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Bullfighting (Paperback)

By John McCormick

Art, Technique and Spanish Society

RRP £23.50


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    Ernest Hemingway, is best-known to layman and aficionado alike for his fiction and related prose accounts of bullfighting (toreo) as a cross between romantic risk and a drunken party. He sees it as an elaborate substitute for war, ending in wounds or death. Although Hemingway's descriptions of the "beauty" in toreo are lyrical, they are short on imaginative creation of how such beauty, through technique and discipline, comes about. John McCormick sorts through the complexities of toreo, to suggest the aesthetic, social, and moral dimensions of an art that is geographically limited, but universal when seen in round.While attracted to Hemingway's approach, McCormick knew that he was being seduced by elements that had little to do with toreo. To try to right Hemingway's distortions, he named the first edition of this book The Complete Aficionado, but then realized that the volume was directed at a wider readership. Bullfighting is written from the point of view of the toreo, as opposed to the usual spectator's impressions and enthusiasm. With the help of a retired matador de toros, Mario Sevilla Mascarenas, who taught McCormick the rudiments of toreo as well as the emotions and discipline essential to survival, the author rescues toreo from romantic cliches. He probes the anatomy of the matador's training and technique, provides a past-and-present survey of the traditions of the corrida, and furnishes dramatic portraits of such famous figures as Manolete, Joselito, Belmonte, and Ordonez. Here is an informed analysis and critique of the origins and myths of toreo and a survey of the literature it has inspired. Defending the faith in a lively as well as clear and discerning manner, thisvolume provides a committed and vivid approach to the rich history, ritual, and symbolism of the bullfight.

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