“Ramón’s life is a continuous self-tribute”

TO Francis Threshold would not have been surprised Tamames and Vox, just as he was not surprised about Tamames and the CDS of Adolfo Suarez. When his friend renounced communism to serve in the center, he wrote: “Ramón is a political Halley’s comet.” For that of adjusting his belief to different galaxies. Threshold and Tamames have known each other since the 1970s. This is the story of a friendship. This is Ramón Tamames seen through the eyes of Umbral.

Year 1976. We are at Tamames’ house. Threshold has come to do an interview with him that he is going to publish in brother wolf, the magazine that best challenges censorship. They have known each other for a few years, we don’t know how many. This is the first reference we have found.

Threshold stumbles upon “a great photo of Marxa collection of coins, a signed drawing of Picasso and many novels Baroja“. Tamames is already a man bestseller, as well as a leader of the PCE. Several editions of Economic Structure of Spaina billet already known as “the Tamames”.

There is something mythological in Tamames. Despite his youth, he has spent several times in jail. He is the best known name of those who promoted the student revolt against the dictatorship in 1956.

In the photos, “Professor Tamames” appears dressed in a suit and tie. With dark frame glasses and well combed. He is the antonym of many of his comrades, who have learned politics in the factories, and not in the university.

“Ramón Tamames has drawn up the pencil account of what each bullet fired in the civil war cost Spain,” writes Umbral. And he will rewrite it a bunch of times. threshold, same as cambahe recycled his items like no one else.

In the conversation, Tamames charged against “consumerism and mass media“. He seems like a real communist, able to adapt “religion is the opium of the people” to “television is the opium of the people.”

The photo that illustrated the interview of Threshold with Tamames in ‘Hermano Lobo’.

From there, a crush occurs between the two. Tamames joins the black girls of Threshold as a character from those “beautiful people”. In addition, he almost always on a positive side. The criticisms that he will make will have to do with the ego and the desire for prominence. Two traits that Threshold itself recognizes in itself.

The two of them are going to inaugurate a fun game. One will be to newspapers what the other will be to politics and the economy. The character of Tamames that Umbral outlined is the one that explains his “yes” to Abascal. Tamames and Umbral are very similar.

The next reference we find dates from that same 1976. This time in a book. Its titled The politicians. There is “a rumor in Madrid”. Ramón Tamames had lunch with the Minister of Finance, Villar Mir. It is news that a leader of the PCE shares a tablecloth with a minister of Arias Navarro.

Threshold takes advantage of the situation to reason the following: “There is currently, in the country, a curious situation of duplication, according to which we have not only the positive of each minister, but also his negative or counterpart. So, Marcelino Camacho is like the antipode of martin villaand Ramón Tamames as the opposite of Villar Mir”.

Then it ends: “Ramón Tamames, a man of my same age, more or less, as well as my friendship and admiration, who has everything to be a minister in left-wing capitalism, in right-wing socialism and even in socialist socialism: youth, talent, training, personality, desire to do politics, advanced ideology, a staffculture, books, a good pen and even a pretty woman”.

And if that right-wing socialism was Vox? About the woman from Tamames, Carmen Prieto-CastroIt deserves a separate chapter. Everyone is in love with her. She was the prettiest in college (she was conquered by Ramón and they are still there, five decades later). Threshold gives Carmen cacti on her saint’s day. “Cactus in the shape of a phallus”, things from Threshold.

Tamames, his wife, Carmen Prieto-Castro, and their children.

Tamames, his wife, Carmen Prieto-Castro, and their children.

In 1977, when Tamames was elected deputy in the first democratic elections, he sent a letter to Threshold to thank him for his support. He will do the same in 1979, when he becomes the first deputy mayor of Madrid, in the coalition led by Tender Galvan.

In that correspondence, to which EL ESPAÑOL has had access, Tamames tells Threshold: “The lines you wrote reflected a friendship that you can absolutely consider reciprocal, in quantity and quality.”

Hafida’s festivals

We jump to 1981, to a book that bears the title In the shadow of the red girls. This volume describes the parties that the Tamames organized in the seventies and that continue to be done today, although now they are lunches, and not dinners. They are fun parties, watered by alcohol: “Tamames walks his communism of whiskey and theory through the halls of the house.”

There are also other parties, those at the house of hafida, in the neighborhood of Puerta de Hierro. Hafida is an Algerian socialist guerrilla, “a intellectual guerrilla who had fired into the desert night, who spoke slurred French and who still looked at you as if from behind a veil that had been torn off long ago.

