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Hello I am “The Sergeant”. Yes, I was a student like you long time ago. The school has moved. Of the old building I remember big tyres which we played with at break times. And also lots of swings. I also remember Mrs. Mazon and her French mustard; Mrs Colombatovich: and Mrs. Perez, my class teacher. In the middle of the class she always asked loudly: Where is Santiago? And the answer from my classmates was also loud: He is on the moon. I was a powerful thinker but they never throughout my life understood me.

I am here to talk to you about bullfighting. Have you ever been to a bullfight?

The first act opened by bugle sounds is the “paseillo” (this one is by Sorolla), a ceremony march-past harmonized by a band playing “pasodoble” music. All the actors, escorted by two mounted bailiffs: a gold bullfighter, a silver bullfighter, a mounted bullfighter, (assistants in red costumes), the sweepers and the mulateers, march in order of importance to ask the President’s to begin the party.

The celebration is also a rite with hidden symbolism.

The bullring is a circle because it represents the world.

The bull represents the mysterious strength of nature and the bullfighter human being trying to dominate and rule that world. The bull is not a domestic creature, to defend himself he attacks with his strength and weight and with his weapons: dangerous sharp horns. He can kill. The first mistake or fault may be the last one for the bullfighter.

The bullfighter represents intelligence: his weapons are piece of cloth and a sword.

The duel is a fair one. But it is not a competition like a boxing fight with the aim of beating each other. When the fight begins a mysterious and mystic dance of death and life has started.

The Bullfighter is not a superhero, nor an ice floe; he feels fear, he isn’t reckless. He has to trust in technique to recover from that hurricane attack and from his own feelings of self-defence.

This fight is also like a never-ending story, because the bullfight doesn’t have an aim in itself. The real purpose is to beautify in that dance giving on and making aesthetic sense to the brutal charge of the bull; thrilling and exciting spectators; and feeling himself at peace with the sound of silence in that beauty; beauty that he can not take because it’s immaterial and instantaneous, but he can taste and touch, and people observe and perceive.

That’s why bullfighting is art, because the struggle between beast and man, is against him and trying to attain beauty.

Only at death’s door of the duel are revealed qualities like courage, bravery, temperance, shyness, pleasure, joy and grace; and tat Spanish expression named “duende”, that you can see but it can’t be explained.

That’s why bullfighting is the big theater of world life.

The play is divided in three parts or acts:

The first third is the receiving of the bull by the yellow cape of his opponent and the lance of the mounted bullfighter that hurts the beast. In the past the horse didn’t have any protections and he got killed in the ring.

So the horse was the victim; the bull, the villain and the bullfighter the hero.

The lance is necessary to introduce the sword over the head and horns aiming at the bull’s heart with the sword.

The second third is the short decorated lance stage. It’s meaning is “waking up” the bull after the big effort pushing the horse.

It’s danger is lower because the stick harpoons are put in movement.


The last third is red cloth bullfight and the sword.

This act is the most important of the show in which you can see if the bullfighter can match the onslaught of the wild beast making an artistic show between ferocity, force and brilliant intelligence as the bull gives up and prepares for his death.

When the bullfighter takes the red cloth with the right hand it is bigger because the sword is a support. When he takes it with the left it is called the natural pass, “in which are the million” as the fan say, because the danger is worse so the bullfighter is more exposed to danger and near to the bull.

In both passes (right or left) there are some standard rules: “canon” in Latin, in which the bullfighter has to rest his technique: position and fields chosen for the duel, inciting the animal to charge, without moving his point; turning with his wrist in the red cloth the animal attack; charging his weight on one of his legs, the nearest one to the animal; and sending the beast where it doesn’t want to go; inviting it to a new onslaught creating a circular visual effect finishing that optical illusion in the obligatory move, also named chest pass, from arm to arm making the last curve of the optical illusion.

The death of the bull is named the supreme stage, because the bullfighter goes against, over and through the bulls head and horns with no turning back. So the danger is bigger. A beautiful death is when the execution is pure, and slow and also effective so the animal dies quickly.

The sword is the sign of the author, the stamp of his beautiful creation and inspiration, always different, never the same, because there are no two identical bulls. Each one is a new interrogant to study, to understand and to resolve throughout the show.

Maybe you think it is a cruel show. But it’s not. It is raw because death isn’t represented on stage, it is real in the scence, it always happens to the bull, but it sometimes also happens to the bullfighter.

Man and animal aren’t equal. We have moral dignity that animals don’t posses. Disney cartoons are only another type of human fantasy creation.

