José Ángel Valente, who was unable to help us recover this was also his.
A Armando Fernández Mazas, he would have liked to see it.
AIDA, because he lives and lives in her memory.
Where? Allende. Land beyond, our land. And beyond beyond, and beyond Allende.
To Plant here how or what seed?
José Ángel Valente
The road runs from A Rua in Petín between streams, cliffs cistus and carrascos, abrupt roquedales trajectory balanced on the chasms, thick brush heather and gorse, rivulets in capricious course falling free from the peaks, clearings slate a living heart.
The drowsy traveler patiently endures the slowness of the bus. The change enters with difficulty, the march creaks in the rumble of the reduction. A sudden jerk and the engine bellows. Thick blue and black smoke from poorly burned fuel billows around. It is a cloud that enters through all the cracks, leaving a frothy and bitter taste in the mouth. The bus laboriously faces the steep slopes.
Oblivious to the conversation of the rest of the passenger, the traveler rests his head on the cold misted glass, where the raindrops are deposited. The gaze, lost, between an indefinite point that is always changing in the landscape, and the worn rubber bands, full of verdigris and rust, of the rattling windows. Enveloping, the murmur in accent of his own origin, does nothing but submerge him again in imprecise memories: the discomfort in the arm still sore after the intervention; the two hundred pesetas that he owes to Sebastián Martínez Risco, who had advanced the money to pay an abusive doctor, also for the trip; in the deserted cafeterias of a devastated Madrid that he had arrived with safe conduct from Valencia, and where, coincidentally, like a shadow of himself, from the time before the war that they shared with others, he had met Eusebio García Luengo: they talked about the plot of “The crazy horns"; it was all nonsense; maintained, with pain and effort, a "image of sobriety and purity”i, aware of the commiseration that his person gave off, of the impact that his super-secret confidences about the goodness of nuts as a solution to poisoning were produced on the interlocutor by the clergy, who saw him as a threat. But how to harbor a minimal memory of what they had been, of the circumstance that allowed them to recognize each other and engage in conversation; on the ruins of what memory, perhaps on the one that García Luengo kept of him: the one of “a philosopher between Socrates and Buddha, who remained motionless for hours with his hands resting on the seat, speaking in a soft voice but with penetrating persuasion” Now, at the end of 1939, he was just a disoriented person who, before the war, practiced boutade and irony, who had tried to find a livelihood through his work for Misiones Pedagógicas:“I fight, I make a living and I hope to break the coldness of the people around me, my painting… … Lazy like no one else, today I worked 7 hours, painting decorations for the Misiones puppet”. Now, he should survive in a country of priests, Falangists, black marketeers, victors... he, who was completely useless.
With difficulty, he barely avoided the bus through gutters a short time ago strewn with corpses. Names of friends: Paradela, who was set on fire to, once a torch, be machine-gunned, in the impossible curves of Larouco; Jacinto Santiago, for years sheltered in the Sistín cemetery, murdered in Vilariñofrio together with Fructuoso Manríque, Aquilino Sánchez and Eligio Nuñez Muñoz, the youngest of the four and who only six years earlier had written for him, on behalf of young people “…in which beats with brutal speed, a desire for citizen liberation and a desire for democratic legality. We see in your luminous, political and intellectual career a nuanced horizon of ideology, healthy, virile, decent and of perfect ethics. Obeying with all fervor an imperative of sincerity, we proclaim in you the genuine type that Reclus recommends”… …”We expect brilliant examples of your work, guidelines to follow. It is up to you to give them, to us to imitate them. Behold, the well-deserved tribute that, taking these few lines as an expression, satisfies the youth of Orense."4, Amadeo López Bello, Antonio Caneda, Deogracias Carballo, Eduardo Villot Canal, the brothers Emilio, Manuel and Ramón Fuentes Canal, Rafael Alonso Rodríguez, and many others whose immolations marked the winding itinerary of return as milestones. Nothing the traveler knew then. The landscape moved slowly as the vehicle advanced: Montefurado, Freixido, old mines, remains of olive trees, black vines at ground level, whole mountains of terraces, gold deposits waiting for patient batters, broken milestones, barely glimpsed between brambles; Larouco again with ditches cut with a pick and hoe, later devastated by icy rains and blizzards of endless winters, chestnut trees without leaves standing out like black bones against a blurred and pale sky; Trives, with coats of arms and without the presence at the time of Evaristo Correa Calderón, Marqués de Trives (belonging to that class of aristocrats with solid training and avant-garde whims before 1930, with a reactionary mustache and conventional creations after 1939, so far removed from a true Galicia, as if they were close to a topical and folkloric image in which the inhabitants of their fiefdom had to assume the function that corresponded to them: decorative vassals)5, that years later he would die there and from where his extensive library would start, or maybe not?; a last small plain towards Sás de Penelas, to the right the Alais detour and, finally, the Castro de Caldelas, with its enormous castle between slate houses and the small square, where Vicente Risco -denier of Mediterranean civilization and, Therefore, the ethical and aesthetic antithesis of the traveler, he consults the family book collection seasonally and part of his own: what no longer fits in the apartment in Santo Domingo, in Ourense.
