1960 I went to a Corrida (bullfight) in a small town around
Algeciras, Barrios, I believe it was. It was a very small town
and there was no permanent bullring. What they did was to install
a provisional one, like they do with circuses. I went to this
corrida, my first one, with a slight apprehension; I could not
imagine what I would feel about it.
spectators filled the stand; a great multi-colored crowd; a
very enthusiastic one, like only Spaniards could be; orchestra
playing Paso- Dobles; in all, it was an undescribable feelings
of feisty euphoria of a great celebration in a beautiful sunny
finally the gates opened, a firey beast leaped out into the
arena and like a wind, ran into the middle of the circle, not
quite understanding where he happened to be, and a deafening,
roaring crowd all around him. What a magnificent sight of a
bull!! ... probably one of the most beautiful and mesmerizing
beast there is.
men came out of their hiding into the arena and then the bull
saw "red", so to speak. After a few Veronicas, the Matador stepped
out into the ring, after watching the bull's behaviour, and
made a couple of Veronicas himself, and then began performing
his art of bullfighting.
was very struck to see the contrast between this very almost
child-looking and frail Matador, which appeared to me almost
as a ballerina, against such a powerful force of nature as this
bull! The grand fiesta was so charged with a thunder-like power
and excitement, orchestra playing, and unexplainable emotions.
My heart was beating under my shirt, almost bursting out. For
me it was a lesson of mystic mystery, religion, and deep meaning
of ways of life and death.
we walked out to town, for a long time, I had waves of emotional
thoughts, and somehow elated pride for the Matador. I have seen
many Corridas after and always get surprised by the frailty,
grace, dancer-like appearance of the Toreros.