Alfonso Reyes, Writings on the death of my father, El Colegio de México, 2014.
Writings on the death of my father brings together the main texts of Alfonso Reyes on the death of his father, General Bernardo Reyes, an influential Porfirista who died at the beginning of the February 1913 barracks against President Madero.
In the counter-current cultural movement that began in the fifteenth century, the Spanish poet Jorge Manrique published his famous Coplas for the death of his father. With this work he distanced himself from the current canon of the time, “courtly love”. Far from dedicating his work to a beloved or idealized woman, he performs a funerary elegy for the father figure: a recognized noble and military man belonging to the Order of Santiago, extolling the lineage and nobility of the warrior.
Writings on the death of my father is prayer and evocation; the sorrow of the loss and the spirit of revenge are diluted in a certain romanticization of the father: an idealization that makes him hero of a thousand battles, a powerful righteous man.
Emiliano Gironella´s illustrations (woodcuts with application of gold leaf) accompany this edition commemorating the 125th anniversary of the birth of Alfonso Reyes. The artist reinforces, line by line, thanks to a saturation of visually oppressive lines, the feeling of those “ominous days”, almost unbreathable, “the violent explosion of shrapnel in life”.