the typical and malicious phrase “if you want to be attended in Catalan Pulse 1, if you want to be attended in Valencian Pulse 2”, which All he wants is to make us believe that Catalans and Valencians speak two different languages. On the contrary, Guerola’s expressed intention, established in Girona many years ago, is to make known the eastern and western lexicon, which will make the reader look for some unknown word, an essential fact in any reading, since the acquisition of new words, synonyms of the standard or strict vocabulary that we are used to in the speech we have as usual in our territorial space, enriches us linguistically and culturally, goes beyond the limits imposed on us and widens the knowledge we have of a language with as many nuances as ours.
And in a very well-worked style, this writer who has delighted us with other titles knows how to skillfully combine the characteristic features of each speech. Thus, in the central Catalan version, we see that the narrator uses words and expressions different from those of the characters or even the storytellers that come out of them, so that terms such as bandits or razors coexist peacefully with roller and beam.
In the guise of simple bandits, Joan Guerola, as a good teacher, instructs us in language and geography.
One tip: stay eastern or western, read both versions of this booklet. Once you have read, you have found the ounces and gold coins so coveted by the daughters of Racó farmhouse and, needless to say, by the cunning roders.
Or who knows if it won’t be the Cat of Otos who will have them distributed …