I am pleased to announce that the winner of The Blog of the Courtier’s 2nd Birthday Contest is Mrs. A. S., of Dallas, Texas! Mrs. S., your Norton critical edition of Castiglione’s “Book of the Courtier” is on its way to you as I write. As one would expect from a Norton edition, this volume contains contains not only what is generally regarded as the best English translation of the original work presently available, but also a series of essays on the book and Castiglione from several European and American scholars, as well as a chronology of Castiglione’s life and times, extensive annotations, and a full index – the latter in particular is something often lacking in modern printings of this book, and in tandem with the bibliography it will be helpful for further reading and research.
I received many very interesting entries, and thank all of my readers for their suggestions and their congratulations on this small milestone. It is not only a great pleasure for me to be able to write as a general matter, but particularly when my doing so may encourage or enlighten others, and in the process of so doing I may better educate myself. I hope to be able to say the same when this blog turns 3 years old next year.
Mrs. S. asked me to write about the new “City of Culture” being built in the Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela. The project raises numerous issues of interest to me, as regular readers of these virtual pages might imagine: architecture, Spain, Catholicism, history, urban development, contemporary culture, and so on. Naturally this combination of interests made her entry the most appealing of the entries I received.
As I was researching the topic however, I realized that there is so much to write about with respect to this project, that I would need to have some uninterrupted time in which to gather my thoughts. A great deal has been written about this project, but as one might expect much of this is in Spanish – a tongue in which I am fluent, but which still requires a greater level of concentration on my part. Indeed, there is too much for me to synthesize during a regular work week and blog production schedule.
What you may not realize, gentle reader, is that most of my blog entries are written in about 30 to 40 minutes every morning before beginning work. On a typical piece of commentary, neither very short nor very long, I begin by thinking about a topic over my morning coffee, and constructing in my mind what I have to say on the subject. I will then spend some time in fact-checking and assuring myself of issues like spelling and timeline. The writing itself does not take very long, for I have already worked out what I will write before I start to do so. The final process is finding an accompanying image, and doing my best to check my spelling and grammar before I publish.
Because the winning topic in this case involves so many areas of consideration, as indicated above, my intent this Sunday evening – when regular work and chores shall be at an end – is to go over what I have read and seen of this project. In so doing I will reach some conclusions which, I hope, will be of interest not only to Mrs. S., but also to all of my readers. In the meantime, I thank all of you once again for your patronage, your support, and your entries.