Jordi Cussà, the author who reflected the brutal impact of heroin in the 80s and 90s, dies. The author of ‘Cavalls Salvatges’, a cult novel about the plague of heroin in the 80s and 90s, dies at 60.
Jordi Cussà , a free and rather marginal electron of the, as a general rule, neat Catalan letters, has died at dawn this Sunday at the age of 60, has reported Comanegra, his publisher. EL PERIÓDICO interviewed him less than a year ago in the apartment of his native Berga where he lived, on the occasion of the translation into Spanish by himself of ‘Cavalls salvatges’, for better and for worse powerful figurehead of his narrative work .
Connected to an oxygen machine that did not stop him from smoking like a highwayman, he offered answer after answer a clairvoyant analysis of the junkie experience , on an individual and collective scale, in the 1980s and 1990s, the times of the heroin plague.. Yes, also in Gothic or “deep” Catalonia, as he preferred to call it.
Jordi Cussà: “A junkie colleague called the heroine devil”
Cussà published last February ‘The First Emperor and Queen Lluna’ (Comanegra) , a mighty classic-style adventure novel, and Sajalín has just published the author’s own Spanish version of ‘Formentera lady’, a kind of continuation of ‘Cavalls salvatges’, with a title taken, of course, from the King Crimson song. Just in time.
The reading of ‘Wild horses’ (promotional cliché, but no less successful: a ‘Trainspotting’ of Catalan regions, albeit with more humanity) encouraged Miqui Otero , co-director of Primera Persona, to invite Cussà to participate in which it was going to be the last edition of the festival.
Finally canceled by the pandemic and later replaced by a more festive goodbye. In any case Cussà was delighted to attend, although he warned that a few hours before he would give him a jamacuco and everything would go to hell.
‘Cavalls salvatges’: for better and for worse powerful figurehead of Cussà’s narrative work, we said. For the better because it is a magnificent novel-document , which likewise freezes the blood that makes the jaw drop, always with a tone of heroin addiction, not necessarily sordid. To bad because in that territory it left him pigeonholed, and it is not the favorite territory of Catalan literature or especially of its institutional orbit.
Patricia Highsmith, Chuck Palahniuk, Truman Capote and John le Carré are some of the authors he translated into Catalan . Awards? Few and minor. El Fité i Rossell in 2002 for ‘L’alfil sacrificat’ and El Lector de l’Odissea in 2009 for ‘El noi de Sarajevo’.
Ask Cussà of this newspaper in September 2020 (or rather sentence):
Heroin prevented you from writing before.
But I do not consider them years wasted but lived. Without them I would be someone else