There are writers who manage to write a great work that immortalizes his name but sometimes erases his life, others become unambiguous representatives of a trend or historical circumstance to appear and disappear with it, some succeed with the popular tone that the time asks for and they achieve a general ovation that will be inexplicable for later generations.
But there are also authors who insist over the years on their own voice that some appreciate and others detest although none confuse, with recurring themes that are necessary for them and that end up being so also for its most faithful readers, who grow, mature and age with their books.
I think Luis Antonio de Villena belongs to this singular genrealthough it has been ascribed over time to this or that poetic tendency. Because Villena is first and foremost a poet, copious and colorful, sensual, cultivated, cosmopolitan and sometimes deliberately provocative.
But always personal, without cure or remedy. And besides being a poet, he is an occasional novelist, an acute and scholarly essayist, a translator of Greek and Latin classics who knows very well, a press writer, radio commentator, professor of humanities … Although his figure is not blurred, it is controversial, no one will dare to deny that form Obvious part of the cultural landscape of this country for over 40 years.
The autobiographical is present in one way or another , more or less transvestite, in almost all of Villena’s work, both in verse and prose. But in some books clearly more than in others. Thus, for example, in My school (2006), in Malditos (2010) and more recently in Mamá (2018), emotional tribute to the person who was undoubtedly most relevant in his life.
However, his most detailed and even thorough autobiography is found in three copious volumes of memories that chronologically cover his entire life, although with occasional jumps in time that can sometimes baffle the linear reader.
The end of winter palaces, memories of childhood and early youth (2015),Golden days of sun and night (2017) and The Falls of Alexandria (2019), end of those memories (at least for the moment, Luis Antonio is still young) and pretext of this note.