Last year, my son spent a semester abroad studying in Valencia, Spain and brought me this poster when he returned. I was thrilled and thought it was like any writers’ conference in the United States. When I did a google search on the image, I found the poster commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of a group of intellectuals and writers seeking to free Spain from fascism in the midst of the Spanish Civil War.
In 1937, Spanish writer and poet, José Bergamín, presided over the Second International Congress of Writers in Defense of Culture held in Valencia. It was attended by more than one hundred writers including Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Neruda.
I’m assuming the image of Don Quixote of La Mancha in the background of the poster is a reference to the idealism of this group of intellectuals intent on righting the wrongs of fascism. The weapon of these writers was their words.
While my son was in Spain, I was busy writing a novella. Parts of KISS AND TELL were set in southern Spain, which made me feel a connection to him while he was away. I was happy to study the diverse Spanish weather, geographical areas, plants, and animals.
My other connection to this poster is a character in the story of Don Quixote. In my next soon-to-be-released book, NO ONE’S WATCHING, the main character is Kitri, the name of Don Quixote’s niece. Kitri laments that her arms behave like the windmills in Miguel de Cervantes‘ classic novel, which is not a good thing for a ballet dancer. More about that book in a couple of weeks!