“Almost 10% of lawyers at the Grenoble bar plan to stop”

the– Lawyers

Caroline Thermoz-Liaudy

In office since January 1, the President of the Grenoble Bar, Evelyne Tauleigne, is experiencing an unprecedented and eventful start to his mandate. After two months of strike against the pension reform, it is the Covid-19 crisis which is likely to jeopardize the future of certain lawyers.

What are the different factors that led to a situation that was difficult for lawyers to maintain?

Today, we combine the change in procedures, and two and a half months of strikes, with the sudden cessation of activity due to the Covid-19. Since December, there was already no more hearing at the district court since the merger with the TGI was being prepared there as part of the creation of the court.

Then there were the months of strike related to the reform project of our retirement system and today, a health crisis which led to the closing of the courthouses.

Financially, we are starting to suffer the consequences. We indeed have a time lag between the invoicing of fees and their payment, which leaves us room to maneuver. But this year, the months of January and February were also disrupted. Also, in April many firms did not charge anything at all.

Can you work remotely, despite the closure of the courthouse?

It is more complex than that. In criminal matters, there is a little bit of activity. The courthouse continues to operate for emergencies, and lawyers work on a voluntary basis.

We must salute the good Grenoble agreement between the Palace and the Bar, which made it possible to build a business continuity plan, even a very small one, in criminal matters as well as in civil matters. We are also one of the first jurisdictions to have been able to set up this dematerialized operation. Lawyers are not allowed to enter the Palace, except those who intervene for the emergency defense. However, cases can also be taken care of, without hearings and without oral argument. We have set up a dedicated platform which has taken care of 50% of the non-urgent cases which were heard for the months of March and April.

We must salute the good Grenoble agreement between the Palace and the Bar

Have these solutions been made possible thanks to the reform of modernization and dematerialization of justice?

Not really, no. If the RPVA (virtual private network of the lawyer) allows lawyers to work and transmit documents in a secure manner from any post and place, the equivalent of the magistrates, the RPVJ (virtual private network of justice) , does not work locally. The clerks and magistrates could not therefore read the massages that we sent.

We had to reinvent a solution, and we have created a dedicated platform, where we can file our conclusions and our documents, and which the judges can consult from a distance.

We have a very healthy and very frank dialogue with our magistrates. The first president of the court of appeal recently proposed to set up a physical deposit of files, for cases without hearing or oral argument.

A study was carried out on the Grenoble bar to measure the impact of the months of reduced activity. What are the conclusions?

The CNB launched an investigation, the results of which were very alarmist, citing the figure of 27,000 lawyers who could stop the profession. So I wanted this study to be conducted in Grenoble. Participation was quite large, and there was a big loss of activity in March.

You cannot exactly differentiate between loss of activity from the virus and loss of activity from the strike. However, a good number of respondents reported a complete cessation of activity in April. Volunteers on criminal matters have a little bit billed.

On the answers obtained, we also have many lawyers who tell us that the offices are closed. They do not see their customers, and change little by phone with them. The exchanges are more numerous by emails. Over 70% of respondents also reported that they had no new customers.

The majority of those with salaried staff have resorted to partial unemployment. Some have been able to put their employees to work, but the activity is not sufficient. This will be problematic because the status of collaborator is very specific.

More than 60% of respondents reported a decline of at least 60% in their activity compared to March 2019, and even -70% for the month of April.

Almost 10% of the lawyers of the Grenoble bar plan to stop the profession. 30% plan to prosecute by reducing their staff. And many will expand their field of activity in law.

The cessation of lawyers’ activities is also a risk for access to justice. Because the cabinets that will close will be the smallest, often in the eccentric areas. If the cabinets installed in the small towns cannot survive there, they could regroup in the big cities. The territorial network will be less good.

– 60% activity in March, – 70% in April

What resumption of activity is envisaged?

I had made the designations of office to prefer volunteering for him. The lawyers who manage immediate appearances, or consultations for police custody, do so if they are voluntary, respecting the usual precautions. I also managed to order masks.

In Grenoble, there are many small firms. I call them the artisans of the law, and many live under emergency defense and legal aid, while the legal aid office is not functioning. So our colleagues work but are not paid.