The bus arrives at the small town and the traveler finally descends with all the landscapes that nest, with no more baggage than his extreme thinness. And from there you will have to go on foot, -Piñeiroá, San Martiño, Pereiro, Casmartiño, Penedo- to the place of As Cortiñas, a desolate and ascending green expanse dotted with pollarded oaks and a few cows. Always to the left, the imposing purple mass of Drados, with its tight-grained blue granite reverberating intensely, with wispy clouds and grazing mists in a winter agony of rain and perpetual cold, where his sisters and his mother await him.
Mario, his younger brother, seventeen years old, dark-skinned and light-eyed (like Rocío and Áida, two of his sisters), to whom he sent whole series of postcards from Paris for his collection, was gone. He had lost his life on the Teruel front, forced to do so by the incipient leftist militancy, his insulting youth... of him. He presented his corpse with a shot in the back. Officially it had been a stray bullet. Before going to the front, he had shared a prison in Ourense with Roberto Blanco Torres, -companion of who arrives, so many evenings in the newspaper The Pueblo Gallego-, the first republican governor of Palencia, assassinated in the company of Rizal Villamarín Iglesias and Eulogio Vázquez, in A Corga da Videira, near Portugal; also with other colleagues who would be surrendered In other parts of the province, the furthest away, the most difficult to access, although equally in the very heart of the city, in San Francisco, they were shot. In those days of uncertainty, all of them anxiously awaited the arrival of the Mazas sisters, so young and beautiful, who took so much risk passing them news: The Waterkent did not stop working during the night with signals from international stations; Also attentive to the radio of the neighbor Colonel Miramón, which was heard from the kitchen window, always on dials contrary to the national cause. Armando will not be able to see his brother until he leaves the cave where he will remain hidden for four years and from which he only leaves, daily, taking refuge in the true night. Outside, just the howling of the wind, the shearing of cows in distant meadows, the muddy roads and the faint glow of lanterns.
The city of light was far away. The hours in La Rotonde, in La Coupole, the walks around the fbourg Saint Jacques, the cafes in “Le Select”, the American Bar on Boulevard de Montparnasse, where he drew still lifes and ladies with little braids, before the nude sessions in La Grande Chaumière together with colleagues we know nothing about; the social gathering with Unamuno, the possible contact with Robert and Sonia Delaunay, with Buñuel, with whom he shared the lively description of the Countess de Polignac's ball, wandering around at dead hours from 147 Rue Broca6, through Saint Médard, to the Jardin des Plantes where the little booklets were filling up with animals; the endless walks with Eugenio Montes, a continuation of the initiates in Ourense, (although by then I already mistrusted him ideologically: had he gone directly from the United States to Germany to see a Polish girlfriend or Augusto Assía? And so much detour on the trip back for what? Perhaps the pretext was to show off -rail accident in between- the spectacular suede shoes on all the front page news in German newspapers?)7; snippets of conversations overheard in Paul Rosenberg's gallery or in Mme. Weil, at 46 Rue Laffitte; Where to locate the foreseeable conversations with Chirico or Tristán Tzará, the cards of Renzo Massarani, Jacobo Fidjmann or León Solá? Where would they fit? They were the wake of a dream. Also the nightmare.
