What’s on Our Nightstands: “Cartas a Consuelo: Julia de Burgos”

ENDI Cartas

I am very excited to have on my nightstand a book I had been eagerly awaiting—Cartas a Consuelo: Julia de Burgos, a substantial exchange of letters between the iconic Puerto Rican poet Julia de Burgos and her sister Consuelo. [See previous post Presentation of Julia de Burgos’ CARTAS A CONSUELO.]

This collection of letters was edited by Eugenio Ballou (Folium) with a critical prologue by Lena Burgos-Lafuente, “Yo, múltiple: las cartas de Julia de Burgos.” As Ballou points out in his notes about editing the collection, through extensive research, Burgos-Lafuente contributed greatly to the editing process. The poet’s niece, María Consuelo Sáez Burgos, also contributed to the edition process and Sofía Sáez Matos was responsible for the book design.

In an article in El Nuevo Día, Sáez Burgos, president of the Commission for the Julia de Burgos Centennial, said: “There are about 300 letters” preserved for decades by Consuelo since she was 16 years old and including private communications from 1939 until some days before Julia’s death in1953. The publication also includes a few letters that the poet received from one of her great loves, Dominican intellectual Juan Isidro Jimenez Grullón. “The letters reveal the real Julia, in her own voice,” she added.

“Son como 300 cartas” conservadas por décadas por Consuelo desde que tenía 16 años y aluden a comunicaciones privadas de1939 hasta días antes de la muerte de Julia, en 1953, explicó Sáez Burgos. La publicación incluye también algunas cartas que la poeta cursó a uno de sus grandes amores, el intelectual dominicano Juan Isidro Jiménez Grullón, destacó. “Las cartas significan la verdadera Julia, desde su propia voz”, puntualizó.

As Eugenio García Cuevas says in Hoy Digital, these letters help us map the trajectory of a life marked by the continuous pulsion of distance. He writes, “They help us gaze into an existence where multiple intellectual, existential, familial, historical, political, romantic and poetic concerns, among other impulses, vibrate, are told and contradicted.”

Personally, I can’t wait to embark on this trip into Julia de Burgos’s private world.

For more information on the book (in Spanish), see http://www.elnuevodia.com/entretenimiento/cultura/nota/publicarancartasineditasdejuliadeburgos-2004314/, http://hoy.com.do/de-julia-de-burgos-a-consuelo-burgos-de-los-fragmentos-a-las-cartas/ and http://www.80grados.net/entrevista-a-maria-consuelo-saez-burgos-cartas-a-consuelo-historia-inedita-de-julia-de-burgos/

6 thoughts on “What’s on Our Nightstands: “Cartas a Consuelo: Julia de Burgos”

  1. If there are 300 letters and 136 are published, what happened to the rest of the letters? Please be aware that the three letters from Julia’s ex-lover Dr. Jimenez Grullon were written to Consuelo. In them he’s trying to make Julia look bad as he had accused her of “infidelity” after they broke up.

    1. As Rafael Rojas reminds us in his review of Cartas a Consuelo (http://www.librosdelcrepusculo.net/2015/06/julia-de-burgos-en-la-habana.html), de Burgos explains that he suffered from “a serious mental condition that made him distrust everyone and everything” [una poderosísima enfermedad mental, que lo hacía desconfiar de todos y de todo] and that he did not want to confront his parents and make a decision to marry her–in other words that he was a paranoid cretin, Oops, I didn’t mean to make this personal, but… oh, well! Yes, needless to say, the letters are very interesting. IR

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