The CNB met with the Chancellery last week, what solutions came out of it?

A number of measures provided for freelancers were not applicable for lawyers. We have highlighted the importance of maintaining the activity of legal aid, and of paying for this activity. It was planned to make financial advances for legal aid.

We are also trying to obtain a simplification of fee taxation. This would allow the concrete mixer to obtain the executory force of his act, without going through the court. This should make it possible to reduce the payment periods, in the event of non-payment or dispute.

A risk for access to justice

The Grenoble Bar has implemented a number of decentralized actions, including a contact platform for lawyers. Is the results satisfactory?

I think this solution was very well received, especially since it was done very quickly. It may be a solution that we will adopt, even if it means making some modifications.

It may also be the time to develop alternative methods of out-of-court dispute resolution. We are trying to see with the mediation commission how to set up an online mediation system, but everything remains to be done. I wish all the more that my colleagues develop mediation, that it is both a solution to recreate activity for lawyers, and to meet the demand of litigants.

Finally, to meet our training obligation, we wish to set up e-learning training, either in videoconference or via videos.

Interview by Caroline Thermoz-Liaudy


twenty years in prison for former Prime Minister in exile, Guillaume Soro

Guillaume Soro was in turn a centerpiece in the exercise of power by two successive presidents, Laurent Gbabgo and Alassane Ouattara. For two decades, he had spared himself a presidential destiny. But he was sentenced on April 28 to 20 years in prison by the Abidjan Criminal Court. Fallen for a real estate business, he is probably eliminated from the Ivorian game for a moment.

► What is Guillaume Soro guilty of?

The Ivorian court sentenced him for ” concealment of embezzlement of public funds ” and ” money laundering ” in connection with the purchase of a house in 2007. He is guilty of having diverted 1.5 billion CFA francs (2.3 million euros) of public funds to acquire his luxurious villa in Abidjan.

Tried in absentia, this former prime minister of Laurent Gbagbo and former president of the National Assembly went into exile in Europe to escape the legal proceedings of his country. He was also ordered to pay ” 4.5 billion CFA francs in fines “ (6.8 million euros), to ” confiscation Of his house and deprivation of civil rights for five years.

► Why is this conviction disturbing?

This judgment completely ignores a decision of the African Court of Human Rights, the judicial institution of the African Union, which in a judgment published on April 22, had ordered Côte d’Ivoire to suspend the execution of the arrest warrant against Guillaume Soro “. And even to release 19 of his relatives imprisoned for four months: deputies, members of his party including former ministers, two of his brothers.

The African Court of Human Rights made this decision ” unanimously ” because, she continued, the arrest warrant and the arrest warrants filed in this case are such as to ” seriously impair the exercise of the applicants’ political rights and freedoms “. She had given the Ivorian state 30 days to execute her judgment.

The Abidjan Criminal Court should have taken this into account, protests the group of lawyers for Guillaume Soro. Because Côte d’Ivoire is a member of the African Union and a signatory to the protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples ‘Rights, establishing the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. By this fact, the Ivorian State recognizes its competence and undertakes to comply with the decisions rendered in all disputes where it is in question and to ensure their execution within the time limit set, including that rendered on April 22, 2020.

Among the reactions in Côte d’Ivoire, the anger of Henri Konan Bédié did not go unnoticed. Former Ivorian president and former ally of Alassane Ouattara, he denounced, through his political platform, reports The Abidjan daily the deterioration of the socio-political situation, due to transgressions of all kinds, perpetrated by the government against political figures of the opposition (…) ” He asked “The government to demonstrate, for once, responsibility in complying with the decisions contained” in the order of the African Court of Human Rights.

► What are the consequences for Guillaume Soro?

They are double. First, he can be arrested abroad and extradited to Côte d’Ivoire. Besides, not only can he still not return to Côte d’Ivoire, but above all, he is effectively excluded from the presidential election in October when he was one of the main candidates.

That said, its horizon is not completely closed by this court decision. First, the decision of the African Court on Human Rights is not likely to facilitate the arrest and extradition of Guillaume Soro abroad. In addition, the former president of the National Assembly can appeal this judgment. Finally, Ivorian justice is not known, as many human rights NGOs regret it, to be reliable and to escape the political calculation and the interests of those who run the country.

