I'm not a real fan of bullfighting because I can't get past the problem of the cruelty of the sport. However, ever since reading Ernest Hemmingway's 1932 book Death in the Afternoon I have been a huge fan of the courage, skill and art of the matador. My favorite quote from the book deals with timing and courage. Hemmingway writes about the concept of "Ver Llegar" or "to watch them come" which he describes as the ability to watch t he bull come as he charges with no thought except to calmly see what he is doing and to make the moves necessary  to the maneuver you have in mind. He says "To calmly watch the bullcome is the most necessary and primarily difficult thing in bullfighting."

Hemmingway saw his first bullfight in 1923 and it became one of his passions of life. The book is an encylopedia of information about the sport. We learn that the madador is usually wearing a hand made suit which takes a lot of effort to create. It is worn with a white shirt, narrow black tie, knee stockings, ballet like slippers and a two cornered hat. He also wears a pig tail which is symbolically cut when the madador retires. The cape is only worn in the parade before the fight and than hung on the fence.

Javier Conde Becerra, better known as Javier Conde, is one of the most famous bullfighters to come from Malaga. Born in 1975, his natural style, good looks and polite nature make him a favorite among the press and the people. He is also married to a Flamenco singer Estrella Morente.

Daniel Ochoa De Olza captured some wonderful photographs of Conde in action for Reuters which I find inspiring. I've published them here.

Javier conte.2 Javier conte

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