July 29, 2021

Technicolor voice of the letters | Culture

Technicolor voice of the letters | Culture

That man who made voice his power (to make a living, in London, in Paris) turned his inner voice, literature, into one of the most extraordinary assets of writing in Spanish.

His novels (Palinuro de México, News of the Empire, first), his passion to follow the theater as blood in his veins, as well as his exquisite education, rooted in his good being, and in the good being of his wonderful family, crossed from America back and forth, received frustration and awards with the same spirit that advised Rudyard Kipling, and, at the end of his life, sitting in his wheelchair, gloved as if he were an astronaut, dressed in all colors, like a man who came (and came) from swinging London, was able to scream, in the middle of the rooms of the FIL de Guadalajara, a slogan that came from the tormented Mexican soul: "We are all Ayotzinapa!"

It came out of the soul of the citizen, in the middle of the tragedy of Mexico (a group of young people, a multitude of souls, murdered by the dark-hearted who dominate the country's bad belly), that cry that was their response to a situation that the harsher joy of his country is getting old. It was extraordinary that moment when Del Paso, the main patron of that fair, hurt by a thousand physical obstacles that occurred to him in his old age, became the voice of his country, a decent speaker of his compatriots.

And that scream was even more exciting, more moving, because Fernando was so ill, so little gifted to speak, that he took to the room where he was going to present one of his books to a translator who spelled the words that came hard to his voice is difficult.

It had been many years since his passion for Federico García Lorca he brought it to Spain, and then took it to the European capitals where his improvised journalist voice made him the technicolor voice of America in Europe. We listened to it from all sides, and it seemed that thunder would never appear again. It was quenched, you know, by the diminished beats of his throat; that's why that cry for Ayotzinapa seemed a miracle.

It is not difficult to imagine that this clamor of few words so intense, "We are all Ayotzinapa!", Was the logical continuation of the tribute that his literature rendered to Mexico from its foundation to his ancestors, because that is what his literature is about.

The last time I saw him was in Madrid, when he won and picked up Cervantes; his smoked glasses falling on his laughing face, surrounded by his wife and children. With them he had been months before, in his house in Guadalajara, Mexico, dressed as a rocker, he looked like a cheerful biker fresh out of his saddle. He submitted to the questions of EL PAÍS like a rocker, joking about his broken voice, the one that he later redid to give that cry.

His technicolor voice is in that memory, in the times when it was a gentleman Mexican in London, in his Lorca voice, in his detained and precise writing with which he reached the top that will remain Palinuro of Mexico.


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