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Rosinante to the Road Again   By: (1896-1970)

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Books by John Dos Passos

NOVELS: Three Soldiers One Man's Initiation

ESSAYS: Rosinante to the Road Again

POEMS: A Pushcart at the Curb ( In Preparation )




George H. Doran Company Publishers New York

Copyright, 1922, By George H. Doran Company

Printed in the United States of America



I: A Gesture and a Quest , 9 II: The Donkey Boy , 24 III: The Baker of Almorox , 47 IV: Talk by the Road , 71 V: A Novelist of Revolution , 80 VI: Talk by the Road , 101 VII: Cordova No Longer of the Caliphs , 104 VIII: Talk by the Road , 115 IX: An Inverted Midas , 120 X: Talk by the Road , 133 XI: Antonio Machado; Poet of Castile , 140 XII: A Catalan Poet , 159 XIII: Talk by the Road , 176 XIV: Benavente's Madrid , 182 XV: Talk by the Road , 196 XVI: A Funeral in Madrid , 202 XVII: Toledo , 230


I: A Gesture and a Quest

Telemachus had wandered so far in search of his father he had quite forgotten what he was looking for. He sat on a yellow plush bench in the café El Oro del Rhin, Plaza Santa Ana, Madrid, swabbing up with a bit of bread the last smudges of brown sauce off a plate of which the edges were piled with the dismembered skeleton of a pigeon. Opposite his plate was a similar plate his companion had already polished. Telemachus put the last piece of bread into his mouth, drank down a glass of beer at one spasmodic gulp, sighed, leaned across the table and said:

"I wonder why I'm here."

"Why anywhere else than here?" said Lyaeus, a young man with hollow cheeks and slow moving hands, about whose mouth a faint pained smile was continually hovering, and he too drank down his beer.

At the end of a perspective of white marble tables, faces thrust forward over yellow plush cushions under twining veils of tobacco smoke, four German women on a little dais were playing Tannhauser . Smells of beer, sawdust, shrimps, roast pigeon.

"Do you know Jorge Manrique? That's one reason, Tel," the other man continued slowly. With one hand he gestured to the waiter for more beer, the other he waved across his face as if to brush away the music; then he recited, pronouncing the words haltingly:

'Recuerde el alma dormida, Avive el seso y despierte Contemplando Cómo se pasa la vida, Cómo se viene la muerte Tan callando: Cuán presto se va el placer, Cómo después de acordado Da dolor, Cómo a nuestro parecer Cualquier tiempo pasado Fué mejor.'

"It's always death," said Telemachus, "but we must go on."

It had been raining. Lights rippled red and orange and yellow and green on the clean paving stones. A cold wind off the Sierra shrilled through clattering streets. As they walked, the other man was telling how this Castilian nobleman, courtier, man at arms, had shut himself up when his father, the Master of Santiago, died and had written this poem, created this tremendous rhythm of death sweeping like a wind over the world... Continue reading book >>

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