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It is as if  the Marketing  Department were missing in all my stories.
There are many persons that live from my stories and I have to work to go on living.

There are people that have even won contests using my verses and I'm still  an almost unknown poet to the press and its "brains".

I have resuscitated more than a thousand with my personal kisses. Afterwards, when I need a personal kiss because I'm dying, I have to pay for it cash.

Someday, someone will say to me: Menassa, you lack a Marketing Department.

And I'll answer with much feeling:

- And I'd also like to be the President's girlfriend.


I'd like to know what the Presidents in Nice took to be awaken three nights and their days. If we could give the same substance to the proletariat we could even double the production of goods. Though to tell you the truth,  the poor presidents ended up tired, Mr. Aznar, for example, looked like Mr. Aznar, but in slow motion camera what could be seen with more clarity were the faulty movements of the President when speaking. His movements have no bends, they are sort of square, stubborn, up and down, to the left or to the right, backward or forward. Being so sharp in his movements he transforms the bends into cliffs, a simple "good morning" as a governmental imposition, transforms a smile into a grin.


What remained clearly explained was that in eight years time, the European Union will be called French-German Empire and, in less than five years, we will expand, of course as Europeans, the "crazy cow" disease throughout the world. And when somebody asks us why we have poisoned the whole humanity, we'll answer as Europeans do: As we didn't have enough budget we stopped doing the necessary controls, as we didn't have enough budget in England, nobody studies Medicine anymore, as we didn't have enough budget we prohibited Psychoanalysis.


Nice opens for the Eastern countries a Europe with several gears: rich, poor and severely poor.


Madrid, June 16th, 1978

Darling:  Your two letters together, it was a long time since I received two of your letters together. I felt very happy. I showed the letters to  everyone. I read them repeatedly. Repeatedly I recalled our conversations of long ago.

My life is slowly changing, God knows in what direction. A kind of small print at home, a copying machine, an electric typewriter with four different letter types, make almost everything possible, when it comes to publishing. The only thing we don't have to complete the process of editing, is binding. With some effort we can publish 700 copies of each book.

Little by little, in 30 or 40 years we'll be able to live from our writings. I'm all right, my last  writings say so, apart from the already mentioned books, I wrote on May 25th, a thirteen-pages poem in homage to the 1810 May Revolution (Argentine Revolution) and a sixteen-pages beautiful letter to Sergio where I try my first construction of a certain group history.

For the time being I prefer not to write, but rather to publish all that has been written up to now, at least those of the Madrid group, around 17 titles of which four are mine.

Little by little, without anybody realising it, I'm putting culture in my pocket and speaking of the pocket, I'll tell you that all the money I can earn I spend in letters, publications and distribution of publications.

Besides I want you to tell people, if there are people left in Buenos Aires, that I don't want to be immortal because I'm already immortal and that my only interest is to live 200 years and nowadays, this question of the 200 years is the most serious thing I'm  thinking of.

Darling, darling, I promise  you, in a few decades Europe will forget its surrealist movement. Our writings will, little by little, make us forget all past.

Cero Group, I see it clearly now, is more than a simple new style. It is what you may call a revolution of all styles. Cero Group, its writing, questions all way of saying, all way of living prior to us.

Considering Psychoanalysis I want to say that it is one of the most precious instruments at our disposal. Something that started in our  adolescence, I mean that passion put to play makes movement immortal.  Psychoanalysis will always be among us.


It never happened
it is not happening
it can only be read

Commentaries on  CONDEMNED POET

Commentary N°1:

"Stop knowing to know"

A man, Poet, Psychoanalyst, in any case condemned to be that, is who talks to us from the pages of this fundamental book, edited by Grupo Cero  Editorial, within the " Narrative 2000” collection.

The book picks up the notes and drawings which the author had been doing during the summer of 1999. In that magnificent conjunction between word and pictorial stroke, in that frame, with that method of exposition, Menassa unstrings, phrase after phrase, a theoretical body of aperture, product of his scientific work in a field: Poetry and Psychoanalysis, which is Psychoanalysis. We cannot forget that he is a poet who dares to be Director of a Psychoanalysis School.

The text is presented to us as a manifesto and in some moments it is also a statute, a new constitution, a law above all laws.

Manifesto of '99 or of the condemned psychoanalyst; I believe it to be also a manifesto of the condemned poet. As a manifesto, this text marks a point of no return. Reading it is like looking into a significant dimension of what is human where we  see that there is at least a man, an author, encouraged by an idea: "If one is not able, no one will be able". Magnificent invention that opens a fundamental slit that atomises that prior theory: " While there is a man that man cannot deal with, there won't be a man".

