Bullfighting is the only art in which the artist is in danger of death and in which the degree of brilliance in the performance is left to the fighter’s honor.—-Ernest Hemingway
“The bulls are my best friends.”
I translated to Brett.
“You kill your friends?” she asked.
“Always,” he said in English, and laughed. “So they don’t kill me.”
― Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises
“Down below the narrow street was empty. All the balconies were crowded with people. Suddenly a crowd came down the street. They were all running, packed close together. They passed along and up the street toward the bull-ring and behind them came more men running faster, and then some stragglers who were really running. Behind them was a little bare space, and then the bulls galloping, tossing their heads up and down. It all went out of sight around the corner. One man fell, rolled to the gutter, and lay quiet. But the bulls went right on and did not notice him. They were all running together.”
—Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises
Most of the “Bulls” (female Roller Derby team members) in the New Orleans version of Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls wear similar, red-themed, skimpy outfits complete with gaudy decorations – in the New Orleans style.
One Bull dressed in blue – with a bit more class, including a matching plastic bat. She looked great – though she did complain of the heat in her outfit.
“Everyone behaves badly–given the chance.”
—-Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises
“In bull-fighting they speak of the terrain of the bull and the terrain of the bull-fighter. As long as a bull-fighter stays in his own terrain he is comparatively safe. Each time he enters into the terrain of the bull he is in great danger. Belmonte, in his best days, worked always in the terrain of the bull. This way he gave the sensation of coming tragedy.”
—- The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
“The stretch of ground from the edge of the town to the bull-ring was muddy. There was a crowd all along the fence that led to the ring, and the outside balconies and the top of the bull-ring were solid with people. I heard the rocket and I knew I could not get into the ring in time to see the bulls come in, so I shoved through the crowd to the fence. I was pushed close against the planks of the fence. Between the two fences of the runway the police were clearing the crowd along. They walked or trotted on into the bull-ring. Then people commenced to come running. A drunk slipped and fell. Two policemen grabbed him and rushed him over to the fence. The crowd were running fast now. There was a great shout from the crowd, and putting my head through between the boards I saw the bulls just coming out of the street into the long running pen. They were going fast and gaining on the crowd. Just then another drunk started out from the fence with a blouse in his hands. He wanted to do capework with the bulls. The two policemen tore out, collared him, one hit him with a club, and they dragged him against the fence and stood flattened out against the fence as the last of the crowd and the bulls went by. There were so many people running ahead of the bulls that the mass thickened and slowed up going through the gate into the ring, and as the bulls passed, galloping together, heavy, muddy-sided, horns swinging, one shot ahead, caught a man in the running crowd in the back and lifted him in the air. Both the man’s arms were by his sides, his head went back as the horn went in, and the bull lifted him and then dropped him. The bull picked another man running in front, but the man disappeared into the crowd, and the crowd was through the gate and into the ring with the bulls behind them. The red door of the ring went shut, the crowd on the outside balconies of the bull-ring were pressing through to the inside, there was a shout, then another shout.
The man who had been gored lay face down in the trampled mud. People climbed over the fence, and I could not see the man because the crowd was so thick around him. From inside the ring came the shouts. Each shout meant a charge by some bull into the crowd. You could tell by the degree of intensity in the shout how bad a thing it was that was happening. Then the rocket went up that meant the steers had gotten the bulls out of the ring and into the corrals. I left the fence and started back toward the town.”
—-Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises
Ever since reading The Sun Also Rises and The Drifters as a kid I have wanted to go to Pamplona and see the running of the bulls. Will probably never get to do that – I don’t feel the urge as much as I used to.
On my last trip to New Orleans, I was able to do the second best thing. For over a decade they have had a running of the bulls in the Big Easy. Instead of real bulls – the participants run from a horn wearing women’s roller derby team which chases and smacks the participants with plastic baseball bats.
A bit of fun and a great opportunity for photos.
Then and Now:
In Dallas, October means the State Fair. And the State Fair means fried stuff.
Martyn Ashton takes the £10k carbon road bike used by Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins & Mark Cavendish for a ride with a difference. With a plan to push the limits of road biking as far as his lycra legs would dare, Martyn looked to get his ultimate ride out of the awesome Pinarello Dogma 2. This bike won the 2012 Tour de France – surely it deserves a Road Bike Party!
Shot in various locations around the UK and featuring music from ‘Sound of Guns’. Road Bike Party captures some of the toughest stunts ever pulled on a carbon road bike.
Blood Meridian used to be a much different novel. McCarthy’s early drafts reveal how an American masterpiece was born.