Seven hundred and fifty pesetas, in the first stay, in 19258They didn't give much. A study cost 300 francs a month and the change was not favorable. The difficulty in settling in Paris was, therefore, real, despite the relief that sharing a studio, albeit provisionally, with Cossío meant.9, and there was still the cost of eating, transport, or the purchase of material. It was bitter to have been able to feel how Paris opened up before him, how everything he had dreamed of in Ourense with Montes was almost tangible, everything that fed his spirit. Hurriedly, feverishly, she tried to speed up, drawing, conversing, getting drunk on modernity, doing what she can, being aware of receiving the first defeat.
It wasn't that homesickness killed him. It was necessary to return10.
However, I would return, I would insist once more. The desire to be there where she needed to be was very strong. In the second stay, the lack of money, the difficulty to communicate from Paris to solve this urgent problem – the letters were lost in Irún11-; His ghosts, the persecutions of intellectuals and artists that he had observed -even there they went to look for them, they were not even safe there- by Italian fascists, the demonstrations in favor of Sacco and Vancetti, make him completely disturbed in a relapse of "bristly hyperesthesia”12 and, although the stay is much longer than the first, he ends up returning. Montes describes it at the time “respected by those who are respected”13. We know nothing about how his contacts with Cossío, with Bores, with Ucelay, with Peinado or with Pruna, or with any of the other painters with whom he had already had relations in Spain or in his previous stay in Paris and who had stayed, were. Since then, there and to whom a moderate success began to smile, who even maintained a friendship with Picasso14.
Madrid was also far away... "...I go up from Cibeles, through Alcalá, to Schumacher's bookstore, in Caballero de Gracia, there I find some desired book – The Karamazof, Charmes, Ulysses, Malte Laurids Brigge- and I am going to open its pages to Kutz, before an imponderable cup of chocolate or -if we are in spring- an orangeade like I have never found anywhere again; finally I go to the Comedy to listen to a program of quartets, or the premiere in Madrid of the Retablo de Falla, or a series of works by Ravel directed by the author”15. And this, natural for a gentleman from the provinces who had gone to study in Madrid, was something impossible for Mazas, since his ascetic dandy poverty prevented it.16. Carlos Gurméndez also met him then and describes him in the words of Walter Benjamin, qualifying the perception that others have of him, as "the intellectual bohemian without rags”, or his self-perception, from which arises “the Dandy who, looking in the mirror, fetishizes his self and discovers in a conscious alienation: “je suis la chose”17.
During the last years of the twenties, the successive escapes from the harsh life in Madrid -the attempt to survive with publications from Galicia, the project of Gaceta de Galicia together with Johan Carballeira, the attempts to publish cartoons in the daily press did not come to fruition and, after going back and forth countless times, in 1930 he decided to return to Galicia. He will receive letters from Guillermo Korn or Aguado missing him, with memories of Nóvoa Santos, Prieto, and Eduardo Vicente. He will not get out of this morass until he returns to Madrid with the Pedagogical missions, to return definitively now that the war is over, defeated and tired, overcome by all the horror left behind.
He came to his places, where he had previously felt like a prisoner and where the steel reality of 1940 settled in the midst of silence or cowardice, of the usual hard work. There lived children who would never ask questions, whose dreams were barely disturbed by the vague memory of an inconcrete terror, who twenty years later would emigrate to other realities without the possibility of reintegrating into truth all those lives that had been cut short in one way or another and that had partly been lost. explained their exodus, or maybe not. Who can know?