There is little chance that Guillaume Soro will be locked up for 20 years in an Ivorian prison. As the story of Laurent Gbagbo, Alassane Ouattara, Konan Bédié and even Guillaume Soro shows, nothing is ever final in the fate and career of Ivorian politicians.


abolition of flogging, human rights figure dies in prison

Saudi Arabia has abolished the flogging sentence for “Comply with international human rights standards (against) corporal punishment”, according to a Supreme Court document consulted on Saturday April 25 by Agence France-Presse, confirmed by the Saudi human rights commission, a government agency.

What does the Supreme Court say?

“The Supreme Court decided in April to remove flogging among the sentences that judges can decide”, declared the highest judicial authority of the kingdom in this document, without specifying an exact date. This penalty was applicable in the case of murder, violation of ” public order “ or even extramarital relationships.

From now on, the magistrates will have to opt for imprisonment and / or fines as well as alternative sentences such as community service.

How to understand this announcement?

According to this document, this decision comes within the framework “Human rights reforms and advances” under the supervision of King Salmane and Crown Prince Mohammed ben Salmane (MBS). While the latter undertook the economic and social opening of the kingdom, he was strongly criticized for his violations of human rights and for his increased repression against dissidents.

→ READ. In Saudi Arabia, the crown prince does the cleaning around him

The case of blogger Raif Badawi is emblematic of this repression. Defender of freedom of expression, he was sentenced in 2014 to receive 1,000 lashes and ten years in prison for “Insult” to Islam. In 2015, he won the Sakharov Prize for freedom of mind, awarded by the European Parliament which had called for his release ” immediate ». Among the other victims of the regime, the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, murdered in 2018.

Human rights activist dies in prison

The day before the abolition of the flogging was announced, human rights NGOs learned of the disappearance of another human rights defender in the kingdom: that of the human rights activist. Abdallah al-Hamid, who was serving an eleven-year prison sentence in Saudi Arabia.

He was one of the founders of the Saudi Association for Civil and Political Rights (ACPRA), created in 2009 and dissolved in 2013. Abdallah al-Hamid was accused of having “Broken allegiance” to the Saudi king, “Incited to disorder”, and for seeking to destabilize state security.

“The fact that Abdallah al-Hamid was forced to spend his last years in prison simply for criticizing endemic human rights violations in Saudi Arabia is unforgivable”said Human Rights Watch (HWR) deputy Middle East director Michael Page said on Saturday (April 25) in a statement.


44 suspected Boko Haram fighters found dead

I.In Chad, 44 suspected fighters of the Boko Haram jihadist militia have been found dead in their cell. The prisoners’ bodies were found in the N’Djamena detention center on Thursday, Central African country’s Attorney General Youssouf Tom said on Saturday. They belonged to a group of 58 jihadists who had been captured in an army operation on Lake Chad in late March.

Forensic doctors suspect taking deadly substance

Four bodies were autopsied, said Tom. The coroners suspect that the detainees had ingested a “deadly substance” that attacked the heart of some and choked others.

Many Boko Haram fighters are hiding in the region around Lake Chad to launch attacks in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger. Boko Haram has been fighting violently for an Islamist state in northeastern Nigeria since 2009. The conflict also spread to Nigeria’s neighboring countries. Attacks and attacks by the militia have killed around 35,000 people in recent years, and two million others have fled.


Corona madness behind bars – cell phones for prisoners – Hamburg

Hamburg – This senator of justice has a heart for crackers: Till Steffen (46, greens) is always good for weird suggestions. This time he wants to “cushion” the psychological consequences of the Corona crisis in Hamburg’s prisoners – by distributing 470 cell phones. After all, the inmates would have to “do without their loved ones”. This was announced by Steffen’s authority on request from BILD.

