Being an unabashed Frida-phile, I ordered a used copy of The Diary of Frida Kahlo, a facsimile of her diary from the last decade of her life. When it arrived I tore open the padded mailer and let the beautiful pages wash over me. I know enough Spanish to read her entries, in her looping handwriting. After this first splash I’ll slowly wind my way through.
The book is beautiful in every way a book can be. The brilliant red-covered volume with gold lettering now rests on my coffee table.
As a cherry on top, Carlos Fuentes’s Introduction to the diary is wondrous. He describes Frida Kahlo as a “broken Cleopatra,” whose lifelong struggle with her disfigured body was the tortured history of Mexico itself.
“The laces, the ribbons, the skirts, the rustling petticoats, the braids, the moonlike headdresses opening up her face like the wings of a dark butterfly: Frida Kahlo, showing us all that suffering could not wither, nor sickness stale, her infinite variety.”
Read it: The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait, Intro. Carlos Fuentes (2005)