Question for Spanish speakers: Can you imagine the organizers of Sant Jordi being criticized by the Generalitat de Catalunya and the central government? The director of the Madrid book fair in the crosshairs of Isabel Díaz Ayuso and Pedro Sánchez at the same time? Well, something like this happens to the FIL in relation to the governor of Jalisco, Enrique Alfaro, and the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador. AMLO, which sees the fair as a nest of elitists away from “good people”, even criticized the fact that it received the Princess of Asturias Prize for Communication and Human Sciences in 2020. 800,000 visitors usually pass through the WIRE in nine days: too many seem to be reserved for the elite. It is like this: any politician would wear the reader’s medal, but in these times of polarization, the enemy is not entitled to a single selfies.
For their part, the supporters of the governor of Jalisco organized a noisy demonstration at the gates of the Expo on the day of the inauguration and Alfaro did not take his place at the requetemasculina Presidential table. The theoretical reason? The use of the budget of the fair, organized by the University of Guadalajara. Representatives of the salon and the university responded with veiled allusions in the speeches, calls to “protect” the independence of the big event and an elegant group of spontaneous supporting theirs with cries of “You are not alone!”. In addition, a leaflet is distributed at official information points, the back of which is a poem by Mario Benedetti “Defense of joy”: “…of misery and the wretched/temporary/permanent absences”. The obverse is to remind the Governor, named by name, that the FIL “generates jobs, economic benefits and tourism”.
The Minister of Labor recommended the collection of poems by Mayte Gómez Molina, 29, entitled “Los trabajos sin Hércules”. quite a sign
Until now, the public relationship of politics with the most important event of the Spanish edition had oscillated between the comic and the sentimental. In the first chapter, a place of honor is given to the day when, in 2011, when asked about three books that marked his life, the candidate and future Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto pointed to two: the Bible (“I didn’t not read everything”) and The eagle chair, a novel by Carlos Fuentes that he attributes to Enrique Krauze. The sentimental chapter had its big moment when in 2019 the former president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, offered his former opponent, the former leader of the FARC Rodrigo Londoño Tymoshenko, a book by Monique Zepeda for his son of 5 years. The title was not accidental: in the same boat.
Last year, WIRE hosted the first edition of the International Gathering of Government and Civil Society and Zapatero, a star participant in the symposium, recommended nothing, by Byung-Chul Han. This year the guest was Yolanda Díaz, who took part in the presentation of Daniel Innerarity’s latest essay ―The Society of Ignorance― and recommended two books of poetry: What is the problem?by his compatriot Manuel Rivas (published by Apiario), and works without hercules, recently published in Hiperión by Mayte Gómez Molina, a 29-year-old Grenadine. “I work like a mule / Mules are crosses / between horses and donkeys and they are / barren. // Maybe working like a mule comes from / all your life is work since / you can’t give birth you can’t raise / you can’t create, whinny eat / pull the plow scare away the flies / return at the corral”. So says a poem by Gómez Molina, who later states: “Adult life is articulated / on a basic premise: / They deceived us / but they entertain us.” It was , as they say, the recommendation of the Vice-President of the Government and Minister of Labour… This will mean something.
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