This splendid biography is considered the finest example of the genre in the Spanish language in the 20th century and constitutes a key narrative on the bullfighting tradition.
The Seville-born author Manuel Chaves Nogales was one of the most eminent journalists of the golden age of Spanish journalism in the first half of the 20th century. In addition to his writings for the newspapers, his narrative works and essays, he wrote this unclassifiable novelised biography of the legendary bullfighter Juan Belmonte.
When Chaves Nogales, who was not himself a bullfighting enthusiast, met the matador shortly before the publication of his biography, they had an instant rapport. The personal reminiscences that the bullfighter conveyed to him and Chaves Nogales' own impressions of the time they spent together are depicted with accuracy, clarity and in exquisite prose.
More than a biography, this literary piece is a consistent and ethical description, and a genuine testimony to a tradition –bullfighting– and to a moment in history.