From the gallery of his grandparents' house, endless hours squinting at a landscape diffused between “the shadow of the air on the grass”18 and the fog, he could see his characters, trembling creatures that, from time or from an ambivalent memory, called him: the mayoress, the pancomias, in a feverish erotic transference (perhaps it would be worth being detained by the civil guard if it was the number one woman); the bailiff, Don Juan Pantelas, the judge, the caveau des ouvliés rouges, Petrus Lodus, the Pentalfa group, Mr. Roth, Lady Hélene or Doctor Neobio... But he already knew, that this was not his time, that the blinding light of his ingenuity, almost past his youth and with a very long post-war period, would never return; The old friends would never return, if any were left alive, if any encouraged ideologically. If the war had happened in another way, surviving would not have been so difficult, or maybe it was, who knows. Nor in Spain time He had had a place like other companions, and, if the other reality was installed, it would have been as exclusive as the present one.
Atareba"the slow rhythm of the time of day and night”19 with happy memories from long ago: Conchita Vicente, his first love, at the age of fifteen; Pacucha Montes20 "ripping off" with him in front of the cathedral, from the terrace of Juan de Austria; Margarita Xirgú citing him next to the statue of the fallen angel in the retreat, far from the influence of Rivas Cherif that prevented her from seeing him. Angelines Astorga, who was going to visit him from Ourense, or the beautiful aristocrat, daughter of the Count of Fuentes.
Military information sheets, the only support I could get to draw, with notes on leftist elements, presumed subversives; beard paper -with watermark and state stamp- possibly obtained through the friendly judges (we have obtained your release, now we are shipping you, with the suitcase, the money that your father has sent and put it, and a lot of papers and a pencil, so that you entertain yourself, so that, by the way, you can go doing the illustrations for a little book of poetry-). Portraits are not paid enough; In the first twenties you could indulge in irony, jokes about Valle Inclán (calling all the barbers in Ourense to shave him), dandyism and biting satire on the mediocre: “Bones to a hydrophobic dog”21. Now was the time of officials, of poet-judges who asked for a little grace and ingenuity to accompany sad creations.
Two brushes with scant hair, a gouge, paper -the aforementioned-, remains of oil tubes, two or three tiny vials of varnish for paintings, two small bottles of thinner. And, above all, the authentic rawness of Pedrouzos, on the slope of Drados. whatWhat shape or seed could I sow?, what work could come out of there?, how else could everything have been if he had agreed to leave Spain?. They had offered it to him in Valencia. The future was not encouraging elsewhere. Where to go? To Argentina, where the Galician lobby was waiting for him "with open arms"? To France, where he had not been able to survive in times of peace, and now in the prelude to a new war? World Cup? To Santo Domingo, to share the fate of Almoina or Granell? To Tangier, together with Juli Ramis? Facing adversity, when he harbored adversity within himself. Family security represented, after the debacle, the well-known defeat of trips to Paris. He should have known how to adapt, make a topical work, like that of Castro Gil or Prieto Nespereira, ideal to calm the fear of all the emigration, from Chubut to New York; or, in the mid-forties, exhibit work, with a suitably neutralized plastic or political content, in all the casinos and thus obtain their piece of the cake. But the events had been-were-so painful and he was so unprepared for life, that he was incapable of self-betrayal.
