Despite 20 years of European money, Spain still has a way to go before it resolves that cancer on the nation’s soul, the chronic spade shortage. Spade ownership is an important index of social development, spades being required by horticulturalists and then again at a later stage by the gardening middle classes. Travellers’ accounts of pre-modern Spain often mention the miserable state of Spanish agricultural technology (there are several interesting references in this astounding collection of Flemish soldiers’ letters from the Napoleonic era), and, strangely, Spain is still by and large stuck with hoes and shovels, and the language does not–dear me!–even have a separate word for “spade”.
No Spanish author would dream writing anything along the lines of All my hurts/My garden spade can heal, and the occasional reference in Spanish literature glorifies the sword over the hoe in a way that would have horrified Thoreau:
Strange, then, that Spain has chosen not to be part of the Ho-Land coalition.
- Spain, a nation of whores, soldiers and fools?
Spanish entries from the 1811 Dictionary of the vulgar tongue, with some fanciful etymological speculation and a mercifully brief bout of
- Did the house that Jack built come from Spain?
Or, How to cook the old lady who swallowed a fly without stooping to cannibalism. Cumulative songs (and monstrous nested stuffing
- Why Spain needs text books
Its teachers are raging butterflies, says a 16th century music publishing entrepreneur.
- Jaroslav HaÅ¡ek in Barcelona, almost
Just before he died, says Cecil Parrott in The bad Bohemian, the author of The good soldier Å vejk (that’s Shvake: “No
- Spain has always been different
Godzjumenas has a post about Johannes Goropius Becanus, who turned down the lucrative position of personal physician to Philip II of