Los Siete sobre Deva. Sueño de una tarde de Agosto.

Mexico City, [Ediciones Tezontle, 1942].

Small 8vo, pp. 82; a very good copy, uncut in the original printed wrappers, light staining to spine.


US $2057€1692

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First edition of this prose work by Alfonso Reyes (in Borges’s opinion, ‘the best prose-writer in the Spanish language of any period’), written 1923-29. Inscribed by Reyes on front endpaper to fellow poet and writer Pedro Salinas (1891-1951): ‘“En busca de Pedro Salinas”, y siempre a su lado, Alfonso Reyes.’ This is presumably a reference to Salinas’s translation of Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu, which was published the same year under the title En busca del tiempo perdido.

The friendship between Reyes and Salinas is concentrated around two periods – Reyes’s time in Madrid, from 1914 to 1924, and Salinas’s time in America, between 1936 and 1942 (Salinas never returned to Spain after the Civil War, and remained in America until his death in 1951). A small correspondence between the two writers is preserved in the Museo de Alfonso Reyes in Mexico City (see James W. Robb, ‘Alfonso Reyes y Pedro Salinas (Un mexicano en España / Un Español en América)’ in Revista Hispánica Moderna, Año 46, No. 2, pp. 375-383).

The town of Deva (or Deba) on the Basque coast was Reyes’s favourite holiday destination, and the inspiration for this literary miscellany in dialogue form, a sequence of interwoven stories and essays.

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