Manuel Chaves Nogales

El maestro Juan Martínez que estaba allí


My edition is by Libros del Asteroide publishers. Very neat (as much as expensive).

Chaves Nogales is considered by some the greatest journalist writer from Spain, after Larra. It may be true. This is the first book I read by him and it's simpy great. It's a novel, but only in format. His stlye is informative, full of action and to the point; plain and simple journalistic style, no fooling around with and no political partisanship: The narrator wants to tell us what he's seen, more than what he's felt. This is key.

I came up with this writer following Josep Pla's chronicles of the Second Republic in Spain, a wonderful way to learn history as it developed; and also Julio Camba's little journalistic style books of the same era. The three of them (plus another) have been compiled together into one immense tome titled: Four Histories of the Second Republic. I love their writing styles, there's no way one can get bored or sleepy. It's like a machine gun shooting into your mind fresh images of daily life in the cities and towns of our troubled political scene (in Spain).

The story's protagonist really existed. He told his friend (the author) about his travels over Europe and in Russia during the Commies' revolution. Chaves Nogales put them together in this book. The traveller is a flamenco artist and guitarist. He travels give us the chance to see what was going on (really) in those critical years, from the point of view of a common middle class man. It's delicious, worth the price I paid.

It's great to read a book about the Bolshevik revolution that is not a history or political study, but is accurate and also a literary gem.




On Cuba's Revolution:

"The revolution was a cover for committing atrocities without the slightest vestige of guilt ... we were young and irresponsible. We were pirates. We formed our own caste ... we belonged to and believed in nothing -no religion, no flag, no morality or principle. It's fortunate we didn't win, because if we had, we would have drowned the continent in barbarism."

Jorge Masetti, In the Pirate's Den

España [por el contrario de Estados Unidos] se ha ido configurando, siglo a siglo, como una sociedad herida por la envidia, en la que todavía hacer demagogia con la pobreza rinde réditos electorales y donde los que han tenido o tienen grandes riquezas -tanto los progres como la iglesia católica– no pocas veces predican la solidaridad con el prójimo a la vez que protegen sus patrimonios nada desdeñables en SICAVs, algo, dicho sea de paso, bastante lógico tal y como está el panorama fiscal.”

César Vidal en su artículo Las razones de una diferencia en

2. La Constitución se fundamenta en la indisoluble unidad de la Nación española, patria común e indivisible de todos los españoles.

3.1. El castellano es la lengua española oficial del Estado. Todos los españoles tienen el deber de conocerla y el derecho a usarla.

'The Pale Maiden'
"Thus heaven I've forfeited,
I know it full well
My soul, once true to God
Is chosen for hell."

by Karl Marx

from Richard Wurmbrand´s book on Marx

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