Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (EFE) most intimate of the scientist and statesman that reflects his passion for reading and learning.
“A vital passion” is the title of this exhibition with which they want to commemorate the 131 years of his birth, which has been presented this Friday by the MEP and scholar of the figure of Negrín Juan Fernando López Aguilar, the granddaughter of the politician, Carmen Negrin; and the curator, the historian Selvi Hell, who has remarked that the intention is to offer a vision of the life of Juan Negrín through his books.
It is a small exhibition that begins with the first volumes that he acquired during his student days in Germany and that he completed throughout his life as a scientist, teacher, politician and, finally, as an anonymous citizen in exile until his death. in 1956, Hell has indicated.
Carmen Negrín has highlighted that her grandfather’s library symbolizes her curiosity and her eagerness to learn.
“I was always reading”, recalled the honorary president of the Foundation, who lived with her grandfather in Paris and still maintains the family home where she also keeps books from her library, who said that “it was a bit like today having internet and search for information and references; I had plenty of encyclopedias.”
His grandfather liked to be “abreast of all the new inventions that came out, literature, history and geography as a wandering man”, Carmen Negrín has pointed out.
The Negrín library reflects the personality of its owner, his interest in medicine, economics, history, architecture, chemistry, the arts, photography or literature, as evidenced in the bibliographic collection rich in languages given his facet as a polyglot.
Almost half of the collection is in German, and there are nine languages represented in total: Spanish, English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Russian, Latin and Greek. Negrín never stopped learning new languages and at the end of his life he studied Arabic and Chinese.
Six people make up the team that works on organizing the fund and so far they have managed to catalog a thousand.
Among the books selected for the exhibition are some of those published by Editorial España, the company that he started in 1929 with his friends Luis Araquistáin and Julio Álvarez del Vayo, thanks to the financial support of his uncle Domingo López Marrero, and that for Hell constitutes “the most special part” of the exhibition.
The publishing house was born to publish unpublished works in Spain or not, which contributed to the scientific, political, economic, social and cultural development of the country.
The funds deposited in the Fundación Juan Negrín include 42 titles published by Editorial España and one of the most important collections of this publishing house, the manual “Elementos de Bioquímica” (1932), was written by his disciples José Domingo Hernández Guerra -a native of Tejeda , Gran Canaria-, and the future Nobel Prize Severo Ochoa.
Works such as “Die Anaphylaxie” (1920), by Nobel Prize winner Charles Richet; “The treatment of war fractures” (1938), by Josep Trueta; “Springs on the route” (1923), by the Canarian poet Fernando González, and also with a Canarian theme “El Museo Canario. Society of Sciences, Letters and Arts» (1932).
Another of the titles that can be seen is “Avertissement a l’Europe” (Gallimard, 1937), by Thomas Mann, in which the 1929 Nobel Prize for Literature includes the article “I am with the Spanish people”, as well as documents that they reflect the relationship between the two, and on which Juan Fernando López Aguilar has spoken in his speech, who has also highlighted Negrín’s “giant and incomprehensible personality, teacher and friend of nobels”, who also already understood the meaning of globalization.
Among them, a telegram dated August 19, 1938 that Mann sent to Negrín, probably on a trip to Zurich to negotiate matters related to the war in Spain.
The telegram is in the Negrín Archive and in it the author of “The Magic Mountain” says: “Allow a German writer who admires the Spanish world and is imbued with the full meaning and value of your heroic struggle to warmly greet you on the occasion of his stay in Zurich. Years later, in 1945, Negrín was invited to read a speech in homage to Mann in New York.
The library has a long history: Juan Negrín took it with him to Valencia, Barcelona, France, England and the Canary Islands, and he only got rid of his books during World War II, when he managed to hide them in Marseille (France) with the help of the Consul of Mexico, which was in charge of its custody until the conflict ended and it was able to recover it, Hell has indicated. EFE