Tue. Jul 16th, 2019

Machado, dear master

Machado, dear master

The affable teacher is barely able to remember his clumsy garment dressing and how "the ash fell on his overcoat, as long as he smoked". The rest is a nebula in which names, cities, bombs and repression are confused. They are curious the whims of memory, which are blurring dates, faces and data, but keeps the emotions intact: "It was very cold and my mother did not stop crying, she despaired of bombs". It is imprecise, but that is how her memories are arranged Concha Ramírez Naranjo (Melilla, 95 years old), the last living student of the teacher Antonio Machado Y Spanish exile whose vital journey coincided with the pilgrimage of the author of Solitudes until arriving in France. Daughter of the Republican Colonel Ángel Ramírez Rull and Concepción Naranjo Arjona, both originally from Seville, Concha was evacuated from Madrid in the summer of 1936 and temporarily settled in Valencia with her family, where she met again with Machado, and then in La Jonquera before crossing the border into excruciating exile: that of the poet bound for Collioure, where he died shortly after stepping on French soil; the one of its student with final stop in Bordeaux, where it remained almost four decades (1939-1979).

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