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José Bergamín, a writer from Madrid living in exile in Mexico, draws up a welcoming speech as a member of the Junta de Cultura Española addressed to all of those who worked in Spain for its cultural life and for his defense. He further addresses those who, in his words, are also collectively exiled with that huge Spanish total of exiles, who are called “the people of Spain.” In his exalted speech Benjamin also appeals to a pair of emblematic figures, two glorious names who together fought for the people of Spain: the poet born in Córdoba, Federico García Lorca “cowardly assassinated by those same ones who knew that by assassinating him, they were assassinating live poetry” as well as to “our most glorious intellectual of Spain,” who is also a poet, Don Antonio Machado.


The essay by José Bergamín (1895-1983) gives voice to the desire that is obvious in many texts about the exile: to prevent that by being in Mexico, the development of the culture of Spain might be lost. It is the desire to save the authentic and traditional as well as the new culture of Spain, its true spiritual physiognomy. At the same time it expresses an attitude of appreciation for the intellectual space that the new country offers to those in exile.

In Mexico, in 1940, José Bergamín founded the magazine España Peregrina [The Pilgrimage of Spain], which lent a voice to the ideals of the Junta de Cultura Española, and the first cultural magazine about the exile. This became an open space for the publication of texts about art history and art criticism. Two years later España Peregrina became Cuadernos Americanos [Notebooks for the Americas] thathad longer staying power. However, in that first version, its founder intended to keep alive the spirit of the generation of the recently arrived exiles from the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939).

María Teresa Suárez / Guadalupe Tolosa : CURARE A. C.
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico
Ateneo Español de México, A. C.