Secret Love's Guide to Exile, Resistance, and the Passage of Time

Secret Love's Guide to Exile, Resistance, and the Passage of Time

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On the evening of February 5, 1936 The last hour It can be read: “A small, smartly dressed, bald, nervous and smiling gentleman shakes my hand firmly. He is the Galician Minister of GovernmentAthania. Orinoco, which takes away Margaret Shergo His theatrical troupe stopped towards America in A Coruña Santiago Casares QuirogaWith a group of friends and left-handed girls, they climbed up to embrace the great actress as she began the long journey. This was the last collaboration with the Barcelona press for its brightest stars. Irene PoloShe set off for America with the actress Molins de Rei. His last interview, as stated in the article, until his return… which never came. We do not know if his daughter is among the companions of the Republican leader who will become Prime Minister of the Second Spanish Republic. Maria Casares, Vitolina, who was then only fourteen years old. In any case, we can speculate about the first early acquaintance then, which was completed by a later meeting in Montevideo, where the Catalan singer lived in exile. We have news of the latter, because the Uruguayan actress, who was already devoted to the French state, explains it to her great love, the writer. Albert Camus. The meeting between two great ladies of the theatre, separated by generational distance and the physics of the ocean, but united by exile, is one of many small details contained in the huge correspondence between the two lovers. One of several

love story

For those who have read the book and want to remember its essence, or for those who have not read it and want to know its content, Maria Casares and Albert Camus take the stage. Free theatre del Carrere del Montseny to tell his epistolary story once again. In the age of WhatsApp and Tinder, tracing the rhythm of a love relationship – not exclusively, because over the years it becomes a kind of polyamory – and also built in writing, is a tempting proposition, like the image of “these two icons of the twentieth century. One of them, a famous woman of the French state, where I became famous Maria Casaresone of the most famous faces in theater and cinema, a member of French comedy And based on National Folk Theater. The other, one of the most influential writers and intellectuals of the twentieth century, won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. Actress The famous rose I was fascinated by reading the massive collection of letters – published in French in 2017 by Gallimard with equal success to its authors, and recently published in Spanish and, unfortunately, without a Catalan translation – and decided to select a handful of the 865 letters. It was translated into Catalan to tell a love story. Of love and literature, theatre, history, sex, jealousy, intelligence, separation, reunion, resistance and exile, embellished with further texts from both, especially the actress' memoir titled Distinguished residentWhich appeared on her asylum papers. The result is Casares-Camus: A Love StoryDirected by mario jas. Renom and Jordi Boyaxaderas put themselves at the service of the text, not wanting to “play the role” of the heroes, but becoming “officials who give heart and soul to our characters,” as the director points out, and helped in this editing by Bernard Quintana, a member of this distinguished and talented family of Catalan theatre. No need to rush, tickets are already sold out.

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Photo of the work “Casares-Camus: A Love Story”, with Rosa Renom and Jordi Buixaderas (photo: David Ruano).

Albert Camus, aged thirty, and Maria Casares, aged twenty-one, met on March 19, 1944 while reading the play. Desire caught by the tailby Pablo Picasso, to a house Michelle and Liris Oil. In that crowded Paris, where, despite the continuing party (and culture), the writer suggested to the actress that she play Martha V Mis-understanding. Camus settled in the capital since 1942, leaving his second wife, FrancineIn Ora, where she was a teacher, she joined the resistance. By then I had published my first novel, the stranger“, wrote the secret publication fighting He worked at Gallimard Publishing House. Casares had arrived with his mother in Paris in 1936, after the outbreak of war and his father's resignation from the position of head of the Republican executive, completely shaken by the events. She was born again, she said, in 1942 when she was still studying at the conservatory, and made her debut as an actress in theater. MaturinsDirected by Marcel Herrand I Jean Marchat. The first is directed Mis-understandingIt premiered on June 24, 1944. At that time, the actress and the play's author were already lovers. They joined on June 6, as the Allies were landing in Normandy. At that moment, messages began between one of them and the other.

Link and roots

In the autobiography – which is no less accessible – of the author the beach, Olivier Todd He says Camus and Casares were immediately drawn to their peninsular roots, both real and imagined. Well, although he made the mistake of attributing the writer's ancestry, literally, to Castilian. She was Galician, Atlantic, healthy. He was an Algerian businessman, a descendant of the Minorcans who immigrated to the crown jewel of the French Empire, Algeria. In 1952, the writer retraced the steps of his ancestors: “Yesterday, with the cold wind and blue sky, I drove in the Sahel, a mountainous region behind Algiers, and saw again the villages in which they had settled · My great Lar – the ancestors of the Mao. And in the cemetery of one These towns found in one corner an ancient, damp tombstone bearing his surname. No one had come to see them for a long time. No one except a descendant corrupted by civilization who had gone there yesterday to reattach the thread for a few seconds.

