“First what came to me was the city”: Héctor de Mauleón reveals what is behind “The Hidden City”

Modernity and large cities are constantly under construction; buildings, monuments, parks and public squares are adapted to the new needs of its citizens. In the case of the Mexico City, Since its pre-Hispanic beginnings, the large sidewalks gave way to roads and avenues, such as the famous pLa Reforma toilet or the aComing of the Insurgents. The streets and buildings keep secrets, anecdotes and a hidden City who wants to be discovered.

Journalist Hector of Mauleon He has become one of the great chroniclers of the Mexican capital, in his role as a writer he started in 2018 “The hidden city” the first volume in a series that recently reached volume four.

In interview with let’s read, Hector of Mauleon revealed the great inspirations that led him to create this definitive guide, in which he gives voice to the Mexico City, to tell stories and curiosities that have been embodied in 500 years of history.

In recent days the writer launched, again under the publishing label Planet, volumes 3 and 4 of “The hidden city”. In its pages there are bits of stories in which characters such as The Saint, Log, The Crazy Valdes Y Moctezuma, among others; he also writes about natural phenomena like tremors Y eclipses, and supernatural, like the Ghost of the Gillow Hotelthose of Garibaldi and even sightings of ufos.

For 20 years I have been trying to recover days of the city that had been forgotten, that were lost. I was looking in the newspaper archives, they are like time machines. Because you get a newspaper from 150 years ago, when you turn the pages, you begin to read the news, the notices, the announcements and you immediately feel immersed in those days, scenes of worlds that are gone are painted”, Héctor de Mauleón expressed in an interview with Leamos.

The author remembers how one of the first things that prompted him to rescue these pieces of history was his search for news related to the Spanish Influenza epidemic of 1918a passage that was forgotten in Mexican history and that only left that “Jesus” either “Health” which is said at the moment when someone sneezes, something that in those times represented an announced end. In “The hidden city” The author is in charge of reliving events that happened in places like the cinema operathe white theaterthe Pink Zone, tepitothe Main temple And till tenochtitlan.


What motivated you to release a volume 3 and 4 of the Hidden City?

I wrote this book thanks to the confinement brought by the pandemic. If it hadn’t been for that, I probably would have dragged it on for longer. When I saw the crying crowd outside a hospital, people who were screaming, asking for a bed, who were with oxygen tanks, with relatives crying, that desperation. It gave me a shudder because I never thought to see something like that; I connected it with what I had read from other moments in which the city had been hit by other pandemics, since tenochtitlan and the smallpox epidemic until the influenza of 1918.

For this double throw, Mauleon decided to recreate historical pictures that could not be included in the first two versions of “The hidden city”, those of which he had knowledge or some vague news of its veracity. The journalist remembers that it was a memoir of the mother of Leon Toralthe murderer of Alvaro Obregonthe one that made him delve into the hunt for this character, which ended up becoming the chronicle “I am a dead man who walks”included in the fourth installment of his literary project.

In many of the stories, Mauleon makes a retrospective of the past, and puts it face to face with the present, like the Mee Too Model of 1953, The resurrection of Hidalgo Avenue either Phase 3the latter, about what happened in the capital during the 2020 pandemic.

Does journalistic work influence this need to tell what Mexico City hides?

Journalism came into my life later. First what came to me was the city, I am from the generation of children who saw the birth of the mether. I saw how they dug up things to open the tunnels and how pre-Hispanic remains began to appear. And that seemed fabulous to me, armor, a spear and a shield were being found as the work progressed on the oldest causeway in America, which is the causeway Mexico Tacuba. I used to live in Saint Cosmasa few steps from the works and very close to the Sad Night Tree. Somehow. The idea of ​​a city buried under our feet, buried hidden, had been with me since before.


What do the historical fragments included in The Hidden City represent?

It is a collection of moments, completely unexpected, like when I found, one that narrates how the Spanish conquistadores arrive after triumphing in tenochtitlan and they realize that the idols, the lumps, have disappeared. Zumarraga and a group of inquisitors begin an investigation to find out where the packages of the Main temple. They interrogate and torture people, but to date the lumps have not appeared. Are they in a cave or are they somewhere waiting for 500 years? So, for me, those kinds of stories that are little known are very fascinating, they are found in the shadows, especially in our times, in which we have lost so much relationship with the past. – Said Hector of Mauleon in interview with infobae.

What conics were dropped or could be included in a fifth or sixth installment?

Many, when I realized I already had 400 pagesI had to close the book and on my desk was a mess of papers and a chaos of books of other things. What am I going to do in volumes 5 and 6 of the hidden city?I have been very intrigued by the murder of a star named Its Very Key, a successful woman, but one day she was killed by her lover and her lover committed suicide and then the newspaper headlines were covered with the news; another story is from Saint of Coyoacana young woman who, in times of the Cristero Warprevents them from taking the church of Coyoacanshe stood at the door to prevent it and they killed her and then a cult arose around her among the Catholics of that time. – Revealed Mauleon.

The series of books “The hidden city” invites Mexican residents and foreigners to delve into the stories that the Mexico City guards in its monuments, streets and historical figures. Hector de Muleon He says that the past is always an invitation to enter a mysterious world that is not as remote as one thinks and that the Mexican capital carries a large amount for being the heart that ties the entire country; The stories included in the four published books are moments to reconstruct what the megalopolis has consumed and this collection only seeks that they are not lost, that they are not forgotten and that they transport the reader to peculiar, mysterious and nostalgic times on which the city ​​and that keeps a Hidden City inhabited by thousands of stories.


“First what came to me was the city”: Héctor de Mauleón reveals what is behind “The Hidden City”