Remembering Ernesto de la Peña
On September 10 of 2012, four years ago, Mexico lost the wisest and most erudite man of the country, Ernesto de la Peña.
I want to remember with love Maestro Ernesto de la Peña… he was one of a kind… his erudition was huge!
He was a Renaissance man, a polymath.
Ernesto de la Peña was a humanist, He knew 33 languages, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Sanskrit, Chinese, Arabic, Russian, Italian, French, German, English… he always said that he wanted to learn all these languages because he wanted to read his beloved books in the original language.
He was a man that loved and enjoyed life, he enjoyed and loved Opera, classical music, literature, art, philosophy, languages and good food and wine too.
Ernesto de la Peña was always a very curious man, he always had curiosity for learning many things since he was a little boy.
Ernesto de la Peña learned the Greek alphabet at the age of 6, at the very rich library of his uncle.
Years later, he studied the Classics (Greek and Latin) and more later, he dedicated his entire life to the study of so many different things…he took lessons of the Hebrew language at the Mount Sinai School , and at the same time he studied Chinese and Sanskrit at the Colegio de Mexico and in an independent way, he studied classic, ancient and modern languages.
And thanks to his knowledge of languages, Ernesto de la Peña had the fortune of reading the great classics of literature on its original language, Homer in Greek, Virgil in Latin, Dante in Italian, Goethe in German, Rabelais and Victor Hugo in French, Tolstoy and Dostoievsky in Russian, etc, etc.
And what about his love for Opera? Wagner, Mozart, Beethoven, Verdi and Puccini were his favorites, actually he loved all composers and operas. But he specially loved Wagner and Mozart. He had a special tv show dedicated to the Opera, called “Operomania”, along with his good friend and Mexican poet Eduardo Lizalde.
During his career he has translated into Spanish Valéry, Nerval, Mallarmé, Holderlin, Novalis, Rilke, Milosz and Ginsberg and he also translated into Spanish many of the Greek and Latin classics.
I will post down below a link about Ernesto de la Peña, it is a video about his rich, extraordinary Library…. His huge Library is now open for the Mexicans, he had more of 26,000 books, many of them in their original language, Greek, Latin, Russian, French, Italian, English, German and Hebrew. He also had Ten thousand recordings of Opera and classical music…( the video of the Library of Ernesto de la Peña is in Spanish )
Ernesto de la Peña was known here as “the Mexican Pico della Mirandola” and now, this world needs more men like him.