Photo: picture alliance / dpa

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Hamburg Senator for Justice Till Steffen (46, Greens)Photo: picture alliance / dpa

The CDU opposition is horrified. Justice expert Richard Seelmaecker (54): “Absolute nonsense. Cell phones in detention centers are banned for a reason. This is to prevent crimes from being planned while in detention. Even witnesses in court proceedings should not be influenced and victims should not be threatened. “

The judicial authority sees it differently: visits are severely restricted because of Corona. So that prisoners can stay in touch with relatives and clarify private matters, they now receive prepaid cell phones – without a camera or the Internet.

Photo: www.sylent-press.de/Peter Sylent

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Prison Fuhlsbüttel (Santa Fu) at the HasenbergePhoto: www.sylent-press.de/Peter Sylent

► Who pays them? The prisoners – 20 euros.

► Who pays the SIM cards? Prisoners or relatives.

► How should abuse be prevented? Calls can only be made outside. The devices are registered. They can be checked by the institutions at any time. Contact and conversation lists must not be deleted.

► Are all prisons involved in the campaign? No. U-custody and juvenile detention are excluded.

► What happens if misused? “Of course, this can never be ruled out 100 percent, the enforcement is aware of this risk,” said a justice spokesman. If this happens, there will be criminal charges.

► How long should the campaign last? As long as the corona restrictions apply.


“I have a good memory of the month I was isolated in a jail cell”

After finishing last year the publication of his ‘Diarios’ (Ed. Pepitas de Calabaza) with the edition in a single volume with an unpublished epilogue of his literary project, Iñaki Uriarte (New York, 1946) lives these days of confinement without excessive anxiety at his home in Bilbao. “I have been training for this all my life,” jokes the writer, whose work has attracted the admiration of a select group of readers, the praise of distinguished colleagues, and who has been able to read the excellent reviews garnered after his recent translation into French.

– Has home confinement changed a lot in your daily life?

– No. I used to go out in the morning, late, around twelve-thirty, I would go for the newspaper, the bread, tobacco, something in the pharmacy, a purchase in the supermarket, things like that, and then I would have a coffee on a terrace, that this has changed. The rest of the day was practically spent at home. And a couple of times a week he ate or dined with a small group of friends. So this life is quite similar to the one before.

– Well, you joke that you have never worked, many people are imitating you these days …

– Well, with that that I have never worked I mean that I have never been on the payroll, nor have I had a fixed schedule, but I have done some things, such as writing encyclopedias, translating, writing some literary criticism … But well, i haven’t been a salaried. In fact, I have no pension.

– And being a risk group, do you live the pandemic with fear?

– I am not afraid, although I am in fourteen risk groups. My wife is more obsessed and protects me a lot. The last thing he said to me is that I have to wash my hands fifteen times a day, but I laugh. On the street I have the impression that people are more afraid of me than I am of them. These days I have remembered when I first went to that tough New York of the early eighties, I went down to the street with a little fear and immediately realized that the one they were afraid of was me, because I was the brunette. People moved away. And now the same thing is happening to me: I see someone with a mask that comes from far away and I’m not afraid, but I notice that he is. And a strange thing: if you go through the mountains walking alone and you meet someone on a path you say ‘hello’, or whatever, normally; Well now, you meet someone on a completely empty street and you don’t greet each other, or anything, not a word, you hardly even look at each other.

– He spent four months as a young man locked up in prison.

– Sure, and an entire one in a three by three meter isolation cell. It was for a strike against the Burgos trial. It was the best month in prison because I was sick of being with people all the time. I have a good memory of that month, I read ‘Zero and infinity’, by Koestler, and ‘Resurrection’, by Tolstoi, and I made myself a pipe with breadcrumbs to smoke the tobacco bits that were left in my pockets. Being alone doesn’t worry me much, other than that now I’m in a big house, with lots of light, my wife and the two cats, Tom and Woody.

– Precisely, of that prison experience there is an episode of which he is proud, although he does not remember.

– A friend who was with me in the cell told me about it. When they were released, the prisoners usually took their suitcase running, said goodbye and went out whistling, but we were three in the cell and each day we had to clean one, and the day they released me it was my turn. And, according to this friend, I, very serious, in Burt Lancaster plan, instead of running away, I took the mop and the bucket, and I started to clean the cell to leave it well to my colleagues and when I finished I left. I don’t remember that, but my friend Álvaro always tells it.

