Cienfuegos, Cuba.— On the occasion of Benny Moré's centenary, the Mecenas publishing house in Cienfuegos, has prepared a volume entitled, Te quedarás: Selección de narrativa sobre Benny Moré, (You will stay, A collection of narratives), which serves as a tribute to the legendary musician and a gift for fans and readers, in the city he loved and around the world, interested in learning about his essence via a diverse group of literary approaches .
Starting with Bolero (Lisandro Otero, Letras Cubanas, 1984), the first narrative addressing his life, and through the present, there have been many Cuban authors who have written about his work, directly or tangentially, although mostly the latter.
As the editors explain in the prologue, many have included Benny in their novels, including Havana's Dulce María Sotolongo Carrington and Félix García Acosta, plus Guillermo Cabrera Infante in his Tres tristes tigres; Abilio Estévez, Tuyo es el reino; Pedro Pérez Sarduy, Las criadas de La Habana; and Jesús Díaz in Las iniciales de la tierra, to cite a few.
The editors' research led them to the conclusion that the musician does not appear often in storytellers' works, thus the task of putting together a collection of narratives was not easy. Nevertheless, their exhaustive search produced a collection in which the schism that separates observations made in nonfiction from the less common fictional works does not seem to be as wide, as in reality it is.
The editors state, "The stories and excerpts from novels compiled have as a common element the respect and admiration that Cubans feel for him. The people writes, a people composed of intellectuals, musicians, Blacks, mulattos, whites, Cubans from here and there who join this tribute by returning him to us with renewed life, from the perspective of each author. Here the reader will find Benny before he was Benny; Benny the boy; who came to Havana in search of fortune; Benny in Mexico, Venezuela, in his beloved Alí Bar and at home with his family. Some women would be his lovers and many would come to know love through his songs. Here is a single storyteller who proudly says: Benny, You will stay!" (As the song goes)
The new compilation was released as part of the Caminante Collection from Mecenas , and includes texts by Roberto Fernández Retamar, Bobby Carcassés, Nieves Cárdenas López, Lázaro Gual, Francisco Segundo Martínez Sosa, Manuel Esteban Taño de la Paz, Dulce María Sotolongo, David Martínez, Reynaldo Duret Santana, Gustavo Vega Izquierdo, Juan C. García Guridi, Jorge Luis Garcés, Rogelio Riverón, Frank Campos Hernández, and Víctor Joaquín Ortega, among others, in addition to those mentioned above.
The book was carefully edited by Alicia Martínez Lecuna, with design by Reynaldo Duret Santana and cover illustration by Milton Bernal Castro, to complete a work of broad appeal, an editorial effort never before attempted that can serve as a bridge providing access for all to one of Cuba's most international cultural figures. (Granma)