For almost half el poet and Nobel Prize for Literature Vicente Aleixandre (1898-1984) wrote some very sincere and emotional letters to Gregorio Prieto, the painter who perhaps best portrayed the Generation of 27. Now some tens of these missives come to light in a compilation prepared by the journalist and writer Víctor Fernández and that the Banco Santander Foundation includes in its appreciable collection ‘Fundamental Workbooks’.
Fernández is responsible for the selection and the prologue of ‘Visit all the heavens. Letters to Gregorio Prieto (1924-1981) ‘. “They are the closest to intimate memories and reflect Aleixandre’s love of life,” says Fernández, who was able to investigate in the painter’s archives, where he found more than 16,000 documents of a very diverse nature.
90 percent of Aleixandre’s more than 70 letters that come to light are unpublished and they remained in the painter’s studio, Fernandez explained in the presentation. He was accompanied by Elvira Lindo, a writer for whom the Nobel figure “is a bit lost in literature books.” “There are many books to write about Aleixandre,” said Lindo, for whom the letters show “the solid friendship that the poet and the painter maintained over time.” Also the “great letter writer” who was Aleixandre.
“There was no relationship between them,” says Fernández. “Aleixandre is often shown naked, very deep, truthful, devoted to a pantheistic love that welcomes everything,” says the journalist and writer. They are undoubtedly letters of “a human and divine, carnal and spiritual love that in some moments reaches levels of lyric ecstasy and absolute freedom” and that present us “to an Aleixandre dedicated to love and life over literature”, he adds . He warns, however, that we are facing “a half-dialogue” since, unfortunately, Prieto’s letters to Aleixandre have not been recovered.
The poet had Gregorio Prieto as “a close and like-minded person”, with whom he could comment on things he did not deal with other writers such as Rafael Alberti. “Aleixandre became Prieto’s sentimental advisor,” said Fernández, who highlighted the “complicity” evidenced by texts with confidences about first loves, Don Quixote readings, comments about the cinema, descriptions of García Lorca or Juan Ramón Jiménez. «Demonstrates above all the devotion to live and claim what art is, an art committed to its time».
«I love a lot, this is a cataract, I stay in all eyes and I find everything its core, its essential or meritorious yolk that makes me desirable. Carnal or spiritually …. », says Aleixandre in one of the letters of an epistolary also definable as« a mystical and vital journey »and« interwoven with advice, confidences, visions of beauty, harmony, art, friendship, readings, states in the background, the freedom to show yourself as is.
«Aleixandre does her best to reach Prieto», says Fernández, who emphasizes how the “invective and distrustful Prieto” mood is sometimes perceived as confronted with the calm and forceful response, but also full of Aleixandre’s affection and compassion.
The volume also includes the poems contained in the Gregorio Prieto archive that Alexaindre dedicated to the Valdepeñas painter, who had Julio Romero de Torres and Valle Inclán as masters in Fine Arts and the Athenaeum, where he met Juan Ramón Jiménez, Lorca, Emilio Prados , Concha Méndez, and other figures of the time.
«The book is an ode to love», says Francisco Javier Expósito, literary manager of Banco Santander Foundation. “The letters tell us about the poet Aleixandre, but especially about the wonderful human being,” concludes Expósito.
Since they met in April 1924, poet and painter maintained a great friendship until the death of Prieto, despite a distancing after the Civil War as a result of a misunderstanding, which is reflected in the letters. There are very short missives with numerous attempts to stay, “that worked like the wasap of today,” says Fernáncez, as well as letters in which he speaks of the birth of his poems and his companions: Lorca, Alberti or Altolaguirre.