Death and the Sun: A Matador's Season in the Heart of Spain

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2005 - Travel - 258 pages
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A brilliant observer in the tradition of Adam Gopnik and Paul Theroux, Edward Lewine reveals a Spain few outsiders have seen. There's nothing more Spanish than bullfighting, and nothing less like its stereotype. For matadors and aficionados, it is not a blood sport but an art, an ancient subculture steeped in ritual, machismo, and the feverish attentions of fans and the press.
Lewine explains Spain and the art of the bulls by spending a bullfighting season traveling Spanish highways with the celebrated matador Francisco Rivera Ordónez, following Fran, as he's known, through every region and social stratum. Fran's great-grandfather was a famous bullfighter and the inspiration for Hemingway's matador in The Sun Also Rises. Fran's father was also a star matador, until a bull took his life shortly before Fran's eleventh birthday.
Fran is blessed and haunted by his family history. Formerly a top performer himself, Fran's reputation has slipped, and as the season opens he feels intense pressure to live up to his legacy amid tabloid scrutiny in the wake of his separation from his wife, a duchess. But Fran perseveres through an eventful season of early triumph, serious injury, and an unlikely return to glory.
 

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Death and the sun: a bullfighter's season in the heart of Spain

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Bullfighting, according to journalist Lewine, a frequent contributor to the New York Times , is a noble art and enduring symbol of Spain, unjustly condemned as a cruel sport by those unfamiliar with ... Read full review

Contents

FRAN
1
The Challenge Accepted
5
A MAN A BULL A SMALL TOWN
7
THE FORMER PHENOM
15
A TRAGEDY IN THREE ACTS
24
THE CHALLENGE ACCEPTED
33
THE SEASON BEGINS
41
The Struggle
49
THEY EATHORSES DONT THEY?
143
A LAPSE IN CONCENTRATION
148
RUNNING THE BULLS
152
PAPA
160
DRY DOCK
165
THE KID
169
A TRAVELING SEASON
175
THE SUPREME ACT
182

MELONS BITTER AND SWEET
51
AFTERNOONS OF RESPONSIBILITY
60
THE MELONS OPENED
67
THE OUTSIDER
76
SUN AND SHADOW
83
THE LITTLE VENOM
92
SECTION SEVEN
100
DIFFERENT PATHS
108
AN INHERITED FORTUNE
115
DEATH IN THE SUN
120
PEONS
126
CRAFTSMEN
134
FIRSTCLASS STANDARDS
190
GOOD LUCK BAD LUCK
198
All the Roads Home
203
MASTER OF MASTERS
205
IN THE BLOOD
214
EPILOGUE
221
How to See Them
230
Acknowledgments
235
Notes on Sources
238
Bibliography
241
Index
246
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

EDWARD LEWINE is a frequent contributor to the New York Times. This is his first book. Formerly an expert in old master drawings at Christie's, he graduated from the Columbia School of Journalism. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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