Archives of GUIDEPOST’s web and print issues.
The irrepressible tendency of citizens to risk a bit of their hard earned cash in the hope of gaining a sizeable piece of real estate in the Milky Way has been turned to good advantage. In the form of National Lotteries it provides the only form of taxation where the tax payers queue up to contribute their share of the National Expenditure and get quite a thrill out of doing so.
Thirty-two years ago, this lovely article was published in Guidepost. Age hasn't dimmed its vividness. And Spain at Christmas, as the writer described it, still is very much the same despite Santa Claus, the Christmas trees and the Christmas lights which, on the other hand, are welcome imports. FELIZ NAVIDAD everyone!
Iceland is a land of misconceptions. There are neither polar bears nor Eskimos on the island, and Detriot gets more snow than Reykjavik. New Yorkers shiver through lower January temperatures than residents here in the world’s northernmost capital. And the landscape’s predominant colour is not white but green
AKUREYRI, Iceland’s second largest town, lies just 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle. at the end of a deep fjord, with the surrounding hills and sheep pastures seemingly coated in green velvet. It’s a place for lovers of clear water, blue skies and the great outdoors
This article was first published when the Franco regime was still on. Hence the strictures on the Halloween celebrations you'll be reading about. ("The Spanish police may be expected to take exceedingly dim view of Halloween hi-jinks in public. And remember that masks or costume disguises in public are against Spanish law. . .") Other than those, the article is as timeless and fun to read today as it was 47 years ago. It would be; this is the third time it is being reprinted!
GUIDEPOST REPRINT: “SUMMING UP THE SPANIARDS, AN ACCOUNT OF HOW SOME FAMOUS TRAVELLERS HAVE SEEN SPAIN,” 3 OCTOBER 1969 — (7) Poverty, Suffering & Gracia »
"Not all is so rosy. To some Spain is the pagan, murky land of cowled monks and Inquisitional torture racks, of lugubrious piles, of hunger and despair, the España Negra of Emile Verhaeren. Yet in this flood of impressions by foreign travellers, it is striking to note the complete absence of certain themes. Has any traveller ever written a book on Spanish humor? How many are capable of seizing and understanding the Spaniard’s gracia, which, like his casticismo is impossible to translate"
GUIDEPOST REPRINT: “SUMMING UP THE SPANIARDS, AN ACCOUNT OF HOW SOME FAMOUS TRAVELLERS HAVE SEEN SPAIN,” 3 OCTOBER 1969 — (8) Which Then is the True Spain? »
Indeed, which is the 'true' Spain? And as to the Spaniards, "who" and "what" are they? On this you might want to check out THE SPANIARD AND THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS, probably the most succinct symposium of Spaniards’ shortcomings and virtues ever published. It says much for Spaniards that the book quickly became a best-seller in Spain, despite the hard line and painful truths that the author brings to the fore.
GUIDEPOST REPRINT: “SUMMING UP THE SPANIARDS, AN ACCOUNT OF HOW SOME FAMOUS TRAVELLERS HAVE SEEN SPAIN,” 3 OCTOBER 1969 — (5) iIndividualism, Independence & ‘Democracy’ »
The remarkable sense of individualism and independence is particularly striking among the Spanish poor. "He is not a common being; he is an extraordinary man…he possesses a spirit of proud independence"
GUIDEPOST REPRINT: “SUMMING UP THE SPAIARDS, AN ACCOUNT OF HOW SOME FAMOUS TRAVELLERS HAVE SEEN SPAIN,” 3 OCTOBER 1969 — (6) Awestruck Writers »
The flood of writers and tourists who “relieve” the wonders of the Prado, the Escorial , who wax rhapsodic over the Alhambra, who visit each city and tell their tale with the illusion of having seen Spain is ever greater
GUIDEPOST REPRINT: “SUMMING UP THE SPANIARDS, AN ACCOUNT OF HOW SOME FAMOUS TRAVELLERS HAVE SEEN SPAIN,” 3 OCTOBER 1969 — (1) Knowlege In-Depth »
In our own day [i.e. in 1969] when 20 million foreigners swarm into Spain every year, the rage to sum up, to label, to praise and criticize, to explain, dissect and generalize on Spain has been an almost compulsory urge of travellers. Most, however, are content to accept its inhabitants uncritically, happy to loll on the beaches without racking their brains about the ultimate truths of the Spaniard. At any rate, Spain is changing and even its most entrenched characteristics are undergoing modifications as they are buffeted by the impact of modern communications and ideas.