This absence

Julio López Cid

In fact, almost everything we are we owe to Dichi". For his aphoristic court, this sentence the same could be a statement of principle that the key response to an interview question about generations, so the use, or -why not- the beginning of a story of intrigue. Actually, it was not sincere if belated act of contrition I heard from the mouth of Ernesto Gómez del Valle[1] in late 1960, I think in Los Milagros, where at that time lived for about a year convalescing from a serious operation, for responding to my utter perplexity "And who is the Dichi?Ernesto said, among other things, that years ago, during one of his crisis, Cándido Fernández Mazas, the Dichi, had been as well Los Milagros.

Ernesto Gómez del Valle. Orense, 1960.

I could not specify what it was that brought up the name Fernández Mazas, but I remember that conversation soon lead in another direction, so that what ultimately was lodged in the memory was the startling claim, united the family name, el Dichi, Heard for the first time. First and only then ever after, during the time of frequent contact with members of the group gathered then around don Vicente Risco, I came to listen and don Vicente or Prego or Trabazos ... not to Ernesto himself, who died in 1965 alone, many years later, during a circumstantial and short stay in Canada[2]I had the opportunity to see some drawings Fernández Mazas home Antón Risco, inherited from his father, Anton merely teach without further comment that the author's name, which I have not related then[3] the person from whom Ernesto G. del Valle veincitinco had told me years ago.

Sanctuary of Los Milagros. Baños de Molgas, Orense. 1920.

It would take another few years, disappeared and Don Vicente, Ernesto, Prego, Trabazos ... for someone -of the new generations and in a way and completely different- tell me about that person you were both almost everything, according Gómez del Valle those who in those sixties represented in Orense intellectual concerns and that, besides the aforementioned comment, none of them ever spoke.

And that in those years already spoke very critically of still called Movement National (Ie, the military uprising origin of the Civil War and subsequent dictatorship) and grave consequences for Spanish culture involved the absence so many intellectuals who had been a put to death and others had been forced into exile to avoid such ajusticiamiento. Muy críticamente, pues, pese a la presencia de personas como Ricardo Outeiriño o Segundo Alvarado, el grupo reunido en torno a Risco tenía en realidad una clara connotación izquierdista. Pero nunca se habló de Fernández Mazas. Nunca. Nadie. Que yo sepa. Y en mi caso bien podría deberse a mi siempre relativo interés por un mundo en el que nunca acabo de sentirme a gusto, pero ¿cómo se explica que alguien como Valente, tan al día en todo, tan interesado siempre por cuanto se refería al tiempo que precedió a la Guerra Civil, no haya tenido nunca noticia alguna de la personalidad artística y política de Fernández Mazas, ni siquiera oído su nombre?, como me dijo en Ginebra, algunos meses antes de su muerte, al hablarme de su compromiso con José Manuel Bouzas de escribir sobre él (fue Bouzas quien —ya demasiado tarde— lo puso en contacto con su obra pictórica): “It is the second time this year that I will write about a painting I know only through reproductions; the first, my sister; Mazas now ...". And how Antón Risco, so as to comment on everything, analyze everything ad nauseam, it has not made a single reference to Cándido along and breadth of our countless, perpetual talks, and on that occasion in Canada confine itself to simple sample drawings ..? No, no explanation.

Julio Lopez-Cid, José Ángel Valente, Sarah Crane (wife of Aquilino Duque) and José Bergamín. Toledo, 1962.

Por qué ese total olvido de alguien que —ahora se sabe— tuvo una gran significación artística y política en el Orense de los años que precedieron a la Guerra Civil! (en Orense y fuera de él), por parte de quienes fueron sus amigos o cuando menos compañeros en comunes empresas…?, y de todos ellos; de quienes, en razón de las circunstancias, podían permitirse soslayar, por su comprometida connotación política, determinados aspectos de la persona pero de ningún modo ignorar su obra artística, de importancia no comparable a la de tantas que por entonces ellos alentaban y protegían. O ¿es que no hubo olvido, olvido verdadero, sino sólo voluntad de olvidar, o sea, deliberado silencio?. Extraño, muy extraño todo.

It should be questioned not only fairness, but perhaps I more- the acuity criticism of personalities as important as Blanco Amor and Pedrayo Otero, who dealt -before and after the death of Fernandez Mazas- someone of dubious existencia real in the art world[4], Silencing Candide, whose work certainly knew and whose value should not ignore. They are hours and that, regardless of illegitimate interests, local or regional, narrow in short, you begin to put some order in this subversion of values ​​and start paying due attention to a work that already has almost century of existence but, despite its not questionable value remains almost completely unknown.


And I return to the initial consideration "In fact, almost everything we are we owe to Dichi ", What you may have beginning of a story of intrigue, why.without premeditation, as I wrote, I have been coming to mind one of my old stories, Threshold[5], I contains various elements of intrigue to borgiano mode and is located precisely in Los Milagros, where the narrator will spend a few days for trivial reasons and is the protagonist, who is recovering from a serious illness: an oversensitive be suffering from too much imagination, que le cuenta su historia, una historia curiosamente —fatalmente, cabría decir— vinculada al narrador por un encuentro anterior, que el narrador no consigue recordar y que no acaba de saberse si es real o imaginario pero a cuyo acaecimiento el protagonista concede una trascendental importancia, hasta tal punto que acaba siendo causa y razón de su muerte. Y cómo no ver que la rememoración iba delineando un sorprendente paralelo entre el protagonista de Threshold y el ser apasionado, de gran encanto personal y siempre un poco misterioso que según testimonios fidedignos fue Fernández Mazas. Y cómo no interrogarme sobre el compromiso contraído de escribir sobre él. ¿Por qué, como tantas veces, no rehusé? ¿Qué razón que me ha hecho sentirme de algún modo obligado a hacerlo…?

Maybe in 1959, when I hypersensitised by tuberculosis wrote Seuil, has done nothing but sense the personality of someone who had been really -existe-, sensing its unique ability to imagine a different reality, another, to identify with it to be who venturing beyond its mysterious threshold. And then, in 1960-1961, the trip to Los Milagros to convalesce of severe operation of the chest would have been, more than anything, to attend the non-appointment (I remember having commented in affected literary pose, with Julio V. Gimeno[6]: I'm going to Los Milagros, where I have an appointment with Celso Regueira[7]) With someone who did not even know the name, someone whose absence so present now- I come accompanied by Ernesto Gómez del Valle that day Unexpectedly, as if he came to story- told me that In fact, almost everything that we are We owe al Dichi. And if so, I come to also be part of USIt would be one more in the list of debtors. The mere possibility of truly honors me.

Julio Lopez Cid Ferney-Voltaire, December 2001.

© Julio Lopez Cid

[1] Ernesto Gómez del Valle (1907-1965), even though his family was especially victims of Franco's repression (his brother Manuel was shot, his mother, claudiada; another brother, recently killed in the war Valencia), was widely respected, even in the Francoist media, their nobility and their enthusiastic participation in cultural events of all kinds.
[2] 72.a International Labor Conference, Montreal, 1986.
[3] The drawings are signed with the pseudonym Fermazas.
[4] E. White Love: The new Galician emotion, Buenos Aires, 1928. Brief Conference (curiously dedicated to C. Fernández Mazas) on etchings Prieto Nespereira. R. Otero Pedrayo: Julio Prieto Nespereira, Editora Nacional, Madrid, 1970.
[5] Threshold, Editora Comercial, Orense, 1966.
[6] Julio V. Gimeno, journalist and writer, author of several satirical novels, two of them awarded at the Olympics Humor, Valencia, 19.
[7] Celso Regueira is the protagonist Threshold.