– He told me that he had been training his whole life for this.

– That is a bit of a ’boutade’, but there is some truth. I’ve been training my whole life for this. Due to my introverted or not very sociable character or something misanthropic or whatever, I have been looking for thinkers and books that fit with my way of being, starting with Epicurus, for example, whose motto was “hide your life”, although later I have done quite the opposite when publishing the newspaper! I liked those ancient philosophers who sought self-sufficiency and did not depend on others. Ovid said something like this: “He who lived unnoticed lived well.” And my favorite writer, Montaigne, also more or less hid from very young society, at 38 years old.

– Were you surprised by the reaction of society in these circumstances? For example, around the elderly and their screening or not when going to the ICUs.

– I don’t know how far that debate will go, which seems pretty Nazi to me. But I also don’t know very well what to do or what not to do in a particular case. If you have an ICU for two, who’s up?

– The first one to arrive?

– Yes, that seems the most logical, now, I am not saying that I did not give it to the other in any case … Man, if he is an imbecile, no, but if he is a relative, or an uncle that I like and I’m already very bad, very bad, because maybe I would leave the ICU for him. Now, what if you have to make lists, look at age or state of health coldly, classify everyone, etc.? That strikes me as terrifying.

“I do not go down the street in fear of catching it, although I am in fourteen risk groups”

“Once the ‘Diaries’ have been published, I am encouraged because what I write is again for me”

– And how obedient have we been?

– That didn’t surprise me. It has confirmed in my idea that society is very … meek, although this meek does not sound good. Prefer security to freedom, we tend to the former and stick to what they tell you to do if you think you will be safer. It did surprise me when they banned smoking in closed public spaces, from one day to the next, and nobody protested, nothing happened. Authority tends to be listened to.

– And that, do you find it positive or negative?

– I guess it’s a genetic determinism. Freedom excludes you from the group and leaves you a little more unprotected, although if I think about what freedom and non-freedom are, I don’t know very well either. It happens to me like Saint Augustine with Time: «If they don’t ask me what Time is, I know perfectly well what it is, but if they ask me what it is, I start to build a taco». That happens to me with a lot of words, especially abstract and capital letters. Freedom… You don’t have to think about it too much either because I’m not sure that someone is truly free.

– Do you detect a certain social contempt for culture?

– I’m afraid to say that I don’t know very well what Culture is, either, in the abstract and with a capital letter. For me everything is culture. Sure, then they tell you about the culture workers … but I don’t know what culture is.

– A bookstore, say?

– Sure, it seems to me a fundamental element of what they call culture … but well, yes, they help them. I just read that the City Lights bookstore, which Lawrence Ferlinghetti founded in San Francisco in 1953, had closed in March because of the coronavirus and asked people for help. In four days they gave them half a million dollars. So, of course, that bookstore is culture, but it is a culture that people adore and they pay it with great pleasure. Another thing is that you have to subsidize everything. Man, at this moment it would have to be done, because the famous culture is not only the four figures that appear out there, but also the entire network of workers that is below and that you have to help in some way.

“If there was an ICU for two, I’m not saying that I wouldn’t give it to the other … If he’s an asshole, no”

“When I’m alone I never get bored, I get bored when I’m with people, who are boring”

– For you, is there boredom?

– I have written contradictory things. I say that when I’m alone I never get bored, I get bored when I’m with people, I mean boring people, and there is some truth to that. And what bores me the most in the world, which is the time that passes between you start to say goodbye in a meeting of people until you leave a fucking time. A terrible quarter of an hour passes in which I am no longer there, but at the same time I am. It is the most boring thing in the world. I never have boredom in general, but once it has turned into a small anguish that I attribute to not being busy.

– You who lived through time and place, what did you think of the series’ The invisible line?

