Profética [puebla]


Rafael Toriz
Translated by Julia Ostmann

Chatting Over A Drink
Conversation in the Convent

Being, appearing to be, and running a bookstore in Mexico is a high art, not suitable for the lazy and much less for the novice. In a country where drinking is a national sport and where disorganized realities demand constant interpretation, the invitation to buy and read books seems at first like a mistake, then a deviation. In the end, it seems like a warm welcome.
For this reason, and so the endeavor bears fruit, a few daring people have put together—with distinct success—a fascinating hybrid that fulfills two essential needs: the bookstore bar, that is, the wineglass lubricated by books, a concept not far off from my idea of paradise.
Among the various options for getting hammered among a few though learned books, the most conspicuous, elegant, and sumptuous in the nation is Profética in Puebla, an amazing place that contains, within walls dating back to the viceroyalty (the building belonged to the former Convent of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception), all kinds of intoxicating drinks, with a fountain of clear and timeless water at its center. To set foot in Profética, in all its nobility, is to set foot in the 17th century Mexico of Sor Juana, the baroque, and the cheeky, bare-bottomed cherubs of Tonantzintla: Profética, for many years now, has been the promise that the heart of another country, gorgeous and intoxicating, beats in the boundless Mexican night.
Whenever I am in Mexico, whatever it takes, I make time to visit this resplendent courtyard. Beneath Profética’s sky I have heard the years that whisper through the magnificent bookstore and in the still more surprising library. Whether I am being presented books or chatting over a drink under the stars, it is clear to me that Profética is not only an instant suspended in time, but also one of my favorite places on Earth. For this reason, each time I am given leave to cross its threshold, I let myself be led into the depths of mezcal on chariots of fire.


3 sur 701. Centro
Puebla, México.
Tel (222) 2469101


Ostmann fotoJulia Ostmann translates from Spanish. Currently she studies creative writing, Spanish, and the history of science at Harvard University, where she writes for several student newspapers and magazines. In Buenos Aires, she has taken classes at the University of Buenos Aires, Torcuato di Tella University, and the National University Institute of Art. Some of her literary role models include Zadie Smith, Gabriela Mistral, Joan Didion, Alfonsina Storni, Karen Russell, and Thornton Wilder. She is a native Southern Californian.
torizpicRafael Toriz has published the illustrated bestiary Animalia (2008, lithographs by Édgar Cano), the collection of stories Metaficciones (2009), the essay compilation Del furor y el desconsuelo (2012), the fragmented book Serenata (2013) and the somehow unclassifiable work entitled La ciudad alucinada (2013). For his work as an essayist he has been awarded the national essay prizes Carlos Fuentes (2004) and Alfonso Reyes (2012). He contributes to different magazines both in Mexico and abroad. At present, he lives in Buenos Aires.

Published on October 6th of 2014 in Shelf Love.

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