Snippet: Sergio Macías on Pablo Neruda in Madrid, 1934-1936

According to the publisher’s information Vida, amigos y amores de Pablo Neruda en la Guerra Civil Española [Life, friends, and loves of Pablo Neruda in the Spanish Civil War] by Sergio Macías (Gorbea, Chile, 1938) explains Neruda’s (1904-1973, Wikipedia) intimate relation with the writers of the Generation of 27 (Wikipedia) in Spain, his travels and the dramatic start of the Civil War that influenced him profoundly and gave a new meaning to his poetry. He socialized with Rafael Alberti, Federico García Lorca, Miguel Hernández, Luis Rosales, Emir Rodríguez Monegal, Ramón Gómez de la Serna, Amado Alonso, María Zambrano. During this time Neruda left his first wife and his daughter, and lived with Delia del Carril and apparently had other affairs. This work covers Neruda’s daily life as a man, poet and consul in Madrid from 1934 to 1936, including his virtues and vices.

“Yo vivía en un barrio de Madrid, con campanas, con relojes, con árboles. Mi casa era llamada la casa de las flores, porque por todas partes estallaban geranios: era una bella casa con perros y chiquillos.”

Pablo Neruda, Explico algunas cosas

[I lived in a Madrid neighborhood, with bells, with clocks, with trees. My house was called the flower house, because everywhere burst geraniums: it was a beautiful house with dogs and kids. Pablo Neruda, “I explain a few things” (poem)]

As Daniele Belmiro explains in her article on the book in El País, shortly after his arrival Neruda rented an apartment in “La Casa de las Flores” [Flower House], a recently constructed vanguard building that occupied a whole street block on Calle Hilarión Eslava in the upper-middle-class neighborhood of Argüelles (the house was destroyed during the Civil War, then reconstructed). He paid little attention to the consular work and concentrated instead on poetry, literary coffee-house discussions and “wining&dining”.

Sergio Macías published El Madrid de Pablo Neruda [Pablo Neruda’s Madrid] in 2004, and from the bookstore description, the book described above is the same, maybe in an updated and enlarged format.

SOURCE: Globo Editores; El País, Oct. 29, 2014

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Snippet: Luis Landero’s “El balcón en invierno”

Juan Cruz reviewed Luis Landero (Alburquerque, 1948), El balcón en invierno [The balcony in winter] positively in El País. An autobiographic novel that looks back on the author’s childhood in Extremadura and youth in Madrid during the 1950s and 1960s, including his grandparents, parents, cousins and other relatives. The premature death of his father led the 16 year old to a decisive turn in his life, from a “guttersnipe” (motorcycles, cigarettes, girls) to a serious student.

A summary in English not yet but probably soon available from the publisher; one can already read about six earlier novels written by Landero.

SOURCE: El País, Oct. 15, 2014

Snippet: illustrators’ meeting in São João da Madeira

It ended Oct. 26, 2014, the 7.º Encontro Internacional de Ilustração de São João da Madeira [7th international illustration meeting of São João da Madeira (a town near Porto)]. This year’s guiding topic was “packaging”, and judging from the images on their facebook, they had a number of interesting workshops (for children, teachers, senior citizens), factory visits, etc. going on there. For the first time there was a prize competition, won by Spanish illustrator and high school teacher Raúl Nieto Guridi (Sevilla, 1970, blog). The participants came from different countries, among them Marta Monteiro (website), Chris Haughton (website), Eduardo Salavisa (urban sketcher, blog), André da Loba (website), Philippe Ug (website), Cintia Martín (blog), Catarina Gomes (website). Also for the first time a postcard collection was created by Susana Nobre (blog) and Dino Vázquez (facebook), and a 2015 calendar with works created during the week.

SOURCE: Público, Oct. 24, 2014

Quote on a writer’s ideal neighborhood

Even if my Manhattan productivity is powered by a sociopathic illusion of my own limitlessness, I’m thankful for it, at least when I’m writing. There’s a reason so many writers once lived here, beyond the convenient laundromats and the take-out food, the libraries and cafés.

Zadie Smith

Though she gets to the conclusion that all of them live in Brooklyn now.

SOURCE: Zadie Smith, “Find Your Beach”, The New York Review of Books, Oct. 23, 2014

Snippet: Ramiro Pinilla, Writer, Dies at 91

A Spanish writer from the Basque Country, Ramiro Pinilla (1923 – 2014), he started writing in the 1950s, published first under a pseudonym. He became known to a broader public from 2004 onwards with the publication of his Verdes valles, colinas rojas [Green valleys, red hills] trilogy: La tierra convulsa [The convulsive earth; 2004], Los cuerpos desnudos [The naked bodies; 2005] and Las cenizas del hierro [The iron’s ashes; 2005]. It took him nearly 20 years to complete this work of nearly 3,000 pages. Among Pinilla’s last works are three crime novels set in Getxo, where the writer lived.

“Pinilla got into crime fiction with the creation of Sancho Bordaberri, a book lover, a failed writer, happy with the work in the bookstore he owns, poisoned by his madness for the classics of crime fiction, restless seeker of justice. He transforms himself into the detective Samuel Esparta when he puts on the gabardine and a hat that his uncle brought for him from America. The last published book Cadáveres en la playa [Corpses on the beach; 2014] is the most intriguing case of an already aged Samuel Esparta who keeps against all odds his peculiar bookstore in Getxo and receives in the 1970s the visit of a lady, Juana Ezquiaga, who wants to hire him to clarify the disappearance, a long time ago, of him who was the love of her youth.” (Aurora Intxausti, El País)

More information on the author and his complete work on Tusquets’ foreign rights page.

SOURCE: El País, Oct. 23, 2014