“They are the dead that are born / from the winter of the world, they are the dead / that are living and burning / with God’s oil.” Verses from a classic of 20th century Spanish poetry such as The house on, that symbolic place that represents the sentimental memory of Luis Rosales, have resounded this Monday between the walls of the Caja de las Letras, the space of the Cervantes Institute that houses the legacy of writers, intellectuals, artists and scientists of Hispanic culture. More real has been the clinking of the bunch of keys to the home on Altamirano street number 34 in Madrid, the house where the poet wrote The house on. This has been one of the many objects that Luis Rosales Fouz, the poet’s son and also a writer, has deposited forever in box 1,236 of the Caja de las Letras.
Luis Rosales Camacho (Granada, 1910 ― Madrid, 1992), Cervantes Prize in 1982, was not only the great poet of the generation of ’36, but also a scholar of the Golden Age, “of the Spanish literary tradition”, as he recalled the director of Cervantes, Luis García Montero, whom Rosales Fouz has identified as “the author of the best anthology” of his father. The young Rosales was a friend of Manuel de Falla and Federico García Lorca, who was detained precisely at the Rosales house, where the author of Gypsy romance He believed that he would be safe from the barbarism of the rebels. This did not happen and he was assassinated on August 18, 1936, just one month after the start of the Civil War. This fact forever marked Luis Rosales.
This Monday, his son, excited, celebrated “this day so rosaliano”, thanks to a legacy in rememberence of small treasures that from today are part of the Cervantes. Among them, the one he has described as “the most beautiful stamp in Spanish philately”, the one that Correos issued with the portrait, in black and white, smiling, of the poet. Also, a first edition of The house on (1949), “which my father wrote in six days,” he added. The volume is accompanied by a CD in which its author recites the verses of his most famous work. Rosales Fouz recalled that this book, a return to the paradise of the past, “remains so topical that an institution bears his name” (for the cultural and social center in Madrid owned by the Montemadrid Foundation). Rosales’s voice can also be heard on a DVD with photographs of the Alhambra commented on by him, “with his Granada accent, which he never disguised,” his son stressed.
In addition, part of this legacy is a first edition of April, title with which he began his career. A work of love poetry, influenced by Garcilaso de la Vega, published in 1935, five years after Rosales had moved to Madrid, where he made friends with authors such as Luis Felipe Vivanco, Leopoldo Panero, Dionisio Ridruejo and José García Nieto. In the Caja de las Letras there are also two lesser-known titles by Rosales: Cervantes and freedom, “A job that took him 10 years and that a Cervantist like him considered his best book”, and Sacred altarpiece of the birth of the lord, “A little jewel” containing Christmas carols composed by him and drawings.
Of the day that Rosales joined the Royal Spanish Academy, on April 19, 1964, with the speech Passion and death of the Count of Villamediana, when he proclaimed that “the language is our homeland”, his son handed over “the elegant white shirt he was wearing”; as well as a Portuguese cape, “which he used and which he once lent me.” With these two garments, two recognitions: the Gold Medal of Merit from Granada and the gold badge from Cercedilla (Madrid), the town where he lived between 1963 and 1984 and where he is buried. Finally, José Javier García Montero, owner of Granada’s Rosales manuscripts, delivered four of them, three of which are unpublished poems from Rosales de Joven, the one from the thirties.
The legacy includes a first edition of ‘La casa encendida’, which Rosales wrote in six days
This day so rosaliano has its culmination with the presentation of the book Since your steps open the way for me (Visor), a walk through Luis Rosales’ Madrid written by his son and by Cova Sánchez Talón. Another opportunity to remember not only his verses, but also some of his sentences about his life: “Knowing that I have never been wrong in anything except the things I loved the most.”