Adiós al porvenir (Farewell to the Future)

Manuel Azaña
Illustrations by Manuel Flores
Commentary by Vicente Ferrer

ISBN: 978-84-943625-4-5
Big and Small Collection, number 19 / Spanish edition / 1st edition: November 2015 / 14,85 x 21 cm / 240 pages / full color illustrations / hardcover with dust jacket / printed at Brizzolis, Madrid, Spain

The president Manuel Azaña personified the success and failure of the Spanish Republic. In 1939, after the civil war was lost, Azaña went into exile. As soon as he had the chance, he wrote a long thrilling letter to his friend Ossorio to inform him about some events worth knowing.

Manuel Azaña Díaz (1880-1940) was the last president of the Spanish Republic. For his supporters and opponents, he personified the success and failures of the Republic. In 1939, he lost the Spanish Civil War and crossed the French border on the road to exile. As soon as he had the opportunity, he wrote a long letter to his attorney and friend, Ángel Ossorio, an expatriate in Buenos Aires, to inform him of the events of the last two weeks. They are events worth knowing, and which president Azaña (a man of letters, as people used to say) narrates in a thrilling way. Despite its briefness, and the tone used, which might seem light, this letter is the chronicle of a colossal tragedy that relates the end of collective hope and a country that never was.

The letter, which has been published in volumes of completed works, did not exist as an independent work, and in our opinion, it makes sense to do it this way; perhaps it is not that crazy to present it as an illustrated edition, although something must be said about the collection of drawings that accompany it. In almost all of them, individuals that are enraged with Azaña make an appearance: some hit him with a cane, like hand puppets holding batons, others shoot him with a machine gun, and even some who dare kick him where it hurts the most. Who are the components of this jubilant mob? Behind the caricatures, some readers will recognise the members of the so-called ‘Otra generación del 27’ (Another generation from 1927): Miguel Mihura, Antonio de Lara Tono, Enrique Jardiel Poncela, José López Rubio, and Edgar Neville, who in the 30s practiced a style of humour which received the attributes of ‘new’, ‘intelligent’, and ‘free’. This group of humorists and friends, gathered in the Gutiérrez magazine, and previously in La Codorniz publication, brought a breath of fresh air to a society which, despite their efforts do modernise it, remained hostage to retrogressive traditionalists.

Inexplicably (there will be an explanation and something said in the book), during the Spanish Civil War, these creators ended up siding with the rebels and served the pro-Franco forces in their propaganda activities. By wish of Manuel Flores (and by his own merits), the poet and thinker Miguel Unamuno fights alongside the humorists, and, on several occasions, he even confronts himself.

VAT included