A Roger Ekirch, At day’s close: night in times past: “suspending the heart of a bullock or pig over the hearth, preferably stuck with pins and thorns”. Barcelona’s inquisition records and other (later) sources also contain a desperate screech of (sometimes living) cats and a wide range of barnyard animals with pins stuck into them and bits chopped off them. I don’t think I’ve ever seen pig feet used before in this fashion in Western Europe, but they have the same function as the hand (and the eye, and perhaps the left nipple) of Fatima. Above, a trinity of them on a garage door in a place dedicated to Francisco Franco’s brother, who was, among other things, a Catalan Republican Left deputy, before he changed sides (and died anyway).
Whether they keep off or merely encourage the demons, I know not, but a pig foot and a bottle of beer constitute a fearsome act:
- Assaulted by a pine processionary caterpillar!
With chunks of Dioscorides and Andrés Laguna, including the wonderful story of what happened when an impotent bridegroom and a constipated friar involuntarily swapped medicines.
- Esta quer siñela de undibel
A selection of Spanish Romani religious video.
- Monkey hangers in 17th century Barcelona
Xenophobic atavism in the 1640 Reapers Revolt.
- Monkey anis
(I once met a Tangier man who claimed to own a Barbary ape called Lisa, but let’s not go there, or here either.)
Copywriters have moved on since Darwin was alleged to have said, “It’s the best, science says so and I’m not lying”:
I use the sweet version of Anis del Mono in pastry …
- Daniel Heinsius’ solitary phoenix and the final words of the beastly bookseller of Barcelona
In 1927 the Catalan literary researcher and writer, Ramon Miquel i Planas (1874-1950; henceforth MiP) wrote a little book, published in a bibliophile edition, called La llegenda del llibreter assassí. In it he reflects on the origins and recycling of “Le bibliomane ou le nouveau Cardillac”, an anonymous tale published as if true in 1836 …