The memoirs of Simón Casas, a profitable hustler, author and passionate and controversial bullfighter | The bull, by the horns | Culture | EUROtoday

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He has not misplaced face cowboy, has been a hustler and now, rightly, he appears like a winner. He was born within the French metropolis of Nimes right into a modest household of Sephardic Jews, to a Polish father and Turkish mom. The first Hispanic he met was wearing lights, and he needed to be a bullfighter to be Spanish like his folks, initially from Toledo. And he received it: he lower off an ear in Las Ventas as a bullfighter, he took the choice in his hometown, however he retired that very same night time. He exchanged gold for denims and have become a bullfighting businessman, first from Nimes, and later, he decided to beat Spain.

Today he’s the businessman of Las Ventas. He has managed to get out on the shoulders of his personal future. And in a couple of days he’ll obtain Spanish nationality, the DNI on which his title will seem, Simón Domb Cases, —Simón Casas within the posters— born on September 2, 1947, bullfighter and author, protagonist of a movie life that has dealt to summarize his lately printed seventh ebook in a memoir, Passes and Passes, (Demipage publishing home). But this textual content, greater than a handful of biographical reminiscences, is a process of seasoning or, maybe, a scramble full of important reflections of a robust and contradictory, controversial and criticized bullfighter, who claims to be an artist and mental relatively than a businessman, drained, acknowledges , of being a public determine and desperate to retire to anonymity and get misplaced at sea aboard the ship that’s anchored in Mahón.

“I always considered myself Spanish,” says Simón Casas, “bullfighting has been my identity link, and now I think the time has come to apply for my Spanish passport, because I have conquered my lost family identity. Now that I am a businessman in Madrid, I feel that I have earned the stripes of Spanishness one hundred percent, and when I receive the DNI I will have finished building my destiny.”

“I always considered myself Spanish, and in a few days I will receive the DNI that will mark the culmination of my destiny”

He assures that his life has been “very hard”, that his childhood was spent in very unfavorable social and financial circumstances, that he barely entered college and was compelled to discover a life. “My path has been that of a self-taught person,” he provides, “and not only in the cultural aspect, but in the conception of my character, my aspirations, my life…”

Casas says that he arrived in Madrid when he was lower than 20 years outdated, with no job or cash, that he slept on the road, that he labored as a avenue painter of El Greco's Virgin Mary on church esplanades and as a information to the Prado Museum for French households. “I learned the history of four famous paintings, I contacted tourists from my country, I told them that I was a student of Fine Arts and thus, between the drawings on the floor and my weapons as an artistic seducer, I earned a few pesetas.”

He managed to debut as a bullfighter with horses in Las Ventas, acquired the title of matador in Nimes on March 16, 1975, and 5 years later he gained the competition to be a businessman in that metropolis; then the Spanish conquest, profitable businessman, consultant of figures, influential, revered and feared bullfighter… But virtually nothing of all that previous counts within the ebook of his supposed memoirs.

“It is true that my editor and I had an exchange of views on this matter,” he explains. “He asked me for some memoirs, and I offered him a memory game, not a chronological biography, but some reflections on bullfighting and life.”

“I have been a rogue by necessity; “Now I am an intellectual adventurer, an artist.”

Ask. Define your self, a minimum of. Who is Simón Casas? A rogue, a residing individual, a wise man, a fortunate bullfighter…?

Answer. I’ve been a rogue and an adventurer out of necessity, not need. I couldn't outline myself, however I do know what I’ve turn into. I’m captivated with understanding the which means of my life, I’m keen on politics, philosophy, literature; I’ve a relentless urge for food for data. I’ve learn lots to make up for my lack of college coaching. I’m an mental adventurer, an artist…

P. And he needed to be a bullfighter to achieve the height of the artwork…

R. Yes, but additionally by id; If I had not been born in Nîmes, he can be the identical character, however I might have probably devoted myself to literature.

P. Because as a bullfighter you left lots to be desired…

R. Back then, there have been no bullfighting colleges, and the French didn’t enable us to struggle with out horses in Spain. In reality, I debuted with picadors in Madrid with none preparation. But I inform you one factor: if I had had the chance for technical coaching, I might have been a superb bullfighter. I’ve that hope left.

