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Benet Summons Underwater Voices

An exhibition explores the hydrologic policies in León, where the reservoirs of Riaño and Porma were built. The engineer of the latter, who left submerged several towns, was the Madrid writer

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Benet Summons Underwater Voices

On February 16, 1967, Juan Benet signed a contract with editorial Destino to be returned to region. Shortly before he had finished sixth version of this novel, which would appear in December of that year. It did not have an immediate success, but over years it became one of most influential works of Spanish literature of twentieth century. It had practically No argument, it was held in an imposing and majestic style, it created an imaginary territory of its own (that "landscape outlaw", which said Ferlosio), it collected traces of Civil war which still marked Spaniards in Sixties and converted At same time and to word that wants to understand it in great protagonists of book.

Half a century later, an original and surprising exhibition that opens today, Saturday, in two venues, Musac and Antonino Foundation and Cinia of Cherries (about half an hour by car from León), takes advantage of resonances that provokes world Benetiano of region to Collect multiple stories that express enormous tear that meant for so many people loss of ir people when y disappeared under waters of reservoirs of Porma (50 years ago) and Riaño (30), but also speak of complex challenge of Those who wanted driest lands to be cultivated and fought to get Spain out of its long delay through hydraulic projects.

"If earth is hard and landscape is rough is because wear is tough", writes Benet in that novel when he describes imaginary world he invented to build his literature and has much to do with norastern area of province of León. Region ( stories). Changing landscape and water policies also has an atypical conception. The exhibition does not follow a linear order, nor does it intend to give a closed idea of what fight for water has meant: it shows that nothing is simple, it collects remainders left of past, outstanding accounts, broken Dreams, new lives that forced those Projects. The Spain of restoration and dictatorship of Primo, that of Republic, of Francoism and of democracy: in each one of m it was given in its way that tragic clash between policies that try to bring some welfare to a poor and desolate areas and Deva Station that y produce in those who will lose ir houses and orchards, squares, churches and cemeteries, ir world.

Between 1961 and 1965, Benet settled in León to deal with construction of Porma Dam. He lived in sale of Remellán and in a house built at work, and it was re that he retouched again and again that novel that began between 1951 and 1953, when he studied engineering, and that he initially titled Guard. The story is minimal. It is about a woman, Marre, who returns to region and enters in years with will to recover few moments of fullness and passion of his life, those who lived with Luis I. Timoner in aftermath of war. He arrives at clinic of Daniel Sebastián, a doctor who is only dedicated to drinking and caring for a crazed child. Louis was his godson and he had loved, so passionately as useless, his mor. So y meet and talk. They do not dialogue, y plunge into long monologues through those who rebuild ir respective lives. On way y drop, as Javier Marias once observed, "thought lashes."

Memory and present

"It is true that memory distorts, enlarges and exaggerates, but it is not only that;" He also invents to give an appearance of lived and gone to what present denies, "writes Benet in return to region. The curators of (double) exhibition are Alfredo Puente, who is part of Cherry Foundation, and Bruno Marcos, who has contributed from outside his proposals to enrich a project that emerged about four years ago. It started from bottom: from worries that remained alive in memory and in present of many inhabitants of region.

The hydraulic infrastructures have transformed landscape of that territory that inspired Benet to lift his region. The stories that exhibition contains about se changes are of all kinds: journalistic, historical, bureaucratic, political, technical, artistic, literary and, also, personal, of people of Shire. The exhibition of cherries is centered on dam of Porma, where Benet worked, and Musac, in Riaño. In first case, Manu Militarii, Francoist dictatorship, was imposed; In or, process took place in democracy and was transparent.

"What or anticipation of future than rendezvous with death fits on this earth?", writes Benet in return to region. The novel collects conflict between reason and instinct; Also exhibition: This tragic wound between policies that wanted to take advantage of water and devastation that caused construction of dams.


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