Not having coffee in Huesca

10 Jul

In my last post, I pointed out a stark contrast between Jean-Paul Sartre and myself – that I am a literary giant, while he was a silly ass. This time, I thought I’d point out an equally fascinating and significant similarity between two literary giants, George Orwell and yours truly. Like Orwell, I have never had a cup of coffee in Huesca.

During the Spanish Civil War, the Republican forces, including a young George Orwell, laid siege to the city of Huesca, which was in the hands of Franco’s Falangists. The besiegers would remark to each other, at first optimistically, later, as the siege dragged on, ironically, “Tomorrow we will have coffee in Huesca.” None of them did, least of all Orwell, who was wounded during the siege and evacuated. “If I ever go back to Spain,” he was later to write in Homage to Catalonia, “I shall make a point of having a cup of coffee in Huesca.”

Finding myself in the town, I thought it would be a fitting tribute to also not have a coffee in Huesca. So I stuck to wine. It was the least I could do.

To capture the occasion when one literary giant saluted another, my daughter took this photograph, which features a man in the distance possibly drinking coffee in Huesca.If you look closely you will see that it is not me, and it is certainly not George Orwell. I think you will agree that this is a fitting commemoration of a very special moment in literary history.

ImageTo the left of the picture, you will see several chairs with nobody in them drinking coffee, which I found very moving.



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