– It is the series with the most interest I have seen in a long time. I liked it, it seemed to me that I had a good invoice and I was more interested in many personal things. I was walking around studying in Deusto. I once saw Txabi Etxebarrieta, I did not know him, but I know very intelligent and non-nationalistic people of whom he was intimate. I perfectly remember Sarriko’s mani, Sarrico then, who appears in the film. I remember having gone with a box of eggs to the conference of a foreign economist who seemed to us to legitimize the Franco regime. I threw an egg and someone told me that Amedo was running after me … I was surprised that the character of Melitón Manzanas is very tempered because, from what I have read, that bird should not look so good. It is also interesting because many people do not know how that great disaster started. And that the mythical Etxebarrieta was, in addition to being a fanatic, a highly educated poet. There are very dangerous writers.

– Do you come out at eight to clap on the balcony?

– You are right. At first I was embarrassed, but my wife started dating and yes, now we do. Three minutes, because we talk to my brother, who lives next door. I don’t know if we applaud us more than anything else, but hey… The other day a car from the Ertzaintza passed by and we applauded him with delight. Here there is no joking, no singers, there are three minutes of applause and you take the air. What I have done is personally thank the newspaper kiosk, the pharmacists, the baker, the supermarket … and I hope to give them more times.

– What will be the first thing you do when the confinement is over?

– I would like to take a trip that I had planned: drive to Lake Como and Sils-Maria, where Nietzsche practically lived confined during the summers, like someone who goes to a sanctuary. I was very excited, but I don’t think I will. Taking that away, the coffee on the terrace, seeing a few friends again and I don’t know if we can go to Benidorm.

«I knew little of Berrio but was very fond of him»

“He was one of those people whom I didn’t know much, but whom I had great affection for. Sometimes that happens: you know others more, but since you don’t love them so much, their death doesn’t impress you the same ». This is how Iñaki Uriarte remembers the recently deceased Rafael Berrio. The San Sebastian musician confessed several times his devotion to Uriarte’s work, to the point that he paid tribute to it by borrowing the title ‘Diarios’ for one of his albums. The two came to meet one night in San Sebastián.

– After having accumulated a select group of admirers of his ‘Diarios’ in Spain, now they begin to arrive from France, where the book has been translated.

– The translation was a very curious story and I owe it to Frédéric Shiffter, an essayist whom I admire and who lives in Biarritz. I was reading his personal blog and one day I opened it and I found a photo of me, with my cat Borges in my arms and the translation of one of my texts. We exchanged emails, he insisted on publishing it.

– Well, it has been very successful in France. Even Frédéric Beigbeder praised him.

– Yes, the ‘Basque Montaigne’, he said. The scare was the entire page of ‘Le Figaro Magazine’. Very good reviews came out, but I have no idea if the book sold well or not.

– In any case, what have you felt about this critical success?

– Amazement, the same that I keep experiencing here.

– Why did you edit the three ‘Diaries’ in one volume last year, with an added epilogue?

– Because I wanted to have the three books together, I wanted to see my complete work a little chubby and not scattered in three volumes. I did a little bit of work on that and then, since I had another thirty or forty pages, I decided to call it an ‘epilogue’, put it all together and it was over. And the truth is that I have felt very relaxed.

– It seems that between literary ambition and tranquility, you have chosen the latter.

– Yes, I have no literary ambition.

– Not even when seeing the good reception that their ‘Diaries’ had?

– It happened the other way around, it’s a bit like a psychiatrist: it came as a responsibility. I thought that the next one I would get crazy or that they were reading over my shoulder what I was writing. It happened the other way around, but now, once my complete diaries plus the epilogue have been published, I am more encouraged because what I write is again for me. I go back to the beginning, I write for myself and for two or three friends.

– And will you publish it?

– I have no idea. Five years from now and if I have thirty pages, but for now I will continue writing what I feel like and without any idea of ​​publishing more … Because I feel like it. Five years from now, between the coronavirus, diabetes or whatever, I’m not the same here anymore.

– Are you aware that diarists will come out of this confinement in blanket?

– Yes, what happens is that they are going to look a lot alike. In fact, my own book has been revived a little, there are people who are reading it and as always they treat me very well in the networks, that’s where it goes.

– How do you feel when you see that your ‘Diarios’ inspire another artistic work, as was the case with the Rafael Berrio album of the same name?

