Reading José Angel Cilleruelo's blog El Visir de Abisinia is always a pleasure and it never fails to offer the reader fresh surprises. There are often little jewels. In a recent entry José Angel, who lives in Barcelona, makes a very interesting observation about the nature of tourism. Here's a spontaneous translation:
I sit in Holy Family Square and watch the tourists go by. Just as they happily contemplate the city of monuments and its beauties, I admire the passion of the traveling couple, the friendship of the groups of friends, the family spirit of the families. Neither they nor I participate in an illusion. The naivety that surrounds tourism is an important path to happiness: belief that the world is well made* somewhere else. What they do not know about us –what I do not know about them– makes it possible to perceive only that which is pleasing. Which also exists.

 *The world is well made: "El mundo está bien hecho." A famous line, often poorly interpreted, from a poem by Jorge Guillén, a famous XX century Spanish poet.

In any case, a tourist makes for a rich metaphor. When we get back to Carlisle, I want to be like a tourist, to see anew. And I'll need to do this translation anew. After all, José Angel has been cultivating for over a couple of years now this particular textual form, which is defined by the text having exactly one hundred words. Form and content. Oh, a slow start to the week: I haven't got either just right yet. (A little later: I still don't have it right, but I did get my translation into a one hundred word block. So, back to the Modernists: Make it new!  (In the photo, a couple of happy tourists in Nerja.)