In the former home of the Cuban poet Dulce Maria Loynaz, now an institution which bears her name, I was amazed during my visit there a few days ago. I was guided by a curator who led me to the very recesses of the mansion while pointing out her possessions, telling stories and anecdotes about her, as well as quoting Dulce Maria.
The place is now a center for promoting contemporary Cuban literature, and each cultural activity has for its name a verse from our 1992 Cervantes Prize laureate.
All activities are performed in the Federico Garcia Lorca Conference Room, a name given in memory of that Spanish intellectual who visited her at her other house on Linea Avenue.
As a friend of the family Lorca played the same piano that is now in the living room of this colonial residence located at 19th and E streets in the Vedado district.
The chapel is set apart between partitions, which in my mind best preserves the Loynazian spirit.
There are religious images, some prie-dieux, a picture of her predecessor St. Martin de la Assumption de Loynaz, and even a relic of San Juan Bosco, all of which makes this architectural ensemble a special place.
Yet the showcases display few of the works by the author, which were reprinted several times after they received the most important award in Spanish-American writing.
Only a small sample of her verses but no examples of her narrative is what can be observed by the visiting public. These can be found among volumes of essays written by other authors, about Loynaz’s works that are widely valued by literary critics.
My concern is shared by the workers at this institution: the lack of a comprehensive bibliographic file. However, the library possesses Loynaz’s poetry in digital format, in addition to other non-poetic texts.
Let’s hope there’s no delay in the task of gathering her books published in print, which are a valuable legacy for Cuban and world culture.