A man inventing new roads permanently, and always tells us, it was necessary to desire and work  for the road to exist.

To read this text and continue to be the same person is impossible. The text strikes us with great force, its enunciation-phrases crack like brilliant whips that set our thought, our morale on fire, questioning our way of being, our way of loving, of writing, our own daily life.

Fernando Ámez Miña

Commentary N°2:

For the first time I receive a book of Miguel Oscar Menassa and I find myself with a text that is impossible to comment in a few lines  because its reading provokes to make a halt and to stop looking at the pages to read beyond what is written.

Of the different Menassas: father, doctor, lover, poet, writer, psychoanalyst, etc., his lover side is perhaps what best defines what he unstrings in every line, both written and graphic.

Lover of his 59 summers, perhaps quite different to what he displays in this text, grieving like lovers over those years in Buenos Aires. Doubting like the lover between giving the step and taking the plane to shelter himself in his beloved tangos, or keeping himself quiet but always alert.

Miguel Oscar Menassa, with an agile writing, shows us without modesty a whole succession  of thoughts and desires that occur daily to any traveller but for whom writing about them is like revealing an unspeakable secret. Here the author tell us that they aren't so secret, nor so unspeakable, nor even so individualistic, they are things which also happen to him, a grown up man, "…I am alone once again as suits a great man or a great solitary man…".

Opening the book in any page we are stopped by phrases that don't allow us to continue as the density of the content makes the reader go back thinking that he has missed something, but it isn't so, because going on reading the reader keeps on finding the reasons for almost everything.

Suggestive as a lover he allows us to complete phrases, and  this way we become accomplices of his condemnation.

Lover condemn to love without being able to escape a punishment which at the same time subjugates him.

Splashed by information of his tightly packed and fast-moving life, we learn, based on strokes of painting, what although unknown appears  direct. He interweaves with a continuous and disorderly planned torrent of perfectly structure ideas that are directed to the basic columns of Psychoanalysis, of life, sex, money, work, drive, desire…

Without being afraid of coming down to the arena, he muddles himself up in his note-books and, with a sometimes brutal didactic, shows poets,  psychoanalysts, members of Cero Group and other readers the nude reality of the filth we all go through and overcome.

The poet of life, condemned to be alone permeates that grandeur of being alone, which isn't being in solitude: finally independence. To remove the ballast to go higher and higher, and tell us: "… when I travel so high I prefer to travel alone…".

Lover of desire, condemned to the celibacy of individualism we read: "Darling, we have to begin our real romance, each one of us will be what one is and this will have been wonderful".

He leads us among absurd thoughts made by illusion and questions without answers, along his well done work, previously well paid for. This lover who draws us along the edge of each page to the end without an end because his condemnation continues beyond this text.

In effect, the point between cover and back cover where we start reading this condemnation doesn't matter. In making us companions of the poet's cell he makes us substantiate  the condemnation as it occurred with that Montecristo who culminated his punishment with wisdom, his work with money, and his love with cruelty and because, as Menassa says: "… one cannot live without love, but without some cruelty one cannot reach old age…".

Mercedes Navarro

Commentary N°3:

Poetic prose, poetry in prose; condemned poet, condemned psychoanalyst or vice  versa. Poetry and Psychoanalysis, Psychoanalysis and Poetry; a field  in which Cero Group has worked on in Psychoanalysis, inaugurated by the author of the book we are referring to.

Like a newspaper - Month of August, 1999 - divided into notebooks and days, what is written and the dates pile up, follow one another, overlap. Thoughts written to be qualified as thought that leave a mark in the reality of poetry, in the reality of Psychoanalysis and drawings, faces of the being in its humane dimension, specular reflection of what belongs to the group and the singularity in each individual.

A manifesto is always a declaration of principles, a way of programming for what is forthcoming. A stop and at the same time a full stop. In the first lines Menassa points out the essential crack of all man; that permanent double dimension between what he does and what he should do, between what from all viewpoint can't be waived - his sexuality - and his ambition. He calls it illusion: the sublimated desire, what will leave its mark - the one that belongs to it - in what is social. And this way, what is shown along these 83 warm pages is debated - questioned - pure development of a writer who surrenders to work of being one in the two aspects which are significant to him: Poetry and Psychoanalysis.

Menassa transmits us - in this, theoretical book, indispensable for those wanting to mould  themselves as  psychoanalysts - that renunciation is not only necessary, that each man should construct his own and that there is no other way out but the one which each one of us is decided to pay for. And though  it is payment he is talking about, the money, the luck, the family - that is to say, the influences - are worthless because life is a game that cannot be won or lost. It transmits to us that the debt is symbolic, impossible to become exhausted. That goodness is good for no one because the one who can't, can't and that truth - strong and simple - is the Law.

