The Chicago Sun-Times-whatever today reports on continuing efforts to ban bullfighting here. It’s all a bit silly since the audience is elderly and the practice will die of its own accord, but it gets even sillier when people start getting their flags out. One of the national myths created by early C20th Catalanists was that Catalans were more civilised than other Hispanics and, as such, must have had bullfighting somehow imposed on them by those bloodthirsty Castilians. Even if bullfighting were crueler than that pillar of the Catalan economy, pig-rearing, this is simply bad history. Here’s a fragment from p 369, Vol II of the Manual de Novell Ardits, as quoted in Monsignor Francisco de P Baldello’s La Música en Barcelona (Barcelona: Dalmau, 1943):
On December 3rd, 1601, the noble deputies, desirous of extending the delight, the joy and the happiness occasioned by the birth of said princess, organised a bullfight [correr de toros], and so terminated the fiesta with much music of minstrels and many trumpets which were on the stages [catafals].
I presume the princess in question to have been Ana of Austria, daughter of Philip III of Spain and Margaret of Austria, born in Valladolid on September 22nd and married off to Louis XIII of France just after her 14th birthday, although it would have been nice if it had been Elisenda, one of the local giants, who was apparently also born in 1601 and married Mustafà the Saracen.
I’ll translate more of this book some other time. It includes interesting stuff on the restrictive practices of late mediaeval musicians’ organisations and examples of disgraceful behaviour by the town band.
- Bullfighting and Germanic imperialism
As you know, Barcelona city council this week held a symbolic debate on whether to condemn bullfighting. During it, according to
- I am burning with desire to teach the Spaniards how Nordic women can love
“This incendiary message was broadcast from Berlin to hot-blooded Spain by dazzling, blonde Brita Brager. It had a coldblooded purpose: to
- Blue world
I hate the flag-waving and military parades around October 12, particularly when accompanied by the sight of the Spanish prime minister
- Revisionist version of September 11 1714
Here‘s what Ciudadanos thinks you should know about the fall of Barcelona in 1714, mourned tomorrow by nationalists with silly flags,
- More drunken shepherds
A brief take on els pastorets.