Mazas lived with the inhabitants of the four houses in the area, with a hidden brother, with the patrols that were looking for him, with his sisters, with the memory of the vegetarian commune of Valencia, where utopia had been glimpsed, with the light of the Mediterranean. caught in the clear pupils, his soul wounded by the extreme purity of the one who had joined with other beings of bloodless food, compassion and dedication. The way he dressed and talked gave him away; the neighbors were suspicious. The fact that he tried to explain to them the goodness of a vegetarian diet, accustomed as they were to bacon, to fat, in order to withstand the harsh working conditions in a hostile environment, made them think he was crazy. He really was. Despite this, and the fatigue, the fear experienced, he took care of writing down, in pencil, in tiny print what he verified day by day: people living like animals. “A civil war in a hive. The simple life of insects. The simple life of the animals, of the cattle of the peasants” “People are hardly mentally old and hence the apparent disorder of the world since for their development and animal circumstances they barely need this faculty. And he tells that his animal life is everything, inclusion made of those artisan consequences inherent to his minimum needs, to the rigors of time, to his struggle for existence. Hence, they do not need this beautiful faculty. Once these circumstances are created, national circumstances arise, of collective animal defense, of nations, vitality organized in these own instincts. The instincts adjust to this new circumstance and recreate themselves in it. There is therefore no historical mental age, but an animal one. The bees and the ants. Science and experience. Mental age and animal or use age. Mental or physical mathematical age”. I associated ideas: Machiavelli, Pedro Fernández de Castro, Poincaré and the psychological space. Taylor System”22. He did not consider the writings of Fabre as mere entomology but as attempts to unravel the mystery of relationships between men. The always forgotten transcendence, the ontological-metaphysical necessity. How long could he maintain interest in matters that would only complicate him? Once again, the particular and the general, the observation of reality and, through thought, philosophical and historical experience, its immediate transcendence. Hadn't whatever happened, what he had observed on the return trip, been a lesson enough? . It was necessary to put all that aside in order to build oneself again, so as not to refuse. Immerse yourself again in the absolute restorative ideality.
I dreamed of the house, refuge, safe term. Oriental influence, even in the portraits that she had made of some village girls, as Valente pointed out with great insight when she saw them.23. Design of interior ornaments, lamps, furniture, curtains, bookends. Business projects to survive, of an inefficiency according to the impossibility of facing life from where it was being considered. Laying hens company, rationalization of production, design of feeders, stables, a brand image. Slogans, propaganda. The curiously prophetic name of the company: LARSA, S.A.; Also activity. He must have been in estrus. Egg production. Koran. Uteco. He intuited the future, also Pop portraying Sebastián Martínez Risco. Abroad, custom and submission, religion assumed as a "structuring" element, alienating in the social, omnipresent, dominator of enslaved lives, so effective in the postwar period. Candido in his role as repentant. Those pantomimes during mass, those contriving gestures also gave him away, but where was his place now? The reason, a total delirium.
With difficulty, with great difficulty, the memory of the painter has been recovered. Those who knew him did not have a pleasant memory of who he had been. Fernández Armesto, to whom he dedicates one of the six poems he wrote, is one of those who can answer for his performance and residence in the classification sheet in Denia, he says -in a recent interview-24 know who he was, but denies her relationship with him. However, Mazas was not a person with whom she became intimate easily, enough for her to dedicate a poem or give away a drawing. Bal y Gay, who made one of the criticisms of Santa Margorí, can, in 1964, accurately remember the figure of "Don Ramón" Otero Pedrayo, also friends from before the civil war, such as Eiroa or Maside, but not Mazas. Dieste recovers it as late as in 1981, following the presentation of Gurméndez's book. In reality, it would not have been easy to recover it at the beginning of the normalizations, at the end of the Franco regime, when everyone was active and exhibited wisdom and political correctness, beyond the exclusions of then and the power pacts that now, twenty years later, they are observed in those excellent creatures without blemish. In the climax to the Nós edition, in 1972, there is a list of martyrs including the magazine's collaborators who had been assassinated in the early years of Francoism, and in which Luis Huici does not appear. But, if prudence was convenient, and not the evocation of certain friendships and memories, in the moment immediately after the war, what need would there be - long after - to recover Mazas or any of them? With democratic normalization and with some of the protagonists of all this still alive, it was not opportune, either to avoid having to clearly place each one where they belonged, overlapping their own mistakes or vileness, or because, after all, it was convenient to write the story with the veracity of the person who told it.