To wander about the book from beginning to end, to try to reveal the mystery hidden behind the adjective "Condemned" that qualifies the author, was a passionate task, even though the solutions were given in the opening phrases of this work. Solitude cannot be an obstacle, being capable or not cannot be an obstacle: the grandeur is wanting to continue and that is a decision which transforms the essence of man, whom is fatally destined to continue.

Congratulations to Cero Group Editorial, the psychoanalysts wherever they are, the poets locked in each soul, the author for his grandeur in being a witness of his exposure in writing.

Concepción Osorio



A book written by Miguel Oscar Menassa
To get along with your partner in the Holiday Season
and during some of the working days

Letters to my wife
            By Miguel Oscar Menassa

The author of this book resorts to a formula of literary expression which has famous antecedents just as much in verse as in prose. Since Horace, with his Epistle to the Pisones. Since Garcilaso and Boscán. Since Montesquieu, followed more or less by Cadalso, Goethe, Dostoiewsky… Letters are a resource that enables the writer to open his work to mystique, with Saint Therese and in poetry, with Rilke. It is a flexible genre. It admits confidence and theorisation, realism and idealism. I suspect, from what I know, that it is a suitable genre for a literary personality - and perhaps for a temperamental writer like Menassa. That's why I think it is very intelligent of him to have adopted it in this new product of his indefatigable work.

He - according to what I believe - is above all a poet and psychoanalyst, and in this book he appears in this double - and perhaps consolidated - condition. I was going to say these essays, I was going to say it because several of these pages are small essays around social themes. However, what prevails is the lyric effusion. Of course, the poet and the psychoanalyst meddle, overlap and complement each other, because poetry is born in the psychological kingdoms of the ego, always a little absorbent.

Menassa is a rather subjective writer, and that he has gained for lyricism. He is also a diver in the interior seas and in human reactions, and this is a point in favour of his poetic-chaotic style. So that, at some moments, these letters acquire the rank of a poem in prose. Another stylistic band that his restlessness deals with. The poem in prose, since Baudelaire, was considered by symbolists and surrealists and, in Spanish, it remained "canonised", to put it in some way, thanks to the important study done by Guillermo Díaz Plaja. Some poems are inserted in Menassa's texts, but what is  fundamental is the poetic treatment  of the prose itself, what each phrase has of connotative language over mere denotation, and the support to reach substantiality.

The genre also admits fiction. The letters, sometimes, aren't really that and the addressee can be invented.

First, in Menassa's style: what he has written are more personal commentaries than letters. Second,  the addressee is real and he/she is identified right from the heading. Although, as the book develops, that second person gets away from the discourse, goes on losing importance perhaps because the value within the book - leaving aside real love - is like an instrument through which one can see the world. A world though, filtered  by the loving attitude, contemplated and valued by whom has near him a beloved one. It isn't certainly little, but the character of the addressee fades away. This is corrected in the final letters, in which the tacit protagonism is given back to the presumptive reader. It is when a certain shade of discouragement leads the poet to the intimate shelter of love. It is the seek comfort, with the desire that a kiss and the morning sun may perpetrate in his own history.

The ideological substance shows existential areas and moral shades. The poet knows that we are "condemned to continue living" although he is vital and sometimes exultant. He also knows that there is a cruel world in front of which we cannot close our eyes, although he is pragmatic. Personal circumstances accumulates and are like lenses to contemplate and modify situations. Love, sex and poetry rule, in a way, moods. Sex isn't sublimated, only its freedom and humanisation.

A great part of these letters is self-reflection; even confession. A certain thematic chaos favoured by his own tendency towards parallel surrealism that the author cultivates based on his psychoanalytical profession. Because we also find aesthetic norms, like "poetry is unconscious thinking" and moral ones, like " love is born from stems torn off from the specie".

Fluid prose sometimes with an idealistic flight that has no shame of slightly touching the crudest reality with expressions of verbal ease. Constructions and expressions from Argentine Spanish are not missing.

So complex and diverse is this new book from Miguel Oscar Menassa, who is recognisable in his personal style made up of some fifty "sui generis" epistles  in which his condition of poet excels above all.



“This novel is a monument to desire, not to its satisfaction  and desire doesn’t fit in moulds  norms”    

 Leopoldo de Luis

“ Menassa transforms eroticism into a real  encyclopaedia of sexual relations”.   

Juan-Jacobo Bajarlía

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