Initially devoted myself to research on the world libertarian I read this book should be considered a classic example of innovative historical essay. However, perhaps because my skills were still precarious (although many lies had forgotten I had been taught at the Faculty of Arts), either because the Spanish edition of the book (the Grijalbo, published in Mexico in 1972) it seemed a good translation, the impact on me was limited.
The reinterpretations usually always more profitable reads. Especially when two separate actions in time. Maybe because now I know a bit more, perhaps because the translation of Anna Soler Pont is excellent, perhaps because I witnessed some distance to the process of publication of the Catalan version of the first book, perhaps because Hans Magnus Enzensberger is the best essayists and European intellectuals living’ve been fascinated by the quality and validity of a work.
The biography, first published in Germany in 1972, in the context of a hangover in May Parisian takes a fascinating and aesthetically groundbreaking on a major European myths: Durruti and the revolution of 1936. There is no biography or a report or even an analytical essay. With a documentary technique, the author tries to reconstruct a fragmentary and kaleidoscopic and contributions from different viewpoints, the origins, development and projection of the myth of militant lions forged as a leader in the Barcelona libertarian practicing gymnastics Revolutionary between 1917 and 1936 until his tragic death and controversy.
Beyond the facts, the interest lies in establishing solid story Enzensberger. Revolution 36 is not coincidental but a long and thoughtful experience heuristic as the emancipation of workers is made by workers themselves. And indeed, Durruti just be a natural leader who reflects from its sober and austere personality, values, collective moment. Not only. Durruti, as the revolution itself, as hundreds of thousands of Catalans libertarians are exempt from paradoxes and contradictions, often painful and unresolved.
What gets me surprise of all is the story of the German writer, ignored by official historiography or forgetfulness of the Transition, it assumed a gracious speech, I would say mainly in the new transformative forces. A speech (the revolution escamotejada and fascinating) that making the gap between old-new forms of dissent regarding the current monarchy and order imposed unequal locally with global excuses. To some extent, both the libertarian tradition embodied Durruti and many of his followers, as proposed by various groups dissidents, separatists and anti-capitalist or anti-neoliberal current, it is possible to organize a society and an economy regardless of hierarchies , based on cooperation. Well, it is not only possible, it is morally obligatory.
Although the author maintains a certain equidistance also seen between the lines of a revolution that fascination certainly full of problems and contradictions, becomes a dazzling example. And valid in the context of the seventies. And true today, we might add. Precisely one of the most interesting things about the book is the prologue he writes, over forty years after the publication, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, in correspondence with the editor Patric de San Pedro, held an interesting exchange of views. Enzensberger, which already has more than eighty years, reveals some facts and revealing transcendent throughout the book’s publication.
In perspective, then reread and check extraordinary quality, I have no other declared that “The short summer of anarchy” as one of the great classics of European contemporary essay, required reading for anyone who wants to investigate the present reality in the shaping of past myths.