In the first twenties, in Ourense, Eugenio Montes was the exclusive intellectual stimulus for Mazas, although as time passed, it was not opportune for him to remember, to reconstruct what he had been, with whom he had been related, but simply to live, live well, elegantly, do whatever it takes to get it, kill the ghosts of the past. Montes convalescing for a long time from an illness that required rest, it was Mazas who accompanied him, talking, rambling, exchanging readings, dreaming of what both of them were later able to do, at least in part, during their stay in Paris. Montes himself expresses it in the poem dedicated to him: “plus you i- we already smoked the Seine's Lucky Strike/ i - we have to give Aesculapius a cowboy hat”25. It is unlikely that there was an intellectual relationship with other characters who, like Eduardo Blanco Amor, claim a closeness that possibly did not exist.26. It is surprising that Blanco Amor dedicates a brochure to Mazas by hand, reproducing a lecture given at the Association of Friends of Buenos Aires, about an exhibition of etchings by Julio Prieto Nespereira, and where we can find expressions of brilliant modernity and deep knowledge of art and the avant-garde. , such as: "Let us highlight, and to finish, in our artist, his excellent decorative criteria ”, O well "There is Monforte de Lemos, frowning noble and stately, giving an account of his fine past and hero; there is Berbés, the motley and nervous fishing district of Vigo… …and Orense, hidalgo and mystic, where the houses are marked with coats of arms and the sun shines on the granite-paved streets, after iridescence and soft shading”…27
Nothing was Nespereira in areas of search and artistic investigation. Yes it was in Ourense at that time: with a dedicated street, for the same merits and reasons that, sadly and to the detriment of others, -who like Mazas, or Méndez are forgotten or relegated-, credits today. What would Huici, Mazas, Montes, Francisco Miguel, Jacinto Santiago, Paszckiewicz, Astorga Anta, Antonio Hermida-Cachalvite and the rest of them all think?
His ability to combine what was the bulk of his work during the Franco regime is frightening -what it meant as an official artist with positions and cultural ambassador of the regime- with his specific collaborations in Alfar or in Nós, of debatable value and evident plastic opportunism, although of a very evident other nuance and aesthetic content. For others, whose works were passed over in moments of real danger, belonging to the avant-garde or collaborating where Prieto had also done, meant death. Of course, when democracy arrived, curricular legitimization has been claimed for them by those who, during the great dry season, were champions of the ruling party and deniers of a full plastic and historical claim.
It has not been embarrassing for canonical Galicians to recognize Nespereira as their own artist given the obviousness of his production, but neither has it been embarrassing to claim him as their own despite the firm ties that tied him to the dictator's regime and on which he held for a long time.
The group of Mazas, Montes, Huici, Miguel, Mezquita, Anta, Granell, Delaunay, Paszkievicz, had -has- a greater transcendence and intellectual depth -even when they were not structured as a group, nor did they have any propaganda apparatus- than the small and reduced Galician world, united at that time around Nós, and with a position of reconstruction of the national identity that had nothing, plastically, to do with postulates that were either taken as a joke, -Vicente Risco28 or they were rechazados directly –Castelao-29 or they were not even known about them or it seemed that they were not, which is the same thing: Otero Pedrayo30, even when they were taking place in the closest geographical reality.
The group of Mazas, of Montes, despite sporadic contacts and collaborations in media such as Nós, simply spoke another language. They lived in another aesthetic realm, in other politics, in other metaphysical identities.
It is surprising, then, not only that Blanco Amor dedicated himself to talking about art, but also that he tried to pass off the work of Prieto Nespereira as specifically contemporary art, but the last straw is that he dedicated said conference to Cándido Fernández Mazas, knowing his aesthetic position and what he thought of Nespereira and his work; but in the end, the Dichi was the Dichi in everything related to art, to contemporaneity, to the avant-garde; Or, on the contrary, was there an intention to say?: look kid, it's not your thing, you and all your friends are wrong, this is what it is, it's the most: learn!. And to harass
Three years later, in the midst of the campaign for the Autonomy Statute, Blanco Amor would consider him the new Mr. Juan de la Coba31.
