In April 1992, Barcelona, as host of the 57th International Congress of the PEN Club, became the literary capital of the world for the third time. Between 20th and 26th April, 1992, the Congress brought together more than four hundred writers from all over the world. The week of Sant Jordi (Saint George) was chosen in order to introduce one of the most splendid holidays in the Catalan calendar, when Catalonia becomes a multi-faceted symbol of knowledge, love and beauty, represented by books and roses. Amongst the most renowned writers who participated was the Canadian narrator and poet Margarett Atwood, the Hebrew poet Iehuda Amikhai, the English novelist Tom Sharpe and Duo Duo, György Konrad and Pedrag Matvejevic, from China, Hungary and Croatia, respectively. Two subjects were chosen for the literary debate sessions: “The Writer and Literary Languages on the verge of the third millennium” and “The Writer and the new Europe”.
Jaume Cabré and Baltasar Porcel participated in one of the congressional boards. Ten years later, the conviction that the 57th Congress was of great importance in the promotion of Catalan Literature persists. This is especially so in the extent to which it became a public relations exercise in the presence of qualified representatives of culture from all over the world: An operation in favour of Catalan language and literature which gave a true representation of Catalan cultural reality before the eyes of the world. Also during the Congress in Barcelona, a new working committee –the Writers’ Committee– was formed within the Catalan Centre, led, until her death, by Maria-Mercè Marçal. During this time, the Writers’ Committee held two sets of public conferences and dialogues amongst writers, entitled Cartografies del desig (Cartographies of Desire), which were later on published as a book.