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eBook The Face of Spain ePub

eBook The Face of Spain ePub

by Gerald Brenan

  • ISBN: 189795963X
  • Category: Historical
  • Subcategory: Biography
  • Author: Gerald Brenan
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Serif (March 1, 2010)
  • Pages: 248
  • ePub book: 1830 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1975 kb
  • Other: doc mobi lrf txt
  • Rating: 4.3
  • Votes: 579

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Gerald Brenan (1894-1987) was an Englishman who set out to be a world traveler, but was diverted by Spain and .

Gerald Brenan (1894-1987) was an Englishman who set out to be a world traveler, but was diverted by Spain and ended up enamored with the country and living there off and on for about half his life. Based on his experiences there and his assiduous self-directed scholarship, he made himself into one of the greatest Hispanists of his time. THE FACE OF SPAIN is the book Brenan wrote after a two-month trip he took through Spain in early 1949, his first visit to the country after fleeing it in 1936 (having not been particularly discreet about his Republican sympathies).

Edward FitzGerald "Gerald" Brenan, CBE, MC (7 April 1894 – 19 January 1987) was a British writer and hispanist who spent much of his life in Spain

Edward FitzGerald "Gerald" Brenan, CBE, MC (7 April 1894 – 19 January 1987) was a British writer and hispanist who spent much of his life in Spain. Brenan is best known for The Spanish Labyrinth, a historical work on the background to the Spanish Civil War, and for South from Granada: Seven Years in an Andalusian Village. He was appointed CBE in the Diplomatic Service and Overseas List of 1982.

Gerald Brenan returned to Spain in 1949 for the first time since the Civil War. He was determined to see what had become of the country he loved, to speak to ordinary people and to experience life in small towns unvisited by foreigners. He had earlier lived in a remote village in the Sierra Nevada – now he returned to a land in the grip of famine where guerrilleros roamed the mountains and thousands of people were reduced to living in caves

Books related to The Face of Spain.

Books related to The Face of Spain. One Hundred Years of Solitude. Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Love in the Time of Cholera.

The Face of Spain - Gerald Brenan. Since then the face of Spain has changed almost out of recognition. The ground we covered was not entirely new to either of us. In my youth I had spent some six or seven years in Andalusia.

The spanish labyrinth. MILLION BOOKS ORIGINAL TIFF ZIP download.

Gerald Brenan returned to Spain in 1949 for the first time since the Civil War. He was determined to see what had become of the country he loved, to speak to ordinary people and to experience life in small towns unvisited by foreigners. He had earlier lived in a remote village in the Sierra Nevada now he returned to a land in the grip of famine where guerrilleros roamed the mountains and thousands of people were reduced to living in caves. Whether searching for his friend Lorca's unmarked grave, musing on the history of the great mosque in Córdoba and ancient synagogues in Toledo or chatting to provincial shopkeepers, Brenan was unfailingly perceptive. Although shadowed by police informers and harangued by Francoist priests, he was undeterred, and this witty and humane account of his visit illuminates a chapter of Spanish history that remains almost unknown. Franco's regime has now vanished, but its ghosts continue to haunt Spain. When they were alive, no one described the ogres and their victims more vividly than Gerald Brenan.

Comments

White gold White gold
. . . is to other blues what the colour of fresh blood is to other reds." And this travelogue/history/political commentary has plenty of Granada sky blue and fresh blood red.

Gerald Brenan (1894-1987) was an Englishman who set out to be a world traveler, but was diverted by Spain and ended up enamored with the country and living there off and on for about half his life. Based on his experiences there and his assiduous self-directed scholarship, he made himself into one of the greatest Hispanists of his time.

THE FACE OF SPAIN is the book Brenan wrote after a two-month trip he took through Spain in early 1949, his first visit to the country after fleeing it in 1936 (having not been particularly discreet about his Republican sympathies). The book has virtually everything one would expect from a travelogue - intelligent and perceptive writing about the landscape, the villages and cities, architecture and art (and, refreshingly, without any mention of such hackneyed subjects as bullfights and flamenco dancing). To be sure, the Spain Brenan describes is a Spain of sixty years ago, naturally raising the question whether this book can have much relevance today. Simply as a travelogue, perhaps not, but several other features save it from the garden-variety travel book of sixty years ago.

