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Old 07-10-2011, 10:12 AM   #1
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Blasco Ibáñez, Vicente: The Blood of the Arena. V1. 10-Jul-2011-

Vicente Blasco Ibáñez (29 January 1867 – 28 January 1928) was a Spanish realist novelist writing in Spanish, a screenwriter and occasional film director.
Born in Valencia, today he is best known in the English-speaking world for his World War I novel Los cuatro jinetes del apocalipsis. Filmed in 1921 as The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, it was filmed again in 1962, reset in World War II. However, in his time he was a best-selling author inside and outside of Spain, and also known for his controversial political activities. While Sangre y arena (Blood and Sand) and Los cuatro jinetes del apocalipsis are his most popular novels, particularly outside of Spain, his Valencian novels such as La barraca and Cañas y barro are the ones most valued by scholars.

Excerpt:
JUAN GALLARDO breakfasted early, as he did whenever there was to be a bull-fight. A slice of roast meat was his only dish. Wine he did not even touch; the bottle remained unopened before him. He must keep himself calm. He drank two cups of thick, black coffee, and lighted an enormous cigar, sitting with his elbows on the table and his chin in his hands, looking with dreamy eyes at the guests who one by one filled the dining-room.
It was a number of years ago, not long after he had been given "the alternative" in the bull-ring of Madrid, that he came to lodge at a certain hotel on Alcalá Street where his hosts treated him as if he were one of the family, and the dining-room servants, porters, scullions, and old waiters adored him as the glory of the establishment. There, too, he had spent many days wrapped in bandages, in a dense atmosphere heavy with the smell of iodoform, in consequence of two gorings, but the unhappy recollection did not weigh upon him.
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