While I was in Spain as a foreign correspondent I ended up watching a great many bullfights. When I first wrote about it I felt it was something tragic, that the tragedy was not the fighters who died but the bull and that because the bull was assured to die one could be assured of seeing a great tragedy. I continue to feel this way, even after writing a book about the thing and watching far more bullfights than when I wrote my first piece about it for the Toronto Star.

with bull

Critics of bullfighting call it barbaric. It is barbaric, and the only place I’ve found after the war where you can see both life and death at their fullest. In part I credit it to Spain’s being spared from the destruction of the war. Other countries are like limbs in a cast that may be healthy one day; Spain is healthy now and the bull fight, as something vital, reflects that health.