|Cantiga de Santa Maria 144, panel 3 (Late thirteenth century)|
|Cantiga de Santa Maria 144, panel 4|
These pictures inspired a scene in the early parts of my novel Seven Noble Knights. The bloodshed and gore were a great opportunity for me to begin developing those images before any humans come to harm. I shared an excerpt for the last Six Sentence Sunday.
In the eighteenth century, bullfighting took on all the rituals and trappings it has today. The modern traje de luces is a super-bedazzled, sporty version of eighteenth-century nobles' clothing. In the twentieth century, bullfighting became a huge industry, especially after Ernest Hemingway appropriated it as the pinnacle of manliness. I came upon Papa Hemingway's innovative writing just after the obsession with Spain dropped into my head, and I adored his depictions of the agony and the ecstasy of the golden age of bullfighting. I can still highly recommend Death in the Afternoon. For a no-nonsense guide to the mechanics of a modern bullfight, look here.
My own take on modern bullfighting will appear this Wednesday. In the meantime, perhaps you'd like to see my homages to Hemingway and that most risky of arts: Alternativa El Novillero