Showing posts from September, 2021

Book Review: Antonio Muñoz Molina

  In a world of climate change, political extremism, wars, mindless violence, and disconnection from our fellow human beings Antonio Muñoz Molina travels into an alternative reality of literature, music, and art. He writes: “I like literature that has the disruptive and intoxicating effect of wine or music, making me forget myself, forcing me to read it aloud and to give in to its contagion, explaining the world to me while setting me at war with it, giving me shelter even as it reveals the horror of everything around me as vividly as its beauty.” Yet the written and spoken word can both be liberator and captor. The words of advertising slogans, newspaper headlines, news reports, and overheard conversations on the streets and on the Madrid metro at times seem to reach an unbearable crescendo. “I become aware of the full volume and intensity of the endless noise that I failed to notice even as it was drowning out my voice and everything else around me,” he writes. For him the world seem

Have Murcia on me

Tony Bailie hikes through the lunar landscape of Murcia's badlands, climbs a forest-covered mountain, visits 'snow wells' and peeks into a former TB sanatorium to see if any ghosts turn up... An ancient sea floor pushed upwards over millions of years formed Barrancos De Gebas which lies about an hour's drive out of Murcia city. Barrancos means ravines and dozens of them – chalky white, rising and falling away from one another – give this place an other-worldly feel. Despite the sparse vegetation, earning it the title of The Badlands, it is a rich habitat for hundreds of butterflies and moths. It has been a protected area since 1995 and its unique desert landscape shimmers with an eerie whiteness in the morning sun. The barrancos form a hinterland for Sierra Espuña, which in contrast sees lush green forests rising along a series of not-too-high but impressive mountains. The greenery of this area is thanks to an early 20th century environmentalist called Ricardo Codorníu