The words of Galdós, forerunner of the contemporary national narrative who died a century ago (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 1843 – Madrid, 1920) after immortalizing his legacy in the history of universal literature, migrated yesterday from the pages of his novels and from the pavement of the capital of Gran Canaria to cross the arteries of his hometown, impelled by that vindication that presides over the entrance to his house-museum in the district of Triana: “What where am I from? That everyone knows! Las Palmas! “
This was reaffirmed in 1914 to the magazine The sphere the famous writer, who will draw his vital map between Gran Canaria, Madrid and Santander, but whose fruitful legacy constitutes the radiography of a plural and diverse Spain, written in the skin of realism and human dignity, and that today raises total unanimity after of a long stage of demonization. The commemoration of the centenary of his death, which was celebrated yesterday, January 4 – although the whole of the local and national press already welcomed 2020 under the heading of Happy Galdosian Year- He kicked off a flow of scheduled tributes this year around the universe of Galdós and the urgency of revising his work as an exercise in memory that, more than a hundred years later, continues to dialogue and question our present.
“These beings were called words,” he declares The conjuration of the words, published in 1868, where Galdós defines the substrate with which he projected our fantasies, obsessions and beliefs in the wake of the Cervantine work. An excerpt from this metaphorical work yesterday opened a Galdosian parade that started in the San Telmo Park, with stops at different heights of the Calle Mayor de Triana, until its mouth in the square of the Pérez Galdós Theater, next to the monument of the writer, where held at noon an institutional act-tribute, followed by a floral offering.
This series of Galdosian representations at street level, coordinated by Unahoramenos Producciones, attracted the attention of numerous citizens who gathered around the street stages, surrounded by live music. Specifically, these dramatized readings interspersed fragments of The conjuration of the words (1868), Marianela (1878), Grandpa (1897), National episodes. Saragossa (1874), Tristana (1892), Fortunata and Jacinta (1887) and Where is my head? (1892), by actresses Alicia Ramos, Cathy Pulido, Laura Sassha and Raquel Amegashie. On the other hand, the musical formation was integrated by Ruth Ventura, Bernard Doughty, Ismael Betancor, Luis Carlos Jiménez and Miguel Morales, who performed the pieces live The New Sa-hooby G. Farnaby; Libertangoby Astor Piazzola; A. Toyeby G. Farnaby; and excerpts from the Suite in Sol M BWV 1007, by Johann Sebastian Bach.
Along with the initiative to transfer the word from the Galdosian to the streets, one of the successes of this scenic project was based on the commitment to a completely feminine cast -very applauded by the public- given that Galdós, within the framework of the nineteenth-century patriarchal mentality, He drew the arc of his memorable female characters with a special, plural and empathic sensibility.
Upon arrival at the Pérez Galdós Theater Square, the institutional event was attended by Ángel Víctor Torres, president of the Government of the Canary Islands; Antonio Morales, president of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria; Y Augusto Hidalgo, Mayor of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria -the three institutions participate in the commemoration of the centenary-, who added their voices to the last dramatized reading of the morning, in the presence of numerous representatives of the island’s culture and politics.
Also, Ángel Víctor Torres said at the end of the act that “today [por ayer] It is a very important day for the history of universal letters because it celebrates the centenary of the death of Benito Pérez Galdós, who is not an illustrious canary -which is- but is a universal author of literature. I think that, over the years and decades, we are talking about one of the two or three best Spanish-language writers in history, and surely the one who best portrayed women, as reflected by Tormento, Tristana, Fortunata or Jacinta, who are great characters that symbolized nineteenth-century Spanish society and that no one portrayed better than Galdós. “In addition, Torres stressed that it is” a reference of our land “and” a universal canary to which we gave a deserved tribute”.
For its part, the Pérez Galdós House-Museum opened its doors from 10:00 a.m. to midnight and deployed a broad program of multidisciplinary activities in the writer’s birthplace. This proposal included guided visits to the premises of the house-museum, with the gift of a book by the writer to each visitor throughout the day. There was also a continuous reproduction of the burial images of the writer and the documentary What is Spain? 1929-1930, that constitute the only images of Galdós in motion, and that shows unpublished images of other prominent personalities of the time, such as Miguel de Unamuno, Fernando de los Ríos, Juan Negrín, Severo Ochoa or Ramón y Cajal, among many others.
In addition, in the late afternoon, the center illuminated its facade and began a dramatized reading of the work The damned (1894), in charge of actor Miguel Ángel Maciel under the direction of Nacho Cabrera (Teatro La República). And the witness took them, as a final touch, the concert Improvisations on Galdós, by the musician and composer Yul Ballesteros, and the reading of Galdosian texts by the writer José Luis Correa, who recreated the Galdosian universe, from his characters to the places and environments he describes in his novels, through the chords.
However, as a nod to the last scale of Galdós in Tenerife, when he left Gran Canaria towards Madrid, the Public Library of the State of the island of Tenerife promoted a special day of nine hours of activities with mural painting, graffiti, bibliographic exhibition, family theater, interpreted reading and a performative action. In addition, a part of these activities was also carried out at the State Public Library in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.