Anything capable of arousing passion in its favor will surely raise as much passion against it. –Ernest Hemingway
I have been writing a piece without any intention of posting it here in my blog. I simply wanted to record an extraordinary Sunday afternoon at the bull ring while it was still fresh in my memory. It was the competitive end to a series of corridas in the days leading up the biggest fiesta here, La Alborada. Perhaps I will leave it with the many other private things that I I have written that will not be published in a blog or anywhere else, for that matter.
I have started to reconsider, however. I am not one to apologize for my enthusiasms normally. I do not apologize for this one. I am what I am. It is certainly not the case that I continued to attend corridas without any thoughtful consideration of them after seeing my first one in Spain in July 1971.
In fact in the past, I have thought a great deal about the morality of it. The most influential figure in my life, my father, passionately believed the practice of it to be despicable. It is a closer question than he thought, I believe, as so many moral issues have turned out to be. Nonetheless, my father will die not knowing that I ever attended a “bull fight.” That issue has become another trivial one. My father at 90 years old now, in an institution, in the end game of Alzheimer’s Disease, will die not knowing me.
Recently, I have followed with passing interest the political battle in Catalonia which ended with the triumph of those passionately opposed, as is the king of Spain himself. There will be no more corridas in Catalonia after 2012. The historic ring in Barcelona will presumably be put to other uses, such as outdoor opera.
Now, at this stage of my life, I do not give any private thought to the morality or immorality of it anymore at all. I am still willing to discuss the issue, but I have no enthusiasm for such discussions. For me the corrida is “indefensible but irresistible,” and that is that. I simply vote with my feet, walking to the ring and laying down my money every chance that I get.
Paola San Ramon after killing her first bull of the day.
Plaza de Toros, San Miguel de Allende, 3 October 2010
I am joyous that I voted with my feet on Sunday! One of the few truly great shows of any kind that I have ever attended anywhere, this one in a little minor league Mexican bull ring.
I am joyous because of the performance of the novillera, an apprentice, Poala San Roman. I shall decide soon whether to post more concerning her. The question is whether my writing of her performance and then publishing that here in my blog would dimish her accomplishment in some way. This was one of those rare occasions that was not about me, The Solipsist. It was entirely about her. We shall see if I can write it that way.