". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Friday, November 23, 2018

Buckle Up to Swash -- ¡Altriste esta aqui!

     . . . .  Las aventuras del capitán Alatriste, the series of novels by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, featuring this great Spanish swordsman, soldier and adventurer of the 17th century, has been a recurring topic

The first title in the English translation was published in the UK and the US back in1996; the latest one was released here in the US in 2011.

Back in 2006 a Spanish language film, Alatriste, was made, with Viggo Mortensen as capitán Alatriste, but, we lamented, it was never released in the US. 

However! Now! available! streaming on amazon prime, subtitled in English, the description says, is the 2016 Spanish television Alatriste series!

I haven't watched yet, having for a change a cornucopia of watching riches -- though, not unusually, not much watching time.  However, as el V heads out again soon, watching this will fill in gaps left by his absence. 

This is going to be splendid because nobody does European medieval and renaissance era sword fights like the Spanish.  This includes brilliant battle sequences with swords from horseback.  They never forgot how this sort of thing is done.

Spanish television does Spanish historicals extraordinarily well,* maybe better than other Europes' historical tv / films. Spanish swashbuckle is just about equal, even, in the French swash's ballon element,** which is so indigenously French. 

Unlike the French though, (at least going by Dumas) the Spanish swash additionally contains tragic awareness, the knowledge of the darkness in which all things inevitably end, the darkness that eats from the inside, which is what distinguishes Spanish swash from that of the other European swashes.


* Which one sees in concentrated form in the Spanish television series El ministerio del tiempo, which I admire and enjoy so much too. Whether art and literature, history and politics, all the details are just right -- and are always included. Nothing in the episodes happens in situational or transactional tv vacuum, but fully in the milieu of its time, whether in the past or the present.

** definition:

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