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The Ben-al-Art Reading Club visits the home of Gerald Brenan, author of the book read this month

The members of the Ben-al-Arte Reading Club have visited, within their agenda of activities, the Gerald Brenan House located in the neighboring municipality of Churriana.

The Gerald Brenan House is a cultural meeting center, which opened its doors at the end of 2014, whose objective is to promote connections between Anglo-Saxon and Spanish artists. It is located in what was the writer’s own home, which he acquired in 1935 and kept until 1968, the year in which his wife and writer, the American Gamel Woosley, died.

During his stay there, he cultivated friendships as interesting as the writers Hemingway or Julio Caro Baroja, who also moved through this area of ​​Malaga.

The people from Benalmádena were able to visit the premises of the house, receiving the appropriate explanations from the person in charge of their custody.

In this way, they were able to know the original situation of the house, its old distribution of spaces, the social and cultural life that developed within its walls and also some anecdotes of the time, how the beginnings of the civil war were experienced within its walls In Malaga,  as well as its role at present with its cultural orientation for the development of meetings, book presentations or conferences.

On the other hand, the members of theBen-al-Arte Reading Club took advantage of the visit to comment on the book they had read this month, Al sur de Granada, a work that Gerald Brenan wrote when he lived in this house and which was published in 1957.

The work collects the author’s experiences throughout the fifteen years (between 1920 and 1935) that he lived in the municipality of Yegen, in La Alpujarra.

Regarding this work, the Benalmadense cultural association explains that Brenan, with this work, “which we could classify as an anthropological or ethnological study, include it in the memoirs section and even as a travel chronicle”, describes in detail the location of the municipality in which he had his home and those of the surroundings; the precarious communication networks between the various towns and of these with the capitals of Granada and Almería.

Likewise, the author delves into the work dedications of his neighbors, mainly to agriculture, which maintained ancestral customs alien to new developments; the social structure of the community with the important role played by the caciques, both in the political and in the family, which conditioned the poorest families above all; the customs and rituals that governed the lives of its inhabitants, including sorcerers, witches, and healers; the organization of certain celebrations such as baptisms, weddings (including courtship and courtship protocols), burials, religious celebrations; cultural references, among others.

“We want to thank the management of the Gerald Brenan House and the person who attends the visitors, for allowing us to know and enjoy these facilities, and to be able to comment on a work in the same place where it was conceived by its author” have commented from the coordination of the Reading Club.



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