Spain

Spain

Spain

Spain

Excerpt

In this land of hope and patience, impatience and memory, it is as though a fundamental cleavage had for all time separated the spiritual from the material. Thus Spain seems to make its spiritual conquests outside the sphere of its material conquests -- when anyone who really wants to make a success of living can only do it by harnessing the two together. And the traveller, tempted to denounce the poverty and backwardness of labour and economic conditions that are reminiscent of the Middle Ages, may suddenly be taken unawares, and at the height of his indignation make a volte-face. The man he is talking to, whom he has been wanting to teach how to live, suddenly becomes the embodiment of a different way of speech, a different morality, and shows him what it means to practice a different art of living. That's where conversation becomes difficult. You are talking about the world, he is talking about man. You look outward, he looks within. You know physics and chemistry, but he has already summed you up, your character and worth. You embrace the earth, he embraces mankind. In this respect you have nothing to teach him, though there is a great deal that he can show you.

There is plenty of talk about the things that keep Spain divided, but never about the invisible unity that is the backbone of every Spaniard, whether he is garrulous and Andalusian, stern and Castilian, wily as a Gallego , lively as a Catalan or industrious as a Basque. These little labels may draw attention to certain peculiarities which are obvious at first glance; but they disappear as soon as one looks a bit further than skin-deep. It is true that anything one says about regional character could be said again about national character; but disregarding the subtle variations due to race, nationality, custom, religion, climate and work, in the last resort the essential quality of

Goya -- La Confianza . . .

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