– I was really excited. I knew him very little. He played in Bilbao and I went to greet him, and then I was in San Sebastián to present the book. Then I went to dinner with those from La Tertulia Errante and I liked him very much. Of course, he also liked me and then there is a tendency that you like him. I’m not a very musician, but from then on I listened to his songs. ‘The joy of living’ I have heard millions of times because I like it so much. He was one of those people whom I did not know much, but whom I had great affection for. That happens sometimes: you know others more, but since you don’t love them so much, their death doesn’t impress you the same.


Resurrection Sunday that ended with the Welcome in prison



Everything was prepared for the Easter Sunday from 1942, April 5, will be unforgettable in the Las Ventas arena. And it was, but precisely because there were no bulls. The bullfight that had aroused unusual expectation was suspended. Antonio Welcome he was going to take the alternative from his brother Pepe with bulls of Miura. Things went wrong when two bulls from the mythical livestock were rejected and replaced by two of Lumps.

Everything seemed solved, but the approval of the bullfighters was missing, who far from taking place, in a gesture of dignity, refused to fight. Or six miuras or nothing. And after the refusal, the complaint, the transfer to the General Directorate of Security, and from there to the Porlier prison.

I already warned Giraldillo, the ABC critic, “ugly day, not conducive to bulls, gray and cold.” The Welcome brothers remained in jail four days, and that on the same night on Sunday it was agreed to bring two Miura bulls to complete the bullfight and that this be held on Thursday, April 9. Almost with just enough time the bullfighters were released to go to the plaza.

And if the atmosphere was already through the roof for Easter Sunday, four days later the thing was about to boil. It all started on September 18 of the previous year, in the presentation of Antonio as bullfighter. The triumph was of such depth that it remained forever in the hearts of Madrid fans. «An exceptional bullfighter has been born. The date. That of Antonio Bienvenida. In his honor, my entire signature ”, concluded the Giraldillo alphabet chronicle.

That is why, when the alternative was announced, from the hands of his brother and with miuras, that Easter Sunday became the most anticipated in the history of Las Ventas, “there was never a Madrid expectation the same, never did the fan so hopefully hope at a party … »

The expectation was maintained for Thursday, but in the ABC chronicle it was already warned: “Those who expected six bulls and six dream chores had to be content with just one.” It was the first, that of Antonio’s doctorate. The bull “Cabileño”, Cardinal, well presented allowed him to fight with pleasure to Veronica, compete in quites and flags with his brother and in fighting with the crutch leaving the grounds of his bullfighting. «The audience was boiling with excitement. In the ring, a party light. In the stands the emotion of 24,000 hearts». Brotherly affection in the ceremony of the alternative. Everything more in the last third, until the sword refused to enter. A puncture, another, a lunge, and it still had to go wild. Still, they asked for his ear, and he was forced to go around the arena.

The afternoon ended in that first bull of Miura. The bullfight did not go well, and the long-awaited triumph had to wait for other afternoons. And Antonio Bienvenida continued to captivate fans in Madrid.


Action scenes from world literature: Franz Kafka

literature Action scenes from world literature

When Kafka got the Spanish flu

| Reading time: 3 minutes

Marc Reichwein

Franz Kafka (1883 to 1924) Franz Kafka (1883 to 1924)

Franz Kafka (1883 to 1924)

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Prague, October 1918. When Kafka fell ill, he was still a subject of the Habsburg monarchy. When he goes outside the door after five weeks, he lives in Czechoslovakia. A strange fever changed everything.

“It was no longer common flu. It was the symptoms of a disease that was to develop into a devastating, global pandemic. And this at a rate that caused the massive infection to break in like a natural disaster … At the end of September, the first cases became known, within the first week of October around two hundred people died in the metropolises of Vienna and Berlin, and by mid-October there were up to two hundred per day. “

You have Reiner Stach’s great, great Kafka biography in the third volume open and can only hold our breath: schools, theaters, cinemas closed, morgues crowded, doctors and nurses at the end of their strength. The force with which the so-called Spanish flu rolls through Europe at the end of 1918 is also due to the rapid incubation period of only one or two days fatal.

“Kafka hit it at the height of the wave,” we continue reading at Stach. The doctor has to come on Monday, October 14th. Kafka (he lives with his parents) has a fever of 40 degrees, has to be quarantined at home, needs intensive home care. He is already too weak to be transferred to a hospital.

