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All of the man and all of the time: José Martí
The new volumes are a huge part of what Martí wrote between 1881 and 1882, when he was a collaborator from New York with the newspaper La Opinión Nacional (The National Opinion) from Caracas . The first few chronicles on the United Stated, which he later called North American Scenes had already been published in the volume nine. Now the new volumes ten and eleven collect texts with a European theme for the above mentioned newspaper. They were most of all dedicated to current issues in Spain , France and Italy , although he sometimes paid attention to some other themes such as the Americanist Congress or the meeting between Tsar Alexander III and Kaiser William I. volume twelve compiles the Constant Section published in 1881, information and valuation notes on the most diverse themes that Martí thought were a useful knowledge for his south American readers. This period of the work by Martí will be completed in the thirteenth volume, which includes this section from 1882 together with the letters from those two years. These volumes will come out of press during this year 2008.

The other three volumes published correspond to Martí's poetical creation: volume fourteen offers his poetry books ( Ismaelillo , Versos sencillos (Simple Verses) and the never published Versos libres (Free Verses)), as well as the different handwritten versions of those poems; volume fifteen puts together the collection Polvo de alas de una gran mariposa (Dust from the wings of a great butterfly) as well as its versions in notebooks and single sheets, poems in newspapers and other publications, poems of circumstances and rhymed letters, while volume sixteen collects the poems that were never published or that were never handed in for impression by the author.

This critical edition of the work by Martí is in charge of a work team under my direction at the Centro de Estudios Martianos (Martí's Study Center ) and it follows the general guidelines designed by Cintio Vitier and Fina García Marruz. The volumes of the European chronicles were prepared by a team integrated by Josefina Toledo, Yadira Álvarez López and Leanee Díaz Sardiñas with the editorial work by Dania Pérez Rubio. Volume twelve was under the responsibility of Mayra Beatriz Martínez and the editor was Aida Matilde Martín Fernández. The three poetry volumes were prepared by Ana María Álvarez Sintes and Lourdes Ocampo Andina under the editorial leadership of Hortensia Roselló Rosés. The design of the collection was due to Ernesto Joan, the realization belonged to Beatriz Pérez and the editorial composition was from Marlén Santiesteban Brizuela.

Under the criteria that a critical edition should give out the author and his time, this edition of the Complete work by Martí has set as its main goal to print the texts that came out of his pen as faithfully as possibly. With this in mind has been the work with the manuscripts, in which are included the variations, changes and corrections, so that the reader might have access to the creative process of the writer. In the poetry volumes, there are so many compositions were never published by Martí or that are kept in a fragmented way and in the middle of an elaboration process. That lead to looking for editorial solutions which would not privilege some versions over the other ones, something unavoidable when one has to point out the different versions in footnotes, because that leads to have to favor some of the variations in the lines of the poem. Being aware that there is always some privilege for some, it was decided to put in the main place the first one to appear, and all the other versions, whether it were one or several words -added almost always above or below that one- was placed in the right margin of the same line of the verse, with the required explanatory notes. Square brackets with ellipsis indicate the blank spaces that were left by the author in the original. There are also included explanatory notes of the content, crossed references and information on the publications that were not included in the previous complete works.

In every case, the text written by Martí that has reached the present day has been respected, with the only change of orthographic actualization and even though the punctuation written by Martí has been respected, some punctuation signs have been added or modified in order to understand the text correctly, with its corresponding clarification notes on the footnotes. These are employed also to clarify obscure allusions or references from the texts such as the misprints from the Venezuelan newspaper La Opinión Nacional , maintained frequently in previous transcriptions, which have lead to true headaches when trying to identify personalities mentioned in those writings.

The volumes have their own name, geographical and subject indexes, except in the case of the poetry volumes that have no subject indexes. In these cases -due to its eminent subjectivity- it seemed sensible to leave the matters to the judgment of the readers. There are also the final notes that hand in a lot of information about those persons or businesses that were important in the life or work of Martí. In order to have an idea of the huge effort that this referential body implies, volume twelve, for example, has more than a thousand entries in its name index and it cover 140 out of 455 pages. And since journalistic writings frequently lead the writer to tackle things and people that were not very important for the future, the search of information for those entries has demanded us to consult the most varied written sources in different languages, as well as specialists from different subject matters. Volumes ten and eleven also incorporate an index of the writings by countries.


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