Mise en Abyme
At his home in Sevilla, Spain, aged matador Antonio Castañeda de Castilla tells a stranger the story of his life, about a life of love and betrayal, danger and deception, honor and destiny, but more than all, about living life with passion! In Sevilla, Spain, identical twin brothers, Antonio and Fernando Castañeda de Castilla, aspire to be matadors, but only one will succeed.
In love with the same woman, Isabella Zamora, the brothers compete for her love, yet only one will win her heart. Antonio is a physical man, bold and daring, while Fernando is intellectual, introspective and deeply philosophical. In a cruel twist of Fate, Antonio is forced to “take his brother’s life,” and vows to Fernando at his death to keep a secret from the world.
Speaking to a visitor, “a Moor” whose appearance was predicted by “a gypsy,” the aged Antonio is finally able to reveal the secret and the story of his incredible life. He persuades his guest to vow to write his story and to correct the fraud. It is the story of living a passionate life that inspires the writer—and will the reader—to a life of passion!
Two Matadors is the first and only story I have ever written in which I am an actual character. Based on a story told to me by an aged matador, it is one of the transformational episodes in my life, and naturally, Fatima (Elsa) is there.
For readers who enjoy the poetry of words, there is plenty in this story, as the entire work is unrhymed blank iambic meter. It is probably the favorite of everything I have written thus far. Of course, Antonio’s theme involves living and dying “in the ring,” as opposed to wasting away as an observer in the stands.
For him, life is about seeking out and facing challenges, which reveal real character. Danger is a consequence of being alive. The constant in his life is his love for Isabella. He believes in God. In fact, he has seen the hand of God throughout his life. In the end, he puts his unwavering faith to the test.
The Man in the Arena
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory or defeat.
Theodore Roosevelt Excerpt from the Speech, “A Citizenship in A Republic”