During the fifth day of our writing retreat, Peter Orner taught a fascinating three hour workshop on Spanish literature in the morning and afternoon. We jumped right into Don Quixote, book one, chapter XV. Don Quixote is arguably the first fiction novel. We read interpretations by Unamuno and Kafka, among others. We talked about the brilliant invention of the character of Sancho Panza, the beloved friend that plays along with Don Quixote’s fictional world. Peter asked us to think about our own writing, our character’s own Sancho’s. One of our goals for Sunday’s class was to invent a secondary character who is willing to play along and see beyond the scope of what the character can.
Later in the afternoon, the temperature reached a stifling 110 degrees. I bought a magenta fan at one of the touristy shops that have Moroccan imports, leather bags, parachute pants and some other things that tend to be on the kitschy side. There is such a fantastic selection of fans that you can find in the tourist shops, on sheets laid out in the street, or high-end shops where scenes are painted on the fans. We boasted about a “fan language”, which has been fun to play around with. A swift downward movement says, “I’m not interested.” Quick movements like the flutter of a hummingbird say, “I’m smitten.”
During siesta in the late afternoon I was surprised to hear rain beating on the roof of our hotel. Although it was only drizzle, the pink sky indicated thunderstorms. In Granada it only rains an average of eight days per year. What a relief that today was one of those days! The rain cooled everything down and by the time we were finished with dinner at Jardins Alberto the sky had cleared, the rain had stopped. and the roof above the restaurant had opened. It stayed light until about 11pm.
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