Albert Camus and Maria Casares.

Mikel Saints I Margaret Korsach They were not from Mahon, but from Ciutadella, but this community, rooted in French Algeria, and which had preserved the Catalan language for generations, was known as the “Monisos”. The future writer, fatherless, despite being brought up by his grandmother, a daughter of St. Louis, who did not speak French, and a deaf-mute mother and uncle, maintained a complex relationship with the family language, which in some passages of his unfinished book First house Put it in the mouth of his relatives. It seems that thanks to the friendship with Victor AlbaA collaborator with Combat, he managed to translate some of Joan Maragall's poems into French. Always cunning, John Carpenter, his translator into Catalan, relativized Camus's Catalan language “From the explanations given by the journalist about his administration, it was evident that Camus had only a very rudimentary idea of ​​his mother's language.” Despite his 1952 Roots Tour, Camus never visited the island where his ancestors came from. In 1935, after graduating and marrying his first wife, he visited Mallorca and Ibiza, the latter a favorite destination for European intellectuals at the time, as the journalist Polo explains – and suffers – in those same years, but in Minorca it did not even come close. His opposition to Francoism prevented future trips and possibly his return to Ciutadella.

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Loyalty to the Republican refugee cause

But what they have in common, more than origins, is undoubtedly loyalty to the anti-Franco cause and support for Republican exile. She, for reasons of biography and family inheritance; It is, due to his firm commitment, a true moral duty, which he has never relinquished, as he made clear in his speech “Allo que dec a España”, which he delivered shortly before receiving the Nobel Prize in Stockholm. “The French Republic has nothing in common with the dictatorship of France Franco. Perhaps it is true that we should not interfere in Spain. But yes to intervention, specifically to establishing diplomatic relations, yes is to acknowledge force and injustice by accepting their representative. We have better things to do. And if we cannot bear the unbearable shame Vichy government To put it Companies And many others in front of the battalions' guns, let us at least know how to remain silent and maintain the most neutral silence. He does not honor us, but rather protects us from humiliation.” He had written it in the Fighting Book in January 1945, when he was an industrialist Mikel Mathieu I'm planning He was on his way to Paris to present Franco's credentials as ambassador to the general's government Charles de Gaulle, leader of liberated France. According to Camus, Ambassador Mathieu Balla, “even if he is the most worthy person to represent a general in the service of the Germans, is not the right man to shake the hand of another general who has never been anything but in the service of France.” And freedom.”

Albert Camus and Maria Casares.

In the same newspaper, Camus still published “Why Spain?”, in response to the criticism of the Catholic intellectual Gabriel Marcel – Defender of the Francoists during the 1936-1939 war – whom he blamed for paving the way in Spain for the condemnation of the totalitarianism that State of siegeInstead of setting it in communist Eastern Europe. In that response, Camus recalled the martyred president: “With a few Frenchmen, it still occurs to me that I am not proud of my country. […] Under the most humiliating clause of the truce, we handed over Franco, by order of Hitlerand some Spanish republicans, among whom was the company of Louis the Great. Companies shot him in the midst of this terrible movement. It was Vichy, of course, not us. We did not list the poet until 1938 Antonio Machado In a concentration camp he only left to die.” Without hesitation, the writer added: “Where are the killers of Companis? In Moscow or in our country? You have to answer: In our country. It must be said that we shot companies, and that we are responsible for everything that happened after that.

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Specifically, Casares points out Carmen Ballestre, the widow of the state president who was shot, when he commented to Camus about the text he was going to write for the newsletter of the Spanish Refugee Assistance Committee. It's not the only Catalan reference they share, apart from several references to it Pau Casals. In 1951, the writer received a proposal for release The righteous In Barcelona, ​​he asked his lover for advice. She spoke with her father's friend, the former Republican president juan negrin, He advised him that, by taking all necessary measures to maintain fidelity to the work – a reflection of the use of political violence set in pre-revolutionary Russia – he should accept everything that could help in leaving his opinion. In any case, the text was directed by me Mikel Porter And translated Bonaventura vallespinosa In 1960, it was not performed in Barcelona until 1964, by members of the Experimental Theater Catala. one of its members, Vincent Olivaresis mentioned in the book of memories he wrote Sebastian Bensar The difficulties they faced with proper authorization from Camus's widow – he was never able to divorce the mother of his children; Jan I CatherineResponsible for editing the letters between her father and Casares – precisely because of her late husband's relationship with the actress. On January 4, 1960, Albert Camus died in a traffic accident. “I am so happy to see you again that I laugh as I write. I have closed my folders and am no longer working (so many family members and so many family friends!). I no longer have any reason to deprive myself of your laughter, our evenings, or my country. “I kiss you.” I hug you until Tuesday, when I will do it again,” he said in the last letter, written before the fateful car trip in which he lost his life, with the editor. Gallimard.

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