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*Read Pdf  On Bullfighting ⚤ An Anchor Books OriginalOne day, on the brink of despair and contemplating her own mortality, novelist A L Kennedy is offered an assignment she can t refuse an opportunity to travel to Spain and cover a sport that represents the ultimate confrontation with death bullfightingThe result is this remarkable book, which takes Kennedy and her readers from the living room of her Glasgow flat to the plazas del toros of Spain and inside the mesmerizing, mystifying, brutal, and beautiful world of the bullfight Here the sport is death matadors literally killersare men and, increasingly, women who, not unlike the Roman gladiators before them, provide a spectacle to the crowd, a dance in which their own death is as present as that of the bull Wonderfully relaying the elements of the sport, from the breeding of the bulls and the training of the matadors to the intricate choreography of the bullfight and its strange connection to the Inquisition, Kennedy meditates on a culture that we may not countenance or fully understand but which is made riveting by the precision of her prose and the passion and humor of her narrative The best passages in the book are about the history and current state of bullfighting Kennedy has researched the subject thoroughly and has a gift of observation She captures both the sanctity and the luridness of bullfighting in equal measure Contextualizing bullfighting within the religious, political and class upheavals in Spain also provides great insight into the longevity of this ritual That Kennedy couches her travels to Spain and her research into bullfighting with her personal trava The best passages in the book are about the history and current state of bullfighting Kennedy has researched the subject thoroughly and has a gift of observation She captures both the sanctity and the luridness of bullfighting in equal measure Contextualizing bullfighting within the religious, political and class upheavals in Spain also provides great insight into the longevity of this ritual That Kennedy couches her travels to Spain and her research into bullfighting with her personal travails is far less successful and, for me, distracting and irritating Other authors have managed this convention better, seamlessly weaving the personal with the topic at hand For many reasons including her pointless diatribes against Hemingway, a well known aficionado , I don t find her a sympathetic character in this work of non fiction A.L Alison Louise Kennedy is a big writer in Scotland, known for her serious minded novels, her frequent hints at suicide, and her second career in stand up comedy I find her a fascinating figure, and a hilarious stand up, but haven t been able to connect with her prose There is something oblique and defensive about her books that makes them impossible to penetrate, although they re clearly soul bearing and honest works.This book is an awkward mash up of confession and non fiction What the A.L Alison Louise Kennedy is a big writer in Scotland, known for her serious minded novels, her frequent hints at suicide, and her second career in stand up comedy I find her a fascinating figure, and a hilarious stand up, but haven t been able to connect with her prose There is something oblique and defensive about her books that makes them impossible to penetrate, although they re clearly soul bearing and honest works.This book is an awkward mash up of confession and non fiction What the cool kids call creative non fiction Get hip, daddio The story begins with an aborted suicide attempt Kennedy s reluctance to die to the strains of the dire Scottish folk song Mhairi s Wedding tells us she is too in love with the grotesque ironies of the world to end things As an attempt to get writing again she accepts a commission to write a book on bullfighting Hence this book, On Bullfighting.So the work is as odd as this sounds The focus is on toreros and bulls and the lusty carnage of the sport, stuffed with too much technical terminology and awkward reportage, interspersed with reports on Kennedy s own state of mind This is limited mainly to her banal discomforts and travelogue shtick, with the occasional personal memory One random scene shows her discussing her grandfather s passing which proves oddly moving.The tension lies in the title A.L Kennedy On Bullfighting You get A.L Kennedy, but not enough You don t get enough personal insight that makes us care about this trip We don t get enough explanation as to her motives for making the trek to Spain She seems to write the book in a form of post traumatic stress disorder You get Bullfighting But not enough The information is accurate and written with flair The bullfights are shown in their goring horror and attempts are made to explain the lust for death and suffering But opinions aren t formed Stances aren t taken You could look this stuff up online The connections between Kennedy, the suffering author obsessed with pain and misery, and the toreros, those brave idiots dancing with death, are tenuous and the result is an uneven and frustrating work N.B This text is, apparently a creative non fiction manual It has an intricate and divine structure that pushes into the realm of technical mastery No idea why Update 6th Aug 2011 Attempted Original Bliss but no dice Throwing in the towel on Alison s work I get why people don t like this book you either expect a straightforward book about bullfighting thanks to the title and suddenly you re facing the author s depression OR you re scouring the book for clues to Kennedy s illness but have to wade through page after page of bullfighting history Neither seems good, right A little too balanced, leading to a noncommittal to either narrative.And yet the book works for me Kennedy s death obsession finds form and, oddly, life in the hazards of the co I get why people don t like this book you either expect a straightforward book about bullfighting thanks to the title and suddenly you re facing the author s depression OR you re scouring the book for clues to Kennedy s illness but have to wade through page after page of bullfighting history Neither seems good, right A little too balanced, leading to a noncommittal to either narrative.And yet the book works for me Kennedy s death obsession finds form and, oddly, life in the hazards of the corrida This little book does much with an idea, a tradition, and ends on a satisfyingly unresolved note when we have faced death and lived, how do we live X