This may, perhaps, be old news in bear circles,
but I only read it ten days ago on the plane over,
in Robert Hughes' quirky Barcelona the Great Enchantress.
The founder of Catalunyan/Catalonian/Catalan national independence
a thousand years' ago was the Visigoth known as Wilfred the Hairy.
History does not record with any clarity how Guifré el Pilós earned that name.
I haven't visited the Iberian peninsula since the 1970s
when the well-founded stereotype was that Spanish men had mustaches.
That seems to have gone out of style:
almost all men, young or old, were cleanshaven.
And after having seen countless women wearing tanktops in the heat,
I can say that …continue.
Title: Barcelona the Great Enchantress
Author: Robert Hughes
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: National Geographic Directions
Keywords: history, autobiography
Reading period: 15–24 July, 2009
Robert Hughes has been in love with Barcelona and its people for four decades.
This book—part selective history, part memoir—is adapted from a much larger, earlier book about Barcelona.
Hughes is a partisan of Catalan culture and food.
He brings us from its Roman origins as Barcino,
Catalunya's founding as an independent nation a thousand years ago
by the Visigoth Wilfred the Hairy,
up through the Olympics in 1992.
This is no comprehensive survey:
he spends more time on submarine inventor Monturiol
than on the Spanish Civil …continue.