Encyclopedia of Contemporary Spanish Culture

By Eamonn Rodgers; Valerie Rodgers | Go to book overview

Further reading

d
Doménech, R. (1993) El teatro de Buero Vallejo: una meditación española, 2nd edn, Madrid: Gredos (an updated version of a perceptive and informative 1973 study).

h
Halsey, M.T. (1994) From Dictatorship to Democracy: The Recent Plays of Buero Vallejo, Ottawa: Ottawa Hispanic Studies 17, Dovehouse (a useful survey of Buero’s production from 1974 to 1989).

JOHN W.KRONIK


bullfighting

The country’s second-most popular spectacle (only football attracts a larger public), bullfighting has mirrored the broader cultural changes taking place in Spain since 1939. While a reduced number of corridas took place throughout the Civil War, in both Republican and Nationalist areas, the stock of fighting bulls was seriously diminished, with herds exterminated both for food and as political gestures against large landowners. Consequently, the bulls seen in Spanish rings after 1939 were generally smaller, younger, and less well-armed than those of previous eras. A single matador, Manuel Rodrí-guez Sánchez (‘Manolete’), notable for his solemn, hieratic style, dominated the post-war years. Despite two seasons of competition with the spectacular Mexican, Carlos Arruza, in 1944 and 1945, Manolete was still the outstanding matador of his day when, on 28 August 1947, he was fatally gored by a Miura bull in Linares; his death the following day occasioned national mourning. Manolete’s death left a void no contemporary could fill, not even the graceful Pepe Luis Vázquez, the more sober Antonio Mejías (‘Bienvenida’), or the talented and glamorous Luis Miguel González (‘Dominguín’). Indeed, in 1949 and 1950, bullfighting was dominated not by full matadors but by two novilleros, Julio Aparicio and Miguel Báez (‘Litri’).

Geographically, bullfighting remained most popular throughout the 1940s and 1950s in its traditional strongholds (Andalusia, Valencia, central Spain and parts of the north) though mass-emigration from the impoverished south to Barcelona led to a resurgence of bullfighting there which endured for a quarter of a century. The 1950s also saw a new generation of matadors, including Aparicio, Litri, Manolo Vázquez and Antonio Chenel (‘Antoñete’). Most important of all was Antonio Ordóñez, whose unique ability to unite the two principal classical styles of bullfighting, the sober rondeño and more flamboyant sevillano, led to his generally being considered the greatest matador since Manolete. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, popular toreros included the spectacular Antonio Borrero (‘Chamaco’), the courageous Diego Puerta, the classical and gifted Paco Camino, and the solemn Santiago Martín (‘El Viti’). There was also the fearful and erratic but incomparably artistic Francisco Romero López (‘Curro Romero’), who in the 1990s still enjoyed unprecedented esteem in Seville, and who remains still active in his mid-sixties.

None of these, however, hinted at the development which would shortly transform the conservative world of the corrida: the appearance of Manuel Benítez (‘El Cordobés’). An illiterate bricklayer, son of a rural labourer who died a prisoner following the Civil War, El Cordobés came to prominence following an unprecedented publicity campaign. Clumsy and technically inept, El Cordobés was initially the antithesis of the classical torero. Yet these very defects, allied to an overwhelmingly sympathetic personality, and a youthful, long-haired appearance very much at odds with the conformist Spain of the 1960s, enabled El Cordobés to personify the contemporary struggle for wealth and status in a still-impoverished country, turning him into a national icon, a Spanish equivalent of his contemporaries, the Beatles. As such he appealed both to younger Spaniards and the rapidly increasing number of tourists who frequented the newly-built bullrings of the Costa del Sol or Costa Brava. Although traditionalists never fully lost their mistrust of his clowning, El Cordobés gained steadily in technical security, improved his style and, the glamour of novelty past, obtained notable triumphs in the most serious and demanding arenas in Spain. More negatively, El Cordobés also helped impose on bullfighting a smaller, weaker, more docile bull, with sometimes scandalously shaved horns. It was this diminished animal which was most frequently to be seen in Spanish rings in the late 1960s and

-65-

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Encyclopedia of Contemporary Spanish Culture
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction x
  • Acknowledgments xii
  • Structure xiii
  • Architecture xiv
  • A 1
  • Further Reading 7
  • Further Reading 11
  • Further Reading 29
  • Further Reading 37
  • Further Reading 41
  • B 44
  • Further Reading 47
  • Further Reading 65
  • C 70
  • Further Reading 81
  • Further Reading 93
  • Further Reading 100
  • Further Reading 113
  • Further Reading 128
  • D 135
  • Further Reading 136
  • Further Reading 140
  • E 152
  • Further Reading 155
  • Further Reading 166
  • Further Reading 171
  • F 173
  • Further Reading 185
  • Further Reading 206
  • G 213
  • Further Reading 227
  • Further Reading 229
  • Further Reading 231
  • Further Reading 242
  • H 245
  • I 261
  • Further Reading 266
  • J 276
  • Further Reading 280
  • K 283
  • L 285
  • Further Reading 292
  • M 313
  • Further Reading 332
  • Further Reading 335
  • N 359
  • Further Reading 362
  • Further Reading 365
  • O 376
  • P 384
  • Further Reading 429
  • Q 430
  • R 433
  • Further Reading 435
  • Further Reading 436
  • Further Reading 439
  • Further Reading 443
  • References 452
  • S 464
  • Further Reading 471
  • Further Reading 475
  • T 502
  • Further Reading 508
  • Further Reading 509
  • U 526
  • Further Reading 536
  • V 537
  • Further Reading 538
  • Further Reading 539
  • Further Reading 544
  • W 545
  • X 550
  • Y 552
  • Further Reading 553
  • Z 554
  • Index 557
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