Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"Episódios Nacionales"

Although in my conscience I needed no amnesty, for I had done nothing wrong, yet I was forced to think of myself as a criminal in hiding awaiting a pardon.

O España, there is no dissimulation to cover thee, no mask to hide thy face, no ointment to adorn thee, because, wherever thou appearest, thou art recognised; one half of thy face in the mood of a fiesta, the other with misery grinning through it.

His Holiness Benedict XVI has descended upon Spain to consecrate Gaudi's masterpiece-in-progress, denouncing Spanish marital liberty in a stunningly impolitic curse upon the Republic of the 1930s. This is not a world away, it is not half a world away. Mormon bagmen buy plebiscites in California against our human rights, while sectarian hysterics front the corporate take-over of Congressional elections.

This is their evidence for God?

Manuel Cortes to Ronald Fraser,
In Hiding: The Ordeal of Manuel Cortes,
Random House, 1972©

Benito Perez Galdós, cited in
The Spanish Cockpit, Franz Borkenau, 1937©,
Foreword by Gerald Brenan, 
University of Michigan Press, 1963


  1. Dear Laurent, I am touched by your comment left to me on my last post. Seldom do I feel that my writing ever pulls the viewer into a chosen spot, somehow it did with you. Thanks for letting me know, it means the world to me. I watched Rebecca the other night and thought of you. The casting of Joan Fontaine was brillant and the camera angles dwarfing her was even more brillant. The best!

  2. John Russell Taylor ("Hitch," Faber & Faber, 1978) tells us the casting of Ms Fontaine was never in doubt in the director's mind, who was enjoying unusual freedom because of Selznick's pre-occupation with the Margaret Mitchell movie.

    You had created another truly evocative posting, on the urgency of sharing witness at a window, to an edifying transformation conducted by light. I think the success of that invitation depended less on the proof of your judgment than on the persuasiveness of your demand. :)

    It may be coincidence that your comment falls in a posting where the face of M Chabernaud expresses the same request. But it does, so I take the kindliness of your attendance to heart.