Tuesday, August 16

Fernando García de Cortázar: «Sánchez rewrites the past and manipulates the present»

From the «heartbreakingly beautiful» places of Numancia, to the impossible greenery of Menorca. The professor of Contemporary History tells Fernando Garcia de Cortázar (Bilbao, 1942) that this bull skin in which we spend our days resembles a thousand-piece puzzle; one that has been forged by the different traditions and classical cultures.

The resulting cocktail can be enjoyed in every town, remote village and lost hole in our country. And, what is more important, it has structured Spain and has been exported to our neighbors. In short, it forms a «cultural patriotism»That must be put into vogue. “We must foster sentimental attachment to the nation through history and the incalculable treasure

of our artistic and literary expressions. These confirm the existence of a personality beyond any political effort to challenge it and beyond any civic indolence to preserve it.

The writer refers, among many other things, to the new Democratic Memory law. That norm that, sentence, charges like a miura against the history of our country. “The current government moves in the moral coordinates of the totalitarian leaders who inspired Orwell to write his novel ‘1984’. Sánchez and his partners are determined to rewrite the past and manipulate the present at your convenience. Poor Spaniards! Trapped hopelessly under the pathological sermons of an aberrant law, daughter of their obsession with Franco.

For all this it has illuminated ‘Landscapes of the history of Spain‘(Espasa); because it doesn’t hurt to remind our countrymen that the cities they see every day were once trodden by characters like Miguel de Cervantes The Philip II. But also because it is necessary to fight by means of pen and ink against the attempts to foment the forgetfulness.

From Santiago to Madrid

Page by page, García de Cortázar travels through towns and cities in his brand-new work; villas and large cities. «I can speak of places with an overwhelming weight in our history, such as Santiago de Compostela, Cádiz or Salamanca. But also of others whose evocative capacity is more humble, although no less powerful, such as the old monastery of Suso, which recalls the dawn of Castilian ”, he emphasizes.

In letters of gold, it also recalls characters irretrievably linked to key regions of the country. The Toledo translators, the Castilian explorers of the 16th and 16th centuries and the thinkers of the School of Salamanca are just some of the many that it collects. “History is what gives depth to Spain, to which all the peoples, cultures and gods who have been something in the history of the Mediterranean gave their best life,” he completes.

The author of Madrid is not forgotten either, a city that has suffered outrages such as the stab of Napoleon bonaparte. For García de Cortázar it is key beyond its entity: «It represents in the history of Spain what Berlin does in Germany, Paris in France or London in England. No more no less”. In this sense, he does not believe that we have sinned from centralism; rather, he is convinced of its importance. “Felipe II chose it as the capital of his empire when it was only a small city of La Mancha and that decision, which put an end to the nomadism of the medieval monarchs, made it the center where all the paths of our past crossed,” he says. Although he insists that memory “palpitates throughout the entire geography.”

The evils of ERC

The same happens with Catalonia, a landscape that, in his words, has little of that independence patina that has been sold to us for some years. «I am left with that radiant, modern and cosmopolitan region, a model of growth towards Europe, of enjoying the singular fortune of bilingualism, of rejection of any distinction between Catalans because of their place of birth or the language they used, of the desire to integrate in a united and constitutional Spain ”, he explains. The same thing happens with Barcelona: he prefers to evoke the true Ciudad Condal, that “capital of literature full of hundreds of publishers”, the second homeland of the Latin American ‘boom’ novelists.

Unfortunately, he affirms, that Catalonia is the one that yearns to dismember the independence movement of Republican Left. The same party that wants Spain to apologize to Morocco for the Rif War. «It is the fashion: to judge the past according to the moral coordinates of the present, and of course, to ask for forgiveness. By war of the Rif, for the discovery and conquest of America … It is a clear symptom of a disease that the West has suffered for a long time: the tyranny of penance, expiatory masochism, “he declares.

For García de Cortázar, there is no doubt that Europe has created real monsters, but also that it has conceived theories to destroy them. “Much better than organizing frivolous liturgies of forgiveness for the abuses of the past is to improve the knowledge of this without the manipulations of the present,” he concludes.

And from large cities, to cities with a capital history. The work has hundreds, but some occupy a special place in García de Cortázar’s mind: «Ermua, for example, was the first landscape I wrote. And the thing is, no matter how many years go by, I keep hearing the cries of the people and seeing the banners and posters that flooded that terrible month of July 1997 in which ETA assassinated Miguel Ángel Blanco ». In the book it appears in the last pages, although by chronology, not by importance. In return, start with Ampurias or Mérida. In between, two thousand years of landscapes.


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