John Dos Passos and Spain

About a month ago, I visited Spain to contribute to a new documentary–currently in post-production–on my grandfather’s role in reporting on the Spanish Civil War and his friendship with Spanish writer and translator José Robles. The documentary is directed by Sonia Tercero Ramiro and produced by Time Zone Productions out of Madrid. It will air in the fall on Spanish TV. So far, one screening has been arranged in the United States–at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. I would love to see more screenings in Washington, DC and New York City and elsewhere.

While in Spain, I stayed mostly in Madrid and enjoyed side trips to Fuentidueña de Tajo and Segovia.

The Dos Passos name is still revered in the literary circles of Madrid. I was delighted to meet so many admirers of his literary legacy. Among others, I met Palmira Márquez and Miguel Munárriz, the crusading, generous founders of the Dos Passos Literary Agency in Madrid. Miguel posted a note on his blog about my visit and the documentary production.

Historian and journalist Carlos García Santa Cecilia participated in the documentary and he also wrote a blog post about the experience. Several news agencies covered the documentary and my thoughts on it. Juan http://www.health-canada-pharmacy.com Cruz of El País interviewed me and wrote a piece. La Tercera, in Chile, also covered my visit. So did Univision of California.

I found the Spanish countryside terrain to be memorable. I can see why it inspired my grandfather’s artistry. The chaparral has a unique look. I just published an article on the Spanish pueblo. It follows up on an article my grandfather wrote in February 1938 for Esquire, “The Villages Are the Heart of Spain.”

On a future visit to Spain, I hope to visit Andalusia. From what I understand, the terrain is a special blend there: desert, beach, and upland. Like in central Spain, the buttes and mesas are tan, not red like in Arizona. The photos I’ve seen of olive groves in Andalusia are extraordinary.

Farewell, Spain. Hasta el proximo.

The fields of Fuentiduena de Tajo, Spain.

The fields of Fuentiduena de Tajo, Spain.

Cherries in Fuentiduena de Tajo.

Cherries in Fuentiduena de Tajo.

The Tagus River in Fuentiduena de Tajo.

The Tagus River in Fuentiduena de Tajo.

The buttes and ravines of central Spain.

The buttes and ravines of central Spain.

Poppy fields of Segovia, Spain.

Poppy fields of Segovia, Spain.

The primary castle of Segovia, Spain.

The primary castle of Segovia, Spain.