First and foremost, the book also is about the Spanish Civil War, the pall of which, in 1949, still shrouded most of the country to an almost suffocating extent. Almost everywhere Brenan went he encountered grievous poverty and human misery (such that at one point he refers to "this Belsen atmosphere"); the exceptions, as a rule, are due to the black market and government corruption. Brenan sounded out virtually all he met about their experiences during the Civil War and how they viewed Franco, the Falangists, and the then-current political and economic situation. The centerpiece of the book is Brenan's own search (under the blue Granada sky) for the remains of Federico García Lorca, whom Brenan had known and counted as a friend, and for the spot where he had been executed. THE FACE OF SPAIN does not provide a comprehensive history of the Spanish Civil War, but it does contain a lot of anecdotal evidence of the insanity and cruelty of those three years, as well as its oppressive aftermath which by then had extended almost a decade.

Second, woven into the narrative are numerous interesting snippets of earlier history of the Iberian peninsula, extending back to the Romans, then through the Visigoths and Arabs, and on to the Bourbons and Habsburgs. And third, there are Brenan's frequent insightful and occasionally provocative observations about the Spanish "character". Here's one, which was prompted by Brenan and his wife coming across several "pasos" or floats being prepared for Easter processions:

"One particularly large paso, supported on cart wheels, showed the scene of Christ being whipped by Roman soldiers: blood ran in streams down his back and his shoulders were drawn together in agony. Another paso held a glass-walled coffin, within which one saw his lacerated body and pale, extenuated face, frozen in death. How strange that this gloating attitude to the physical details of the Passion should take place in a land where beatings of prisoners and judicial murders have gone on and still go on regularly, on a scale not seen anywhere else in the West!"

For those interested in Spain, THE FACE OF SPAIN is a good companion to H.V. Morton's "A Stranger in Spain", based on Morton's travels through the country circa 1954. Both books are very well-written and from the two of them one can learn a great deal about the history of Spain in a much more engaging fashion than reading a conventional history book.
Halloween Halloween
Brenan, in his follow-up to South From Grenada, again uses deft strokes to paint a picture of a beautiful, passionate country, one not altogether sure it wants to be a part of the modern world but very deeply divided by its past. In his quest to retrace the steps in his previous stay in Spain, Brenan learns that while some things have radically changed, some things have reassuringly stayed the same, such as the loving care that was shown by Antonio and Rosario in keeping up his former cottage at Churriana. Against the pleasant backdrops of cafe's in Madrid or self-contained little villages, nestled on mountainsides, overlooking brilliantly blue seas, Brenan encounters oral histories of the unbelievably fratricidal Civil War, setting up the ongoing paradox that Spain always seemed to have presented for him. Equally as fascinating was his search for the grave of the poet, Frederico Garcia Lorca.

But in the final analysis, Brenan apparently comes to the realization that, although life in Spain had its positive aspects, he was, after all an Englishman. It is good to go; but it's also good to come back to that which we are, albeit enlightened and enlarged. Gerald Brenan again provides all the Sunday afternoon travelogue one would ever want.
Nahn Nahn
Gerald Brenan knew Spain. His book on Spanish literature was used in an undergrad course I took many a year ago at Penn State and made me a fan of la literatura espanol siempre, especialmente Federico Garcia Lorca y otras cosas.
kolos kolos
A journal of Brenan's return to Spain after 14 years following his departure during the worst early years of the Spanish Civil War and Franco's rule. His writing is sometimes very good in descriptions of the people he meets and the journeys he ( and his almost invisible wife) takes. Probably only likely to appeal to an Hispanophile like me who knows the country reasonably well.
Adoraris Adoraris
Extremely interesting personal narrative and a fantastic insight to a beautiful country that has endured through many hardships.
I'm a Russian Occupant I'm a Russian Occupant
I cannot think of another country that has been so well served by Anglophone writers. Unfortunately, my memory is not retentive enough to rank Brenan against Michener, H.V. Morton or Jan Morris.

This is the first book of Brenan's I have read and I think now I will seek others. I had heard of him for years and from descriptions of his living conditions thought he was some WW I vet with PTSD or a marginal Bloomsbury twit, but he is a somewhat uneven writer (perhaps reflecting his singular personality) who when on his game, which was most of the time, had a penetrating style, deceptively simple. A very great Hispanist and original thinker. In my memory, the only other observer who articulated what Gurdjieff called "conscious art"---the ability of the designs of ancient masters of wisdom to induce an uncanny reaction in all observers. So far as I know, Brenan made this discovery independently.

He and his wife took their tour in 1949 and this is the only account I have read of Spanish society before it had recovered from the horrors of the civil war. There are excruciating passages.