April 1939, and the Valencian communist and later Mexican entrepreneur Arturo García Igual (Entre aquella España nuestra … y la peregrina, available in part on GBS) has, as a Stalinist commissar, been sent to the elite camp at Agde, France, where
night after night unsuspected talents [took to] an improvised stage: actors, comics, illusionists and cantaores like Chorro Jumo, a homosexual gypsy, who, apart from hanging out the washing with his lover boy, imitated Miguel de Molina with the verse: My mare gallops and catches its breath as it passes through the gate bound for Jerez. [“Mi jaca galopa y corta el viento cuando pasa por el puerto caminito de Jerez“]
Boom boom, although I may have translated cortar el viento incorrectly.
I’ve often wondered what gypsies made of Lorca, since my experience of listening to male bar talk suggests a visceral distrust and loathing of gays equal only to that felt towards payos. Gerald Howson’s must-buy 1950s look at The flamencos of Cadiz Bay mentions the hatred felt by artists towards flamencólogos, the historians, musicologists, sociologists and anthropologists who conjure complexity from nothing and manipulate the market for personal and professional ends. Another Valencian leftie, Vicente Blasco Ibáñez (La bodega, 1906, which deals with the 1892 peasant rising), specifically describes the humiliation of de-professionalised gypsy labourers and their sisters by well-off young gents in search of musical and sexual diversion in Jerez at the end of the nineteenth century. BI is fairly convincing in this and other gypsy episodes–La horda, La barraca, more?–and I wonder whether the relationship between Lorca & Co and those they chose to patronise (or not) in the interests of Art and Nation and whatever was as comfortable as we tend to think.
- jaca, for those not in the know, is said to come from Hackney, legendary home of horses (and, of course, horse, but that’s distinct and later).
- I don’t think Jerez is being used here in any specifically euphemistic sense, but feel free to invent one.
- Taken by the gypsies
Interesting report in this morning’s Vanguardia: The man who in mid-November calls the police station of the Mossos d’Esquadra in Vic says
- Gypsies & Sindhis & Catalonia
Hordes of otherwise quite sensible people here spend acres of time (makes sense to me) worrying about whether their sacred language
- Casanova warns Spanish authorities re sexual mores of “Swiss” immigrants to Sierra Morena, plus the etymology and origins of flamenco, and other items of interest
One of the many etymologies of flamenco is rather curious. From the typically poor Spanish-language entry in Wikipedia: Durante el siglo
- Translating Lady Chatterley
The other night at a leather parade (lots of parading, not much leather) I got talking to an English-Catalan literary translator.
- Galdós and those spud-crazy guiris
Where did he get that vernacular?