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Alfonso Hernández-Catá

El alma de los muertos

Cuentos y relatos


Cuadernos de Obra Fundamental

Edited in 2021
24 x 17 cm
248 pages
Binding: paperback
Language: Spanish
ISBN: 978-84-17264-27-7

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Alfonso Hernández-Catá (1885-1940) was a Spanish-Cuban writer, journalist and diplomat who energized the Ibero-American culture of his time and died prematurely in a plane crash.

A versatile writer who triumphed with short stories featuring mysterious and psychological components. In this volume we gather the best of his short stories, bestiaries, haikus and semblances, where his narrative mastery is demonstrated in such evocative themes as death or war, in addition to discovering facets of characters such as Valle-Inclán, Oscar Wilde or María Zambrano. His friend Gabriela Mistral dedicated an unpublished farewell to him, which serves as the closing passage of this volume.

Juan Pérez de Ayala, historian and editor specialized in the cultural exchange networks between the American continent and Spain in the 20th century, prologues and edits this volume.

Cuento de lobos

Published in La Esfera (1924), "Cuento de Lobos" tells the story of a man, a " wrongly shaped cicada", who suffers the consequences of his affluent life and must face the past and its consequences.

El crimen de Julián Ensor

Part of "Novela erotica" (1909), "El crimen de Julián Ensor" narrates the unhappy marriage of a man and his beautiful wife and the circle of enigmas that surround them.

La hermana

"La Hermana" was published in "La Hoja de Parra" (1911). The death of his wife creates a great emptiness in Lucio, and his mind begins to venture into what appear to be fantasies.

A muerte

"A muerte" was collected in "Cuatro libras de felicidad" (1933). A battle between man and machine, confronted in this story in which technology and its role with the human being is brought to the forefront.


Published in "Blanco y Negro" (1918), it presents us with a soldier who evokes the rawness of war conflicts and reflects on the Great War as man's traveling companion.


One of the most beautiful literary pieces of his production: a bestiary that, under the name of «Egolatría», gathered in his book "La casa de fieras" (1922), dedicated to «to our colleagues on land, at sea and in the air», animals, and which reflect the love for Nature that always accompanied him.


Alfonso Hernández-Catá also liked to write poetry, as demonstrated by these five haikus of delicate sensitivity, the title of the volume, "El alma de los muertos", was taken from one of these verses.