Mexican journalist and close friend of singer Chavela Vargas, María Cortina, has written an unpublished book that aims to strengthen the "memory of the future" about the singer.
Chavela Vargas: entre García Lorca y Pedro Páramo is a book that recounts the writer's conversations and anecdotes with Chavela, whom she met in Spain towards the end of her life. This will be Cortina's second book about Vargas, and she herself defines it as "a dam against oblivion" and tribute to her "life teacher." Regarding the title of her new book, Cortina says that when Chavela went to Madrid, she always stayed at the Residencia de Estudiantes, an institution that had García Lorca, Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel, among others, as students. She always took the room of the poet from Granada, and said "with total naturalness that at night she had heard the piano playing and had gone downstairs to talk with Federico," recalled the writer. The world of Pedro Páramo, a novel by Mexican writer Juan Rulfo, was also part of the universe of Vargas, who expressed a fascination for Comala, the town in the novel where all the inhabitants are dead. Cortina has taken the idea from Pedro Almodovar, a great friend of Chavela's, that the singer had three 'reincarnations' in her life, milestone moments from which Chavela emerged different each time. The first was her trip to Mexico at age 17, the second, her return to the stage at age 72 after an absence of more than a decade in which she lost herself in the hell of alcohol, and the third, at age 93, shortly before her heart stopped beating. This is how she structures this new book by the legendary singer.
"Those of us who still cry when we listen to her singing, those of us who think of her when our souls ache, those of us who insist on unraveling her truths, those of us who invoke her when a drink of courage urges us, know that since August 5, 2012 Chavela has been living her third life," writes the journalist in the book.