Durs càstigs eren conservats en sí mbols vells. The ancient Roman geographer Strabo is best known, within Iberian studies, as being the source of the infamous comparison of Hispania to a bull‘s hide. As with most quotations taken out of context, Strabo‘s original source bears more complexity than is revealed by common discourse. Using a more precise translation, Strabo actually writes that Spain (and he certainly means Hispania) resembles an ox hide, just as Sicily is akin to a triangle and the Peloponnese to a plane-leaf (128). Strabo, more importantly, argues that a totalizing image of a landmass is not at all the ideal manner by which to derive information through geographical inquiry. He writes, just a few lines earlier, that when gleaning geographical detail it is best to separate territories into limbs: “the best way to define a country is by the rivers, mountains, or sea; also, where possible, by the nation or nations [who inhabit it], and by its size and configuration” (127). With respect to epistemology, therefore, one is encouraged to deconstruct a landmass limb by limb, with special attention paid to the configuration of the individual geographical and sociological parts, rather than drawing conclusions from an all-encompassing, macro perspective. Whatever was Strabo‘s intent, that bullfighting is commonly referred to as Spain‘s fiesta nacional points toward the indisputable fact that the bull has become a symbol widely contextualized within Spanish literature, art, and cinema as a kind of totemic identity image that is imbued with qualities meant to describe, affirm, and at times reject national character.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Iberian Modalities: A Relational Approach to the Study of Culture in the Iberian Peninsula|
|Subtitle of host publication||A Relational Approach to the Study of Culture in the Iberian Peninsula|
|Editors||Joan Ramon Resina|
|Place of Publication||Liverpool, UK|
|Publisher||Liverpool University Press|
|Number of pages||19|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2010|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2013 Liverpool University Press.