Gerald Brenan was able to bring together in his home in Churriana the writer Ernest Hemingway, bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguín and a local flamenco singer, and its restorers now want to recover that free and open spirit of Don Geraldo, as the neighbours called him.
After its restoration, it is now a cultural centre that will open on October 29th that will highlight the legacy of "a marvellous Hispanist, an important intellectual who knew how to unite high and low culture", the centre's coordinator, Silvia Grijalba, said in a recent interview.
Local and foreign creators will use it as a meeting place for activities that will include poetry readings, music and theatre and Enrique Bunbury, Perla Batalla, Loquillo, Javier Ojeda, Fernando Sánchez Dragó, Luis Alberto de Cuenca and Ian Gibson have already received their "Pasaporte del Club de Amigos" (Club of Friends' Passport) and will participate in the centre's programmes.
The library has works by Hemingway and Bertrand Russell, along with many other writers who Brenan invited to his home, and one room contains many of his personal possessions, such as his typewriter, his record player and the postcards he sent to his neighbours when he went travelling.
One of the main collaborators in the project, Carlos Pranger, said: "We want to rejuvenate Brenan, because most people see him as an old man sitting in a chair but that's not Brenan. We want to show him as he really was - in the vanguard of the literature of his times."
The spirit of Brenan's wife. the American poet and writer Gamel Woolsey, will also be very present. She wrote "Malaga in flames" after watching the bombings with Brenan from the house during the Civil War.
Churriana was the place where he lived the longest, although many people still associate him with Yegen, in the Alpujarra, or Alhaurin el Grande where he lived out his last years.
Pranger said: "The house in Churriana was his refuge, where he wrote his most important books and where he was happiest, because it was here where he lived during the Civil War, which was when he began to write about Spain. Before that he was a writer without a theme, and while his prose was very polished and interesting, it was here where he found his true subject."