Thursday, February 08, 2007

Carlos Martinez Rivas


Funny, about 6 months after this post on Carlos Martinez Rivas, I got this remarkable comment from a woman who apparently had been part of his and Octavio Paz's entourage more than 50 years ago in Paris. It lead to a rather touching exchange. At the time I meant to post it, but somehow that idea got lost in the woodwork of my own brain (ah, distractions, projects, love, work....). Anyway, looking over my CMR posts I saw our correspondance there, and thought I'd shed some light on it today -- almost a year later. The connective possibilities of the internet of course are now pretty well taken for granted, but exchanges like this do renew a sense of amazement at just how great those possibilities are.

Anonymous said...

I knew Carlos Martinez Rivas more than 50 years ago when both of us spent many evenings at Octavio Paz's apartment in Paris. Elena Garro, who was then married to OP, always called him El unico Carlito. I remember reciting Apollinaire's Chanson du Mal Aime one night looking towards the Eiffel Tower to him and to Ernesto Cardenal. Then, we all scattered, and some of us never met again. Some years ago a Peruvian friend gave me sad news of Carlito and the devastating drinking problem that was destroying him. (No judgment here, my own husband died of it.) That may be why he never again published. To my shame I did not know that he had published to book you mention. I just googled him by chance after having pulled out of a box a picture of Octavio Paz and myself taken by a street photographer in Paris at that time and wondering what had happened to Carlos Martinez Rivas. I did not expect to find this much. Thank you.
Monique Fong

Thursday, March 23, 2006 11:04:00 PM
Brian Campbell said...

That's a beautiful reminiscence, Monique. Thankyou. I'm really touched.

Francisco was telling me the other day was that CMR never published beyond that one book because he was fixated on the idea that a poet should only be known for one book -- like Whitman for Leaves of Grass, for instance. He intended to put out an expanded edition of Insurreccion Solitaria -- as Whitman had done with Leaves of Grass -- but was never satisfied with the configurations he put together. Certainly, though, he was also disabled by his alcoholism.

Thanks again for sharing that with me.

Thursday, March 23, 2006 11:23:00 PM
Anonymous said...

Drinking is always so complicated . . . Anyway, here's another "sweet" memory of Carlito. Some of us had spent Christmas eve 1950 (!)at Octavio Paz's place and were walking the quiet streets of Neuilly singing, in Spanaish, while CMR was playing the guitar. This was allowed on account of the holiday. Not much of a memory, but an image of another time and place.
Monique Fong

Sunday, April 16, 2006 4:39:00 PM
Brian Campbell said...

Thanks again, Monique. I think I'll make a post out of these reminiscences... something about how the net connects, and who would ever expect, etc.

Sunday, April 16, 2006 10:40:00 PM
Anonymous said...

And thank you, Brian, for reconnecting me with CMR, etc.And do you know Alejandra Pizarnik? I only discovered her recently even though we sometimeswere in Paris at the same time.

Monday, April 17, 2006 10:28:00 PM
Brian Campbell said...

No I don't. I'll have to look her up.

Today, at long last, I looked up Alejandra Pizarnik -- there is quite a lot on the net available on her, all of it in Spanish. She strikes me as another remarkable poet, well worthy of being brought into English by anyone willing to expend the time and effort...

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