I find trying to describe Rafael a most difficult challenge. He was quite formal in manner, but at the same time gregarious. His personality was magnetic and listening to him always a privileged lesson. Cosmology. A poetics of life. Humor and an unparalleled imagination central tools of his pedagogy. Wednesdays were sacred. Bilmore our temple. To walk in, see Rafael at the bar and be greeted with an "ah, mi príncipe". From anyonone else it would have been simply ridiculous. From Rafael, very funny. And very special. I'll be a student forever. This morning in Diario Sur, Soler expresses it best: "Bilmore was the name we had for friendship and a weekly miracle, but also, although it wasn't written in any of our irreverent statutes –words to the wind– a way of understanding literature and society, and a way of recovering that atmosphere of vanguard that once identified Malaga." Indeed. In those last months Rafael let it be known, subtly and emphatically, that Bilmore had to continue. We tried. They tried. And it did go on, has gone on, but it's not the same. It can't be. When the center is lost, the periphery doesn't hold.
Ten years. Seems like yesterday. Here is a link to the first texts of his I had published in English.