Personal response: Ghosts of Spain by Giles Tremlett

Ghosts of Spain

A few weeks ago, after reading the first three chapters of Giles Tremlett’s exploration of the effects of the Civil War on modern Spain, I was compelled to write down the following in response:

the pact

in this city sirens blare
streets fill with people
voices loud
footsteps boisterous
on unmarked concrete pavements
this is silence
where wounds fester
just as pencilled out notes
cause paper to fall apart
i see within countless pages
countless gaps
and buried beneath textbooks
endless decay
skeleton remains
our glorious inheritance

I don’t know why, but this book struck a chord with me… and perhaps my recent trip to Barcelona has given me a new perspective post-reading. With so little knowledge of Spain and its various cultures, I am not able to make criticisms. Though the book must have its flaws, I’m in no position to identify them. It’s such a wonderfully accessible, absorbing and insightful journey through Spain’s past, present and, in some ways, the country’s future. I’m so glad I bought it.

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