Farewell Spain

Kate O’Brien

“Farewell Spain is a distinctly personal elegy to the Spain with which Kate O’Brien was ‘once and for all infatuated’. Written during the early days of the Spanish Civil War, it is no ordinary travelogue but a series of reminiscences, impressions and quick, vivid insights which evoke not only the spirit of a lost place but also the way in which travel, and memory itself, are experienced.

We begin at the northern port of Santander, ‘perhaps the most prosaic and non-theatrical’of pains’s gateways, and share her knowledge of the small hotels, the cafe above the beach and the ‘normal human life, … lived by people whose customs and characteristics are fresh to our eyes’. We then travel the Peninsular, by train if we are to sample the long main route and the slow unfolding of the Spanish landscape, or by autobus and bucket for the experience of out-of-te-way places – and the people, politics and cultural lifeblood of the towns.

Each stop offers something unique, as at Kate O’Brien’s beloved Avila, where the abiding presence of Saint Teresa – ‘a genius of the large immeasurable kind of which there have been very few, and only one a woman’ –  moves her to reflect, with pain and irony, on the human spirit of contemporary Spain. Then Madrid – ‘gay, leisurely and moquer’ but ripped, now, by war; Villalba, Segovia, Burgos and Bilbao. But consciousness of war presses in on her; it ‘strikes not merely for the death of Spain, but at every decent dream or effort for humanity everywhere’.

A new era is in the making, and Kate O’Brien can only remember and mourn; farewell Spain.”





Virago Travellers





Talen Engels
Landen Spanje


paperback, 229 blz, in goede staat


1 op voorraad