SPAIN BOOK REVIEW NOVEMBER: ‘Everything is Happening: Journey into a Painting’ by Michael Jacobs

Michael Jacobs was haunted by Velazquez’s enigmatic masterpiece Las Meninas from first encountering it in the Prado as a teenager. In Everything is Happening Jacobs searches for the ultimate significance of the painting by following the trails of associations from each individual character in the picture, as well as his own memories of and relationship to this extraordinary work. From Jacobs’ first trip to Spain, … Continue reading SPAIN BOOK REVIEW NOVEMBER: ‘Everything is Happening: Journey into a Painting’ by Michael Jacobs

SPAIN BOOK REVIEW OCTOBER: ‘Hell and Good Company’ by Richard Rhodes

The Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) inspired and haunted an extraordinary number of exceptional artists and writers, including Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Martha Gellhorn, Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell, and John Dos Passos. The idealism of the cause—defending democracy from fascism at a time when Europe was darkening toward another world war—and the brutality of the conflict inspired some of their best work: Guernica, For Whom the … Continue reading SPAIN BOOK REVIEW OCTOBER: ‘Hell and Good Company’ by Richard Rhodes

SPAIN BOOK REVIEW SEPTEMBER: ‘­­¡No Pasarán! Writings from the Spanish Civil War’ by Pete Aryton

Hope, resignation, despair, sadness, humour, confusion, ruthlessness, compassion, kindness, generosity and love inhabit Pete Ayrton’s anthology of writings from the Spanish Civil War: there is little sense of certainty and still less of triumphalism among the bewilderingly diverse Republican and Nationalist coalitions, all shades of which are represented here. Previous collections privileged the writings of the International Brigades over those of the Spanish, sometimes excluding … Continue reading SPAIN BOOK REVIEW SEPTEMBER: ‘­­¡No Pasarán! Writings from the Spanish Civil War’ by Pete Aryton

SPAIN BOOK REVIEW AUGUST: ‘Lorca, Buñuel, Dalí – Forbidden Pleasures and Connected Lives’ by Gwynne Edwards

Lorca, Buñuel and Dalí were, in their respective fields of poetry and theatre, cinema, and painting, three of the most imaginative creative artists of the twentieth century; their impact was felt far beyond the boundaries of their native Spain. But if individually they have been examined by many, their connected lives have rarely been considered. It is these, the ties that bind them, that constitute … Continue reading SPAIN BOOK REVIEW AUGUST: ‘Lorca, Buñuel, Dalí – Forbidden Pleasures and Connected Lives’ by Gwynne Edwards

SPAIN BOOK REVIEW: July – The Spanish Civil War 80th Anniversary – Part 2: Fiction

Following on from yesterday’s post –SPAIN BOOK REVIEW: July – The Spanish Civil War 80th Anniversary – Part 1: Non-fiction, here is part two, novels based around the Spanish Civil War. It is a particularly difficult task to pluck suggestions from so many books on offer, so I stuck to just a few of the books I have read, and only ones in English. I included … Continue reading SPAIN BOOK REVIEW: July – The Spanish Civil War 80th Anniversary – Part 2: Fiction