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Mount Orégano
Sue Burke
BitterCon: Dead Dog Party 
11th-Aug-2008 06:38 pm
Postage stamp

The Dead Dog Party is going on here.

I missed both WorldCon and BitterCon bittercon because I spent the weekend in Salamanca, Spain, a gorgeous Renaissance university city. As promised, I return with local specialities for the Dead Dog Party. I have wine: intense red Toro and fruity dry white Rueda. I also have guijuelo ham, hinojosa cheese, and caramelized almonds.

Most of all, I took a photo to liven up the party. It's a tradition to write on the sides of the buildings using bull-blood-red paint and an antique alphabet. This inscription is on the side of the Old University building. Translated:

"Freedom, Sancho, is one of the most precious gifts that the heavens can give to men. The treasures buried in the earth and covered by the sea cannot equal it."
Don Quixote de la Mancha, Book II, Chapter 58
Their Majesties the King and Queen accompanied by Iberian-American heads of state and governments uncovered this plaque to commemorate the 15th Iberian-American Summit.
Fourth centennial of the publication of "El Quixote"
The municipal government of the city, October 14, 2005

Massive parts of El Quixote are only talk. The famous encounter with the windmills takes barely two pages early in the 1100-page book, and other adventures are also rather brief. Instead, the joy of the book comes from its hilarious, prolonged conversations and speeches.

Could we write books with pages and pages of discourse now? If the discourse were funny enough?

11th-Aug-2008 05:57 pm (UTC)
Hi, I have to stay sober as I'm trying to write a Safeguarding policy at the same time as playing on live journal .... But nice to meet you here *tries a little of the ham* I've brought sanguinello (Italian blood orange juice), and am waiting for my oven to heat for the nachos.

I've just booked my flights to Madrid, as I'm going with my husband (ExMemSec as he's known here) to Estelcon (Spanish Tolkien Society's annual con) in Salamanca in October - details here: http://www.estelcon2008.org/

You ask Could we write books with pages and pages of discourse now? Do epistolary novels count? Or the diary format? I feel that all seem rather old-fashioned: I'm trying to remember what it is that Alice says about conversations, but failing .... so I should go and check the oven.

11th-Aug-2008 09:39 pm (UTC)
I'll have some of the sanguinello, thanks.

What Alice said (if my memory serves) is "What's the use of a book without pictures and conversations?"

In keeping with that, my current serious reading has both, despite being intended (by me and the authors) as educational. Format is a wonderful thing.
12th-Aug-2008 05:30 pm (UTC)
Don Quixote also tried to speak in the sort of old-fashioned Spanish of the books that drove him crazy, but he didn't always get it right and certainly made fun of what was often pretty bad writing in the first place. That's one thing I like about the conversations. The people he talks with just don't understand him, though the reader does.
12th-Aug-2008 05:24 pm (UTC)
EstelCon should be great! I talked to a couple of the Madrid Tolkien Society members for the opening of the Lord of the Rings movie because they helped with the translations for the dubbing. They were great fun.

Yes, you're right, and now that you mention it, I think epistolary/diary novels are still out there, now sometimes in the form of blog entries, or even SMS messages -- I hear those are big in Japan.
11th-Aug-2008 10:21 pm (UTC)
Mmmmm. Tapas, sangria, paella, morcilla, caracoles. *sets large quantities of everything on the table*

I spent three lovely weeks in Spain back in '88. Mostly in Almuñecar, relaxing and taking Flamenco lessons, but we also managed trips to Malageña, Granada, and Madrid. My favorite memories are of the churros and hot chocolate we could buy from stands near the beach. *adds new items to the offerings*

Thanks for hosting the party. I love the picture and the idea of the writing on the walls. *g*
12th-Aug-2008 05:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you for coming. The chocolate and churros are delicious. Here in Madrid, they're a very traditional breakfast.
12th-Aug-2008 02:19 am (UTC) - Hi

Nice to meet you. Thanks for leaving a birthday wish for Deborah at FridayHaiku.

Are you in Spain for vacation, work or both?

Have a blast despite.

12th-Aug-2008 05:52 pm (UTC) - Re: Hi
Hola. I've lived in Spain for over eight years -- to work and to learn Spanish and to experience another culture. Where are you? With all those deer, it could be the mountains of Madrid.

And I will have a blast. The Madrid Writer's Critique Group will hold its annual field trip to the La Paloma Fiesta in Madrid tonight. The traditional drink is "lemonade," which is sangría made with white wine.

See you at FridayHaiku!
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