If memory is the lamp that lights the attic of our past, let's do Memory of books and authors who have had the misfortune to see the light or receive tributes in times of pandemic. And I take Josefina de la Torre, whose Year of Canarian Letters was about to start its celebration when on March 20, 2020 the pandemic was decreed. Breath and frozen souls, and repertoire of acts and celebrations in suspense, like a cursed luck from another incomplete March. It gave rise to an act-tribute at the Guiniguada Theater, irreplaceable in the presidential agenda, something is something! the author of Poemas de la Isla.
2021 ended and it was never known again. We are still in a pandemic, it is true, but I see other reasons. I perceive that Culture, or better, cultural promotion, seems to have found its perfect resilience in digital settings where the party is with a strict invitation and birth certificate. Neither transversal nor intergenerational, why! ... The manager who pays for the party with everyone's money finds it more comfortable, cheap and effective, an online meeting with two or three minstrels of @poetry, enthusiasts of hybrid writing, and a handful of women who perceive themselves as a jar of the essences of a new anthropological-cultural discourse because they are invited to go to the hall of Power to star in it, and one-way, debate on the need to contribute gender vision to Culture.
The format that occurred with the Covid is perverse: it allows to praise and throw at the same time the basket of oblivion
This format that occurred with the pandemic fosters a perverse model since it allows praising and throwing them into oblivion at the same time, like a draft sheet that ends up in the trash can. Hybrid culture for inhabitants of an In & Out universe that substitute dialogue for speech without noticing that the pleasure of the tube of the wave, deaf and fleeting, is born from the wave itself and on the shore, after the hangover, a lot of life but also a lot of corpse to the discovered.
None of this would merit any objection if it were not for the fact that the acts of tribute to the protagonists of the last two editions of the Year of the Canary Islands, Josefina de la Torre and Natalia Sosa Ayala, have been left on the margins by a pandemic that has dressed in the prêt-a-porter of Culture and his battery-powered public address system.
Josefina de la Torre resists like few others. His Literature has known situations of enormous personal and collective misfortune, it would be said that some of his best verses have made their way through the rubble of a Civil War, the dubious subsequent political involvement, the family and love vicissitudes, the unsatisfied desires and desires. , the losses ... His writing always makes its way, and if 2020 could not be well could 2022 be the Year of the Canarian Letters of the 'Memory' to recover Josefina de la Torre and Natalia Sosa Ayala (Year of the Canary Islands 2021 ), and give them the recognition truncated by the pandemic.
A kind of repechage to avoid the delirium of cornering who we say we want to rescue from oblivion. Retrieve the draft from the trash.
Retrospective of the Canary Islands Letters
A parallel section of the Year of Canarian Letters, as a 'Retrospective', to share what not to substitute or replace, even less, as is the case, when the honoree in the Year of Canarian Letters 2022 is Dolores Campos-Herrero. The writer, poet and journalist whom I had the good fortune to treat and enjoy, both her vast training and her generous attitude to life, on rare but forceful occasions; one of them precisely as invited by the person who subscribes to participate in the 'Centennial of the Birth of Josefina de la Torre', in 2009. And I recall a timely phrase by Dolores Campos-Herrero about the author of Poemas de la Isla when, being Asked about the importance of the poetry of Josefina de la Torre, she concluded: “I leave the discussion about whether Josefina de la Torre is more modernist or more of the avant-garde to manic scholars ... The important thing is to reread this enormous author with the eyes of the 21st century. ”.
It would be a matter of adding, incorporating to the annual celebration, a rear-view mirror that illuminates the moment in which one author passes the witness to the next, and I write it like this, in feminine, because it is exactly what happened in 2020 and 2021, although I am not unaware that the inventory of 'rescued for oblivion' in the Canarian Literature registers a long line of both genders. It is difficult to list two acts in tribute to Natalia Sosa Ayala in the year that we just fired… Is anyone out there?
One exception for this 2021 in the figure of Mercedes Pinto who has seen the recovery of her work thanks, to a greater extent, to the tenacity and judgment of Alicia Llarena who, since the 2009 Canary Islands Year of Letters was assigned to the author of Divorce, as a hygienic measure, has not loosened one iota to avoid its inclusion in the drawer of forgotten honorees.
Josefina de la Torre and Natalia Sosa Ayala, victims of Culture's 'prê-a-porter' and its battery-powered public address system
And some suggestions in different formats for this start of the year: 20 Canarian writers of the 20th century: from social invisibility to recognition, (La Palma editions, 2019), edited by Yasmina Romero Morales and Alba Sabían Pérez, with a foreword by Rosa Regàs, and Memories of a Star, published by the Deputy Ministry of Culture of the Government of the Canary Islands at the end of 2020 and which I was fortunate to present in February 2021 at the Pérez Galdós House Museum in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Memories of a Star
A breath of life that is reborn when you open the cover of a reissued book half a century after it was written. It happened to me with the reissue of Memoirs of a Star. Its pages of a freshly born book, at the end of 2020, gave off that spicy smell of printing presses mixed with the imaginary acid sweetness that I always attribute to the life of its author, and that, between the lines, bear witness to another birth: that of the Film industry in Spain, with flavors and troubles arising from his experience on sets and dressing rooms in the thirties and forties of the twentieth century. Cobwebs that cover lively episodes of an author, and some characters, who starred in a present as real, or not, as ours.