At least this is what I pictured after I came across a recipe for homemade gunpowder in McCarthy’s notes. The laminated recipe, scrawled in small cursive letters on a bail bondsman’s notepad, is part of the Cormac McCarthy Papers—98 boxes of notes, letters, drafts, and correspondences on all of the reclusive author’s works—archived at Texas State University-San Marco’s Wittliff Collections. Bought for $2 million in 2008 as a joint venture between the university and Bill Wittliff (screenwriter of Lonesome Dove), the collection includes unpublished material such as a screenplay, Whales and Men, and drafts of an upcoming novel, The Passenger (not available for reading until after publication). But of primary interest to McCarthy’s most devoted fans are the multiple drafts of the Tennessean’s magnum opus, Blood Meridian or the Evening Redness in the West. The archives give us a unique look inside the working method of an artist who speaks little about his own work—and gives us clues as to how his reticence, when brought into Blood Meridian itself, transformed a good book into a cold-blooded masterpiece.
I’m not generally a big fan of bridal photograph shoots – but this one will do:
I live in a… well, in a completely different world than Camile Paglia. However, I’ve been reading some of her work online, am very interested in the book she is about to publish, and surprised how much we think alike, though our points of view are so very different.
Some meaty thought in some of these articles:
How Capitalism Can Save Art
Camille Paglia on why a new generation has chosen iPhones and other glittering gadgets as its canvas.
WHITHER THE ARTS? At Ricochet, Dave Carter links to Camille Paglia’s essay in the Wall Street Journal on the decline of the art world with a reminder of the wonders of the 700-year old Cologne Cathedral.
In the comments, Michael Malone of Forbes, ABC and PJM reminded readers of how the church managed to survive World War II:
I hate to burst anybody’s bubble about the ‘miraculous’ survival of Cologne Cathedral in WWII, but it was anything but that. When my parents were touring the cathedral years ago and the tour guide began describing this miracle, my father, who actually had bombed Cologne, whispered to my mother, “We left it standing because it was perfect for targetting the rest of the city.” On the same trip, sitting at a cafe enjoying his morning weiss beer and veal sausage, a local struck up a conversation with him, eventually asking, “Have you been to Cologne before, Herr Malone?” My father casually replied, “No, but I’ve flown over it a couple times. . .”
And finally, a very interesting interview with some surprising points:
I don’t like the situation where the Democratic Party is the party of art and entertainment, the party of culture, while the Republicans have become the party of economics and traditional religion. What that does is weaken both sides. One of the themes in my book is the current impoverishment of the art world because of its knee-jerk hostility to religion, which is everywhere. That kind of sneering at religion that Christopher Hitchens specialized in, despite his total ignorance of religion and his unadmirable lifestyle, was no model for atheism. I think Hitchens was a burden to atheism in terms of his decadent circuit of constant parties and showy blather. He was a sybaritic socialite and roué – not a deep thinker — whose topical, meandering writing will not last. And I’m no fan of Richard Dawkins’ sniping, sniggering style of atheism, either.
A responsible atheist needs to be informed about religion in order to reject it. But the shallow, smirky atheism that’s au courant is simply strengthening the power of the Right. Secular humanism is spiritually hollow right now because art is so weak. If you don’t have art as a replacement for the Bible, then you’ve got nothing that is culturally sustaining. If all you have is “Mad Men” and the Jon Stewart “Daily Show,” then religion is going to win, because people need something as a framework to understand life. Every great religion contains enormous truths about the universe. That’s why my ’60s generation followed the Beat movement toward Zen Buddhism and then opened up that avenue to Hinduism – which is why the Beatles went to India with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Then it all disappeared, when people became disillusioned with gurus. But spiritual quest was one of the great themes of the ’60s that has been lost and forgotten – that reverent embrace of all the world religions. This is why our art has become so narrow and empty. People in the humanities have sunk into this shallow, snobby, liberal style of stereotyping religious believers as ignorant and medieval, which is total nonsense. And meanwhile, the entire professional class in Manhattan and Los Angeles is doping themselves on meds and trying to survive in their manic, anxiety-filled world. And what are they producing that is of the slightest interest? Nothing. Nothing is being produced in movies or the fine arts today (except in architecture) that is not derivative of something else.
I found a nice little cafe in the Bishop Arts District. It’s a latin inspired coffeehouse called Espumoso Caffe. Inside, it’s a dark, relaxed place with an inviting couch and window seating – I’ll have to try that place as a writing location sometime. Today, though, I bought my coffee and settled in to a little table on the sidewalk to sip and do some people watching. They were playing some awesome latin jazz on a speaker over the door.
I sat there looking at the posters on the clothing store next door. Let’s see, what do we have going on in the big evil city… Salsa Lessons, Music at the Granada, Blood and Black Lace at the Texas Theater, and Roller Derby…. I’d like to see me some Roller Derby.
Out in front was the usual display of bikes for sale. One, in particular, really caught my eye. Not an ultralight racing machine, this was an urban bomber sort of bike – a beautifully utilitarian ride. It had chrome mudguards, nice canister shaped pack containers in back, a useful double kickstand, and best of all, a luscious, gorgeous, classic Brooks leather saddle. There is nothing better than a Brooks saddle.
As I watched a couple guys came out of the shop, pumped up the tires, and went off for a ride. I tipped my coffee cup a little bit – some folks get it exactly right.
Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!
For your holiday enjoyment – The Best Television Thanksgiving Episode Ever
If you want to see the whole episode – It’s online at Hulu.