“Fatal blow”

Because he has a previous illness: The tuberculosis, the consequences of which he died in 1924, he caught in 1917, perhaps at his employer: Die Worker accident insurance company In Prague, as the Kafka biographer emphasizes, there is an “authority with public traffic”: it is clear that Kafka, as a clerk, “was often around people who were badly off and there was plenty of coughing there”.

Back then, tuberculosis was responsible for a quarter of all worker deaths. In 1922, Kafka’s condition deteriorated so much that he went into early retirement. Most likely, he has had an irreversible tuberculosis episode due to the Spanish flu infection; Reiner Stach speaks of the “fatal blow”.

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We are back in October 1918, Kafka lies in his parents’ bedroom with pneumonia, in Prague there is a strange “overlapping of epidemic and political crisis”. The Czechs are revolutionizing, want to get out of Austria-Hungary, their own state.

Outrageous things happen under the window of the Kafka apartment on the Old Town Square. K. u. k. The military marches on, withdraws with laughter. Outside, a patient called the Habsburg Monarchy is struggling to survive, inside, a family member.

Suddenly František

On October 28, the Austrian emperor agreed to an armistice with the Allies, and a dispatch from US President Wilson spoke of the right of the Czechs to autonomy.

From the window, the Kafka family watches the establishment of the Czechoslovak state without bloodshed. But inside, as usual with flu patients with TB, Kafka probably coughed up blood again.

When he goes back to the office for the first time after five weeks of flu, Austria-Hungary is history. Franz-Joseph-Bahnhof in Prague is now called Wilson-Bahnhof, and Worker Accident Insurance, Kafka’s employer, has introduced Czech as the official language. Kafka himself gets a new passport a few months later: František Kafka.

“Sinking in fever as a subject of the Habsburg monarchy and waking up again as a citizen of a Czech democracy: That was scary, but also strange,” notes Reiner Stach. Kafka’s entire life reads like a novel – at least in the brilliant form in which it should be Master biographer wrote down.

All life as a writer is said to be paper. In this series we are going to prove the opposite.

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Oscar Wilde’s prison still for sale

Penitentiary center, artistic complex or bourgeois building? The British Ministry of Justice has rendered its decision. Reading Prison, famous in particular for having “received” the Irish writer Oscar Wilde at the end of the 19th century, would not become an arts center.

The initiative was carried by the city council of Reading as well as by many writers like Stephen Fry and Julian Barnes. MP, Matt Rodda, even launched a petition to support the project. “This magnificent site must remain open to the public, it is too important to be converted into luxury apartments“, He explains, adding that the body of Henry I was buried not far from the prison. But the British government seems to prefer selling to the highest bidder, according to a statement by Matt Rodda to The Gardian .

But hope still persists. The various supporters of the campaign continue to fight with their weapons. Like Stephen Fry who said on Twitter that he would be delighted that “living art may arise from the place where Oscar and so many others suffered” To start this struggle, more legislative than artistic, the head of the city council of Reading, Jason Brock, plans to work “in close collaboration“With the buyers of the establishment”to ensure that the historic and cultural value of Reading Prison is highlighted as plans are drawn up

A piece of history

In 1895, Oscar Wilde languishes in the jails of Reading. His crime? A “serious immorality” after the father of her young lover accused him of homosexuality, which will earn him two years of forced labor. He wrote his last prose text there: a love letter and a break tinted with a humanist lesson renamed De Profundis, which marks a deep turning point in its literature.

These two years in prison, which also marks the beginning of Oscar Wilde’s sad downfall, are passed on to posterity by the no less famous Ballad of the jail of Reading. A long poem which he wrote shortly after his release, during his French exile, on the last moments of a man before his hanging. From this poem, signed under the name C.3.3 – his number in prison, his cell being the third on the third floor of block C – stands out these last six verses today famous:

And all men kill what they love
Of all that be heard
Some do it with a bitter look
Some with a flattering word
The coward kisses
The brave with a sword!

Meanwhile, the prison in Reading has still not found its jailer.