Letters from Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda
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Illustrated rustic ISBN: 9788498973020
Hardcover ISBN: 9788411266833
Of the tempestuous romantic relationship between Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda and the lawyer Ignacio de Cepeda y Alcalde a complete epistolary correspondence is preserved. This was published in 1907 by Lorenzo Cruz de Fuentes, after the death of Cepeda and at the behest of his widow, María de Córdova y Govantes.
The Letters of Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda to Cepeda are to be read as a continuation of the Autobiography. In them the author already expressed her loving feeling towards the aforementioned Cepeda and, at the same time, manifested her nature as a romantic writer.
In the first letters, between July 1839 and April 1840, the relationship is defined in terms of friendship, of fraternity. Later, however, passion breaks out. Then there is a period of separation that coincides with the beginning of Avellaneda’s public literary activity.
The epistolary relationship was re-established in a regular manner in 1846, in a context of communication between friends and lovers. In a second phase, around 1847, after the brief marriage of Avellaneda with Pedro Sabater, the relationship is presented in terms of love-passion on the part of Avellaneda, but not of Cepeda.
The definitive rupture occurs in letter 35 where Avellaneda says:
“It will be the last time we speak to each other in this world”;
and in the 36th proceeds to the return of the letters with which the end of their relationship is sealed.
July 23 at one o’clock at night
I need to take care of you; I have offered it to you; And so, I can’t sleep tonight, I want to write; I take care of you when I write about myself, because only for you I would consent to do so.
The confession, which the superstitious and timid conscience draws a repentant soul at the feet of a minister from heaven, was never more sincere, more frank, than that which I am willing to make to you. After reading this booklet, you will know me as well, or perhaps better than yourself. But I demand two things. First, let the fire devour this paper as soon as it is read. Second, let no one but you in the world know that it has existed.
You know that I was born in a city in the center of the island of Cuba, to which my father was employed in the year of nine and in which he married some time later with my mother, daughter of the country.
Since extensive details about my birth are not indispensable for the part of my history which may interest you, I will not anger you with useless details, but I will not delete some which may contribute to giving you a more accurate idea of subsequent events.
When I began to have the use of reason, I understood that I had been born in an advantageous social position: that my maternal family occupied one of the first ranks of the country, that my father was a gentleman and enjoyed all the esteem he deserved for his talents and virtues, and all that prestige that in a nascent and small city the employees of a certain class enjoy. No one had this prestige to such a degree: neither his predecessors, nor his successors in the destiny of commander of the ports, which he occupied in the center of the island; my father gave shine to his employment with his distinguished talents, and had been able to provide himself with the most honorable relations in Cuba and even in Spain.
It will soon be sixteen years since his death, but I am certain, very certain, that his memory still lives in Port-au-Prince, and that his name is not pronounced without praise and blessings: he did no one wrong, and he did all the good he could. In his public life and in his private life he was always the same: noble, fearless, truthful, generous and incorruptible.
However, Mom was not happy with him; Perhaps because there can be no saying in a forced union, perhaps because being too young and my father more mature, they could not have sympathies. But being unfortunate, both were at least irreproachable. She was the most faithful and virtuous of wives, and could never complain of the slightest outrage to her dignity as a woman and a mother.
Dissolve me these eulogies: it is a tribute that I must pay to the authors of my day, and I have a certain pride when in remembering the virtues, which made my father so dear, I can say: I am his daughter.
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