Archive for the ‘Spain Bulletins’ Category

“But the true work of art is not in a hurry…” states Juan Goytisolo, accepting Cervantes Prize

King Felipe VI, Juan Goytisolo and Queen Letizia at Thursday’s ceremony / EDUARDO PARRA (GETTY IMAGES )

King Felipe VI, Juan Goytisolo and Queen Letizia at Thursday’s ceremony / EDUARDO PARRA/GETTY IMAGES )

Accepting the Cervantes Prize, Juan Goytisolo affirmed:

“But the true work of art is not in a hurry: it can slumber for decades, like La Regenta [the 19th-century masterpiece by Leopoldo Alas Clarín] or even for centuries, like [16th-century novel] La lozana andaluza,” he said. “The fact that I’m being praised by the literary establishment makes me question myself; being a persona non grata is comforting to me and my work.”

“Ya estás gordo para matarte. Voy a por ti”

El presunto homicida de Verfondern, retratado por su víctima.

El presunto homicida de Verfondern, retratado por su víctima.

Hubo un tiempo en que las únicas dos familias que habitaban la remota y desmoronada aldea ourensana de Santoalla compartían la matanza del cerdo con la llegada del frío. Los recién llegados, hace 17 años, eran un matrimonio holandés que soñaba una vida de aguas limpias, aire puro y ganadería ecológica, lejos de Ámsterdam. Y aprendieron la tradición de los nativos, de la única familia que quedaba en el pueblo después de la estampida emigrante que dejó medio centenar de casas vacías. Pero la armonía no duró demasiado. Los extranjeros descubrieron que tenían derechos sobre el monte comunal y lo reclamaron en los juzgados.

Así que la guerra se desató en este paraje montañoso, bello y desolado del municipio de Petín. Y el vecino holandés, Martin Albert Verfondern, empezó a registrar en vídeos y fotos todos los choques violentos que se sucedían en Santoalla. Hace casi cuatro años, el 19 de enero de 2010, a punto de cumplir los 53, lo mataron. Escondieron su coche y su cadáver en un monte a 12 kilómetros en línea recta. Los restos, roídos por las alimañas, aparecieron el pasado mes de junio. En el disco duro del holandés también quedaron grabadas varias amenazas que ahora, a la luz de los acontecimientos que se han precipitado esta semana, cobran un cariz siniestro. Una juez de O Barco de Valdeorras decretó prisión provisional por presunto homicidio para Juan Carlos Rodríguez González, el vecino discapacitado psíquico que, en una de las grabaciones que Verfondern hizo llegar a EL PAÍS cuatro meses antes de desaparecer, dice que va a por él: “Voy a por ti. Que estás muy gordo ya para matarte”. Rodríguez fue detenido el sábado pasado y confesó ante la Guardia Civil el domingo.

The Duchess of Alba dies

The Duchess of Alba

The Duchess of Alba

The Duchess of Alba, one of Spain’s wealthiest aristocrats who was also listed as the world’s most titled noble, has died aged 88.

Maria del Rosario Cayetana Fritz-James Stuart passed away at her home, the Duenas Palace, in Seville on Thursday morning, a family spokesman said.

Earlier this week the mother of six had been treated for pneumonia in hospital but had been moved back to her house.

The eccentric socialite, who was one of Spain’s richest women, is survived her husband Alfonso Diez, who is 24 years younger than her.

The couple married in 2011 when she was 85 in a ceremony which raised some eyebrows.

She overcame opposition from her children by giving them their inheritance in advance.

Mr Diez formally renounced any claim to her wealth, which is estimated to be between €600m and  €3.5bn.

After the wedding the duchess kicked off her shoes and danced flamenco on a red carpet leading to her palace in front of dozens of photographers.

Known for her frizzy hair and colourful dress sense, the duchess owned swathes of real estate, palaces, great houses and treasures including paintings by great masters from Goya to Velazquez.

A relative of Winston Churchill, the duchess shared toys with the future Queen Elizabeth while living in England as a girl.

The “queen” of the gossip press in Spain, having her private life analysed in detail by the media did not bother her.

“If they forget you, you are nobody,” the twice-widowed aristocrat told Spanish magazine Yo Dona in September 2011, a month before her third wedding.

Her main title was Duchess of Alba de Tormes but she had more than 40 others due to a series of complicated marriages by her ancestors, which made her the noble with the most officially recognised titles in the world according to Guinness World Records.

Her other titles include more dukedoms, marquessates, countcies and viscountcies.