Versado y de Larga Duración

“Y porque estamos vivos, Ismael,
aunque carguemos con la muerte
de los otros,
es que sigue sonando,
aquí en el alma,
esa campana de esperanza,
para ti,
para mí,
y todo el bonche…” Dinorah Marzán, Versado y de larga duración (1987)

“And because we are alive, Ismael,
even though we carry with the death
of others,
the bell of hope,
keeps sounding,
here, in our soul,
for you,
for me,
and for all of us…” Dinorah Marzán, Versado y de larga duración (1987)

translation from César Colón-Montijo, Specters of Maelo: An Ethnographic Biography of Ismael ‘Maelo’ Rivera, 2018 theses:

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired the facsimile reissue of the artists’ book written by Dinorah Marzán in 1987 mourning the Afro-Puerto Rican singer Ismael “Maelo” Rivera, edited by César Colón-Montijo, who has recently joined the Department of Spanish and Portuguese as a Presidential Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Princeton University.

Versado y de larga duración is a book and collection of loose items inside a cardboard album sleeve.  On the cover is the reproduction of a portrait of Maelo, with an image of Dinorah and Maelo on the back cover. The Versado pages include a photocopied collage of verses, pictures of Maelo, images of virgins and saints, Calm Street, the Sacred Heart, and more. Rather than a box, the volume is housed in a painted paperbag.

Listen to: Rafael Cortijo, Baile con Cortijo y su combo con Ismael Rivera [sound recording] = Dance with Cortijo and his Combo with Ismael Rivera. Recorded in New York, January 10, 1958 ; and in Puerto Rico, February 14, 1958 (North Bergen, N.J. : Seeco, 1993). Mendel Music Library CD 35374