But it was not like that. He then opted for the world of bullfighting, and in 1980, after an argument with the communist City Council of Nimes, (he himself was a voter of that political choice), he managed to get the sq. put out to tender and since then, and so they have After 44 years, he’s the supervisor of the Nimeño area.

His was the primary different that was granted in his hometown, and he proudly says that he has managed to get figures like El Juli, Jesulín or Roca Rey to additionally turn into bullfighters in that French land.

Afternoon of bullfighting in the French square in Nimes at the end of the 1980s.
Afternoon of bullfighting within the French sq. in Nimes on the finish of the Nineteen Eighties.Antonio Gabriel

Later, the socialist politician Enrique Múgica helped him make his approach in Spain, and launched him to the president of the Provincial Council of Valencia, who granted him direct administration of the sq. in 1985. And there he started a profession that has taken him to Las Ventas after passing by way of Málaga, El Puerto de Santa María, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Zaragoza, Castellón and Albacete, amongst others.

P. But are you or are you not a businessman from Madrid, as a result of the one one who seems as such is Rafael García Garrido?

R. Of course. We shaped a three way partnership between Simón Casas Production and Nautalia, and each corporations gained the competition. My associate has extra and higher enterprise qualities than me, and I’m very grateful for his necessary work. And since I’ve no have to brag, it doesn't matter to me whether or not I'm seen or not. Rafael is answerable for the enterprise half and I for the inventive half, and we each do our greatest to handle the Madrid plaza as finest as doable. Rafael and I are very completely different, however complementary.

P. And you might be purported to have been and are a cheerful man.

R. Mine has been and is, relatively, a passionate life. Happy? I'm left with my life, which has had quite a lot of content material. I hope to seek out happiness once I abandon the industrial and media issues that encompass me and retire to build up data in absolute anonymity.

P. You announce in your memoir that you’ll retire quickly.

R. Yes, the penultimate chapter is titled 'Packing your luggage', and I say that quickly I’ll depart this nice universe of bullfighting, all my misunderstandings and all this fuss, and I’ll stroll round Madrid while not having to know who I’m.

“Do I have a bad image? You will say that; It is the black legend that my competition has invented, because I am an absolutely honest professional”

P. Then, you gained't enter the following contest in Nimes or Las Ventas?

R. Well… sure I’ll apply for the renewal in Nimes, however I need to retire from the enterprise and proceed as an inventive advisor, and that’s how I’m reorganizing it. Regarding Madrid, I don't reply; It will depend upon what occurs within the coming months.

P. You have achieved your skilled objectives, as a profitable businessman, highly effective and influential bullfighter, however you haven’t managed to have a superb private {and professional} picture…

(This is the one second of the interview wherein Casas expresses deep discomfort; the remark bothered him, and he doesn’t conceal it).

R. You will say that. I’m going out on the road and so they ask me for photographs and autographs and so they thank me for what I contribute to bullfighting. I imply, I don't know what he's speaking about. At worst, I’ve a nasty picture amongst a couple of followers, fundamentalists, to whom all the things appears unhealthy.

P. Well, there may be the impression that you’re an unreliable man who has not paid the bullfighters he has employed in a well timed method, for instance…

R. And do you consider it? That is a black legend that my competitors has invented to attempt to stop me from conquering the market. All the bullfighters, managers and ranchers are devoted to me. Proof of what I'm telling you is that I can announce the Nimes Fair with out negotiating with the bullfighters. Do you assume you possibly can do it if you happen to didn't have the belief of pros?

P. Are you, then, an trustworthy skilled…

R. Absolutely. And I’m not by vocation, however by my situation as an artist. I’m motivated by hopes and goals. There are folks on the earth of bullfighting who solely take into consideration the cash, the rattling cash, however not me. And I inform you extra: those that have tried to attribute to me that unhealthy picture that you simply communicate of have aspired to be businessmen from Madrid and they aren’t and by no means can be, as a result of they’re mediocre.

Nor does the ebook point out that he has recruited 53 bullfighters, and now he’s very enthusiastic about Talavante, who calls him through the journalistic assembly and Casas encourages him to reveal his excessive inventive potential.

The businessman, former bullfighter, agent and author, the artist Simón Casas will not be positive if he’ll ever write his actual memoirs. It would be the story of the lifetime of the cowboy with a face dotted with scars, a rogue hustler, adventurer and winner, with a superb self-concept that not everybody shares, though it drives him loopy.

All the tradition that goes with you awaits you right here.

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