I was in my third year studying Law at the University of Valencia when I learned that my Commercial Law professor was going to be Carmen Alborch. She was popular at the university because she represented the fresh air being introduced into a Spain where the Constitution had barely turned five. Carmen was a disciple of Manuel Broseta, a touchstone of the university, who she admired and from whom she had learned commercial law and democratic tolerance. He was brutally killed by ETA years later while he was going to teach a class.
Her career path is well-known and her persona became an image of Spanish modernity from her deanship at the School of Law of the University of Valencia, to her time in the Generalitat Valenciana, the Valencian Institute of Modern Art (IVAM), the Ministry of Culture with Felipe González, the City Council of Valencia, and the Senate, until her return to the university in the last few years.
During her time as a writer, she wanted to focus and reflect on issues related to women and I had the privilege of working with her on the references for the book Solas [Alone] (1999), which became quite successful, which was followed by Malas [Bad Girls] (2002), Libres [Free] (2004), La ciudad y la vida [City and Life] (2009), and Los placeres de la edad [The Pleasures of Age] (2014). The last book that she planned to write and would have been called La alegría de vivir [The Joy of Living] was never finished. This joy was one that she always wore like a banner and combined with a welcoming smile.
Carmen was an honorary member of the Classics and Modern Literature Association, an association that promotes culture created by women, and she never missed an initiative in favor of feminism and culture, because, above all, she considered herself a defender of the equality of men and women, of culture and joy, at any cost.
On October 9, when she was given the High Distinction of the Generalitat Valenciana, she said with a shaky voice: “Until our dying breath we will continue fighting for a better world,” and that is what she did, supported by an unmistakably colorful cane, with admirable courage. Because Carmen wasn’t just admired, but rather loved everywhere she went because she knew how to earn people’s friendliness and because her sense of friendship was inscrutable.
Just a few days before she died, we had the opportunity to talk at the headquarters of the General Society of Authors of Valencia, where she had time to greet her friends one by one as well as the women who had gathered there, without even for a moment losing her smile or steadfast spirit.
I think that the best homage that can be made to her is to learn from her example and her strength and forge ahead on the tasks that she believed in and dedicated her life to. I am left with the pride and affection of her lasting friendship and the certainty that she had an extraordinary life because she was, undoubtedly, an extraordinary woman.