Historical pantomime

Why Javier Cercas’ pseudo-authentic Anatomía de un instante so appalled me, and El Follonero’s 23-F mockumentary Operación Palace struck me as brilliant. I’d have liked some Austen zombies, but I suppose their moment has passed. (Of cats and hares. I gave up Galdós’ inventions of nation ages ago, but enjoyed them at the time, rather…
Dan Leno, the Great Dame of Lambeth, in Mother Goose.

Hammer horror!

Why the guillotine should not be Spain’s tumbril-filler in the coming revolution.

French to Apaches: your Spanish allies are a load of big fanny girls

Or something along those lines. Jerry R Craddock clears up this and a number of other confusions in his excellent inaugural Disparatorio del suroeste. (Via Jesús Rodríguez Velasco). Galdós was politer in Trafalgar, but we all know what he meant. This one will run and run.

Hemp horses

Apparently the four corners of a square reel used in this Huesca village in hemp yarn production represent four horses bound for France. I wonder which horses these were: those that awaited the Duke of Calabria, when he sought with three others to flee the court of King Ferdinand of Aragon, or others? (If folksy…

C19th noise pollution

Nightfall in Madrid, which was apparently notorious (Pérez Galdós, Rosalía, ca 1872): In the house a sepulchral silence reigned, but outside the noise was unbearable: carriages came and went without cease; a girl cried the lottery every five minutes, informing the public, “Tomorrow’s the last day to get your tickets. 10 reals for a décimo…


Thanks for the concerned mails. The cooperative gave us the day off, so I’m able to report that, far from being drunk or dead, I am in fact drownded, and that neither in the Jesus Sea, nor in the Odys-sea, but in the rippling Manchegan earthsea, where gypsies wear latex and smell of Eau de…

More chavales

Re chav, here From a lexicon of flamenco song terms derived from Caló and thieves’ dialects (germanías):