What happens at the Tamames and Hafida’s house? “In all this theory of dinners there was a deepening of freedom, of democracy, a getting to know each other and the men who were going to make the new society.”

But they are not boring dinners, quite the opposite. Arabic music plays, they eat couscous. Tamames unleashes speech on him. When people are tired of so much information, Carmen and Hafida start dancing. The brothers also pass through there garrigues and other people of the jet. Tamames and Umbral only alternate with the communists on PCE stages and parties.

One of the letters sent by Tamames to Threshold to which this newspaper has had access.

One of the letters sent by Tamames to Threshold to which this newspaper has had access.

Many years later, in the red decade (1993), Threshold will be recreated with the Hafida festivities. He says of Tamames: “We became friends when the holy transition (…) We went to the embassy of the memorable Hafida, who more or less fucked us all. Ramón was the old acquaintance with whom we met, in shirt sleeves, to dance the democratic sauce of freedom with some ladies who were very hot and who knows where the hell they have ended up. Hafida gave us dates and Ramón gave us Marxism to the fullest”.

A relationship of power to power has been braided. Tamames supports Threshold from the City Council. Threshold campaigns for Tamames in the newspapers. They participate in each other’s acts. They like each other on screen. In a letter dated 1986, Tamames invites Threshold to his house to see the recorded video of a Club Siglo XXI act whose protagonists have been…the two of them!

They usually talk about literature. They ended up arguing. Threshold does not support Baroja. And Tamames can’t stand that Threshold doesn’t like Baroja: “Ramón preferred to stay on a couch with me, discussing Baroja. Ramón has given Baroja a Marxist reading as Lukács he did it to Balzac, but this type of sectorized readings has nothing to do with what reading is, simply, literary reading. Ramón defended Baroja literaryly for non-literary reasons, and when I annulled the Basque through great literature, that seemed to Ramón to be a secondary ornament”.

In 1985, when Tamames published An idea of ​​SpainThreshold writes surprised in The country about his friend’s irreverent proposal: that the capital of Spain should have been Lisbon or Barcelona.

Threshold is increasingly capturing the essence of Tamames. Year 87, also in The country: “Only Ramón Tamames, dressed in Christopher Columbuspoints out his path, logical, Ramonian”.

Francisco Threshold.

The relationship is full of anecdotes, such as when the two of them get on stage together with Marcelino Camacho, the historic trade unionist. Tamames really wants to talk and is overwhelmed by Camacho’s spreading. He tells him: “Marcelino, don’t dilate yourself.” Threshold splits.

Books are also slaughtered. They send everything they publish. Tamames sends Umbral even its reissues. Luckily Threshold does not yet live in the Majadahonda Dacha, where he will throw the volumes that are of no use to him into the pool. Tamames’s daughters –reveals Threshold himself– go to the Rastro to sell the books that his father receives and that he does not like.


When Tamames jumps from Izquierda Unida to the CDS, Threshold writes: “Then the transformation of Tamames into a political Halley’s comet begins. A Halley’s comet with a cartoon tie. From IU he goes to Suárez’s CDS, where he renounces all paper and dedicates himself to to his private job, his sensational yearbook of The country and to cultivate his orchard in a Voltairean way, which by chance is full of vineyards and gives him the sweet and violent wines that we have shared”. This “sensational yearbook” usually requires the contributions of Umbral, each at 18,000 pesetas.

Threshold defends Tamames from those who accuse him of turncoat: “It is not Ramón who has abandoned the PCE (the photo of Marx follows above his office), but the PCE who has abandoned the communists, so that the phenomenon of turncoat attributed to Tamames is the opposite of how it is interpreted”.

Tamames is only faithful to his principles, his own, which is why he manages to be a soldier anywhere depending on the circumstances. Threshold praises him: “His Economic Structure of Spain It was in all the mini-apartments of the progressives that one fucked in the seventies/eighties, between a poster of the Che and a feminist proclamation. Ramón helped us fuck almost as much as Marcuse. That’s why we love him. And for more things. You know them, Ramón, love, but I don’t say them.”

Now that the 21st century has arrived, Threshold confirms that Tamames has truly changed. It is the year 2004. Threshold writes in The world. She has gone to dinner at his friend’s house. There is something that leaves you breathless. Where is Marx? “Socialism and Marxism seem to one to be such serious and transcendental things that the other night I was moved at Ramón Tamames’ house, verifying once again that the spectacular bust of Don Carlos had passed into the smallest attics of the house.”

Anyway, and we were saving it for last, maybe today called tamamism can be summed up with this phrase. September 3, 2004, the last reference found: “Ramón’s life is in itself a continuous self-homage.”

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