Neither had they had anything to do with the avant-garde -except in the form-, despite the current general acquiescence, Manuel Antonio nor the signatories of the More Allah Manifesto, -just read it-, but quite the oppositeThere is no evidence that Mazas had any relationship with Teixeira. However, there are references to relationships that he could have had with Portuguese personalities and intellectuals. A book by the poet Alfredo Barata da Rocha is preserved in the Fernández Mazas collection,
The timid attempts that Risco would have made around Ultraism, where he could hardly feel comfortable, -compare the writings of Mazas, Montes, Francisco Miguel, Huici, Jacinto Santiago, Nuñez, with those that appear in Risco's Central Europe (although it was always had as a cmaker, despite the fact that he was the inspiration for a good part of the plastic reality that Galicia suffers today)-; or with those that de Castelao appear in the 1921 newspaper, to realize what was the true intellectual reality, what was the fair and thorough appreciation of art. In recent articles on the "generation of 25" -in an attempt to assimilate to the Galician sphere such ideologically (and therefore aesthetically) disparate characters such as Mazas, Manuel Antonio, etc., or linked to each other, by sensitivity or collaboration intellectual, like Otero Espasandín-, we find that the melange is proposed again, as if they had all belonged to the same generating batch33.
What we are collecting from their footprints today is fundamentally plastic. García Luengo –one of the few protagonists still alive at that time-, interviewed in Madrid in the autumn of 1999, in a cafeteria on Calle Ibiza, is surprised to learn it; Well, like Torrente Ballester, he does not know him as a painter or draughtsman, he remembers him as a man of the theater.
In recent months, hardly any other incentive than the young company of Áida and Rocío, whom Balzac “examined”. He had made some small watercolor portraits of some local girls. He hadn't wanted to go down to Ourense more than once to go to the dentist, and he hadn't wanted to see anyone. There weren't many of his old friends left either. Juan Astorga in Madrid, but for a short time, he would immediately go to Venezuela, Juan Rodríguez Dever was already hiding in Valencia with another identity, the others had been surrendered, only Luis Madriñán remained who, despite having participated in the adventure of Akademos d'Ourens, and in the tribute at the Hotel Miño regarding the publication of Santa Margorí, and of having been marvelously portrayed by Mazas for Arelas Irtas; she never had a memory for him again while she lived, mediocre, miserably, dragging the memories.
He avoided excursions through the mountains, in which the priest Don Eduardito led, or to the hermitage of Camba. The reluctance stemmed from the lack of a capable companion, and Armando—always destroyed by his implacable and accurate dialectic—although faithful to him, could not come out of his hiding place.
Abeleda far away, unattainable, in that desert of stimuli. Caneda, the good man who saved lives and estates, with impossible loans, in the face of the despair of whom he could do nothing with words or deeds.
Ignorance, submission inhabited the earth.
I have been in Penedo a few days ago. Drados, imposing, as then. Foggy, cold, persistent rain. The parish cemetery, ruined, like so many. Perennial plastic flowers, for the occasional dead, bottles of bleach and fabric softener, with ergonomic shapes, abandoned on the stone bed on which the traveler rests. The granite equal to itself, telluric, eternal. Slime from rain, recent mosses, broken glass from the unstable vase of flowers that the wind destroyed, dangerous for pious hands that try to uproot the brambles or the undergrowth that inevitably germinates. Absence of a new cacique with influence in the Provincial Council. Routine, ignorance, reluctance, brutalization of people to whom television reached a long time ago. Unstructured territory. Poor resources that are managed arbitrarily, make up the new horizon: a prostituted moral order under which lies, buried, what bright and clean once happened, what, fertile, gave meaning to the earth.
The house has no roof. Armando had it taken out a few years ago. He decided that ruin would gradually take hold of it, since not even the small referent forests remained from the remembered landscape, which were felled out of greed. Today little more than a few pieces of mural on poor lime, some broken bottles of varnish or solvent on a shelf rotten by years and years of countless rains. The looting did the rest. Soon, by Áida's decision, even the ashlars will be removed, so that among the surrounding houses, contaminated by brick and aluminum, only the absence of someone who inhabited a non-existent dwelling in an improbable time remains.
© José Manuel Bouzas