Feminist, lesbian and republican, the least recognized face of Elena Fortún, Celia's 'mom': “She regretted having been born prematurely” | EUROtoday

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“God knows well that I was not a good wife, nor a good mother, nor good at anything that was expected of me.” The phrases of Elena Fortune on the deathbed include inside themselves the essence of an existence, that of a author forward of her time, that of a one other self forgotten whose passage by way of life left testimony to the historical past of Spanish girls within the first half of the twentieth century. With that declaration of lack of affection for herself begins the final written testimony of the creator of Celia, the mischievous lady who conquered three generations and who recounted, with out aspiring to, the way forward for a rustic.

More of an affirmation than a give up, Maria Montesinos not with out intention put that declaration within the mouth of its protagonist for the start of I'll name you Celia (Ediciones B), his fictionalized biography of Encarnación Aragonese, a author hidden behind an alias who, in impact, didn’t adjust to what society had in retailer for her. And thank goodness. “Elena Fortún was everything that Encarna would have liked to be if she had lived a decade later. She herself always said that what a shame it was to have been born before her time,” says the author.

Encarnación Aragonese She got here into the world in Madrid in 1886, nevertheless it was in 1924 when she was reborn with that title that, regardless of herself, she borrowed from her husband's first novel. Eusebius of Gorbea, whom he by no means wished. Her literature represented an escape route for her, a haven of non-public freedom in an oppressive and controlling world, but in addition a technique to obtain the dear financial independence. “It wasn't really something sought after because she came to literature without intending to and she didn't really understand all the success she had achieved, but Elena Fortune It allowed him to have the ability to decide how he wanted to live. When she became her, she undertook a search for her own personal and sexual identity, which cannot be separated from the literary one,” explains Montesinos.

Elena Fortune

Portrait of Elena Fortún, creator of Celia.E. M.

The girl after the madre Celia was cultured, impartial and in addition lesbian, an not possible mixture for a starting of the century that was nonetheless too conservative, however in the correct firm she was a social time bomb. That firm was discovered by Aragoneses within the Lyceumthe Spanish department of the celebrated London girls's membership reserved for feminine creators and promoted by Maria de Maeztu, Victoria Kent, Isabel Oyarzabal, Clara Campoamor o Maria Lejarraga, which gave the ultimate push to our protagonist to start out publishing the tales she wrote for pure leisure. “The moment she came into contact with that group of women, all already at a mature age and with great training and culture, a new world opened up to her. She stopped being a housewife to become an explorer of new horizons“says her newest biographer. And Celia was the fruits of that transformation.

But to know how the lady Celia was born, you need to return a number of years. The loss of life of her youngest son in 1920 marked the way forward for Encarna Aragoneses. Unable to beat the ache, she moved along with her navy husband and her first-born son to Tenerife for 2 years. There she met the household of Mercedes Hernández, spouse of considered one of Eusebio's colleagues, and her daughter Ponina, a pizpireta lady who impressed the character that might change her life. “In Celia she poured that childhood that she would have liked to have, and the one that she tried to give to her children. She was always a girl overprotected by an overly controlling mother, a little frustrated dreamer who learned to listen to and interpret children's conversations and then reproduce them in her stories, with that logic and those funny twists that characterize her,” says Montesinos.

The journalist and author got here to Elena Fortune after a trilogy of novels that portrayed the lives of girls who fought for his or her independence on the finish of the nineteenth century. She immersed herself within the daybreak of Spanish openness on the flip of the century, within the advances in girls's schooling by way of the Institución Libre de Enseñanza, and the logical evolution took her to the Sinsombrero and made her find yourself as a literary author. childhood that everyone knows however about which just about nobody is aware of something. “I began to investigate it and I realized that through it an entire era could be told”he assures.

“Good literature is what survives over time and Celia's books have aged phenomenally”

María Montesinos, creator of I'll name you Celia

To lay the foundations for a fictional story that allowed her to attract a trustworthy and profound portrait of the Encarna/Elena duo, María Montesinos learn and reread till she discovered virtually by coronary heart the handfuls of letters that the creator of Celia exchanged along with her mates and lovers. in her final years, already exiled in Buenos Aires after struggling the ravages of the Civil War, which she would describe so properly by way of a Celia who was already a youngster in Celia within the revolution. The extra her protagonist grew, the extra Encarna poured out her frustrations, each private and political, on her.

His saga of kids's literature was a publishing phenomenon, first within the pages of little folksthe newspaper's kids's complement Abc which Aragoneses ended up directing; later, within the books that propelled the Aguilar publishing home to greatest vendor nationwide. And but, the creator by no means totally acknowledged the advantage. The income from that success did enable her to reside in exile till she returned to Madrid, already ailing, in 1948 after the suicide of her husband, whom she cared for, regardless of every thing, till the top of her life. She died 4 years later surrounded by her mates and have become a silent fable for a number of generations, revived within the type of a tv sequence by José Luis Borau in 1993.

“Good literature is what survives over time and Celia's books have aged phenomenally,” says Montesinos. “The key to Elena Fortún's literature is that it reflects a world in which children are really children., with its clash between childish logic and that of adults. She connects us with the child we were as soon as we immersed ourselves in its pages. Yes, re-reading is very pleasant for older people too.”