Well a new book, 'The Touch of Eternity', arrived from publisher Isabella Sonntag yesterday. Isabella published Anja Beran's lovely book, 'In Deference'. This is by Anja's long time trainer, Manuel Jorge de Oliveira, Portuguese bullfighter, and for me one of the classical Masters of the Age. I know him personally and whilst I abhor bullfighting, of which the cultural tradition and understanding of it, is also covered in some depth, I could not put it down until I had finished it!! What a book! At once, a philosophical treatise, and at the same time a self help book! It is unique in every way.
I think because I know Portugal and the culture, I can relate to his feelings regarding the bullfight, but I do think that some of Manuel’s musings on why people are anti bullfighting will upset some people, the suggestion that such people (including myself!) ‘are against humanity’, may even anger them, and that is sad because they will lose out on the essential message of the book. I am not anti fox hunting, which as I dislike bullfighting, many see as a paradox, but the hunted fox either escapes unharmed or is swiftly killed by the pack. The bull has no escape, he is entrapped by the picadeiro, and in this respect, I cannot share the feelings that Manuel has regarding it being an exercise in life and death and indeed, survival. Yes, the rejoneador and horse, it is hoped will survive, but the bull does not have that hope!
There is a fascinating chapter, for instance on Baucher's 'Ramener Outre' as opposed to modern day Rollkur.
But overall, I will be thoroughly recommending this book, it is for me an essential read for the truly thinking horseman or woman, and I loved it. I will get Debbie to stock it on the online shop shortly.