The have young bulls beside the show, which involves conserving and maintaining a big extension of wild land with wonderful natural biodiversity. So it is an ecological world.

And it is also a Spanish tradition that defines its own culture, universal Hispanic charm, and it’s ancient relationship between men, bulls and one geographic place present throughout Iberian origins.

Death doesn’t have a negative or sad sense. It is a part of our life and the nature of all creatures: we are all born, grow up, live and die.

Have you ever been told about the beautiful death of Diagoras?

He was a very old man from Rhodes. In his town everyone knew him, because when he was young he won the Olympic Games. He lived so many years that he could see how his son and also one of his grandchildren repeated his exploits, his feats.

To page homage to Diagoras his son and his grandson crowned him in the coliseum full of fans with a crown of laurels. The spectators began to exclaim loudly: Diagoras!, now you can die because you don’t have anything more to wish for. And Diagoras died of happiness.

Bullfighting is also related with wishes, dreams, storms of applause and human glory. It is a ceremonic world, with a vertical organization, with own customs: forms of curtesy, and well-dressed magnificence, and punctuality. But it is also democratic because prizes (the first ear) are presented with the people’s approval or consent.

The ignorance and whirlpool of image culture and consumerism in which we live have conspired within national Spanish festival. Its defense by fans, authorities and professionals has to be made with knowledge and its dissemination making this festival become known for all the values that it contains and that it can transfer to society and its relationship between man, animal and environment. And that is why it has to be protected.

Now little examples of how bullfighting and its themes have inspired other artistic creation:

Language and poetry; drawing and sculpture; music from opera to flamenco; ballets and plays; cinema and architecture.

Thank you.

Santiago Bartra Mujica

Peruvian Bullfighter


Señor Director del Instituto de Humanidades de la Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez Gonzalo Rojas Sánchez:


Dice Aristóteles que pequeños errores en un comienzo se vuelven grandes después.

El modo en que he sido citado a entrevista con su persona no me parece el propio:

tres horas antes, en forma oral y sin decirme la razón de por qué  estoy siendo llamado a entrevista o cuál es la razón de ella.

Por esta razón quiero se posponga, si es que Usted la considera necesaria.

Quiero manifestar que me mantengo abierto al diálogo racional, pero yo prefiero sea éste por escrito, pues así inteligo y expreso mejor y más  claramente.

El trato formal entre personas no tiene por qué  no ser “empático”; la razón de la formalidad (v.g.: el trato por apellido o el diálogo por escrito) es hacer manifiesto el respeto, primero, ante el prójimo y, después, ante la dignidad y el mérito; y proceder a hacer las cosas mejor. Por último, si bien implica ésta, a saber: la formalidad, distancia, debe ser ésta, a saber: la distancia, compensada: con cortesía, y cuanto más sea esta, a saber: la cortesía, mejor; pues cuanto más educación haya, luzca y brote del trato entre personas más humana, y rica, por tanto, será la vida, valga la redundancia humana.

Al Instituto de Humanidades, a las cuáles, a saber: las humanidades, y al cual, a saber: el Instituto de Humanidades, Usted representa o debe representar; y por el cual entiendo: señores directivos, señores profesores, jóvenes estudiantes de Humanidades, señoritas secretarias y señores administrativos de nuestro Instituto; y con el permiso del Señor Rector Juan Ignacio Domínguez Covarrubias: al estudiantado en general, y a las personas en general, de la Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez; dirijo y dedico, con gozo, la siguiente frase que adapto y nutro de Pieper:

Sin formalidad y sin “afabilidad” (y/o cortesía) “no es posible la alegría”, con excelencia, en los estudios y “en el trabajo”[i].

Esperando se ponga el bien del y los alumnos ante todo; y,

Generando un verdadero ambiente universitario y de verdaderos universitarios, amantes de sus clases;

Que Nuestra Señora de Puerto Claro me dé Su favor y proteja;

“VERITAS LIBERABIT NOS”; “La Verdad nos hará libres”.


2 El Sr. Mnesteo es un rebelde con causa

3 El Sr. Mnesteo rechaza la toma de la Universidad anual por parte de Ingenierita Comercial ya no somos Escuela de Negocios sino Universidad, no hay derecho a impedir las clases de otras carreras, sus tradiciones en su carrera.

4 El sentido de la o una tradición *Uberlieferung* es hacer per-vivir y con-se-var una transmisión de cultura humana que ha sido entregada de generación en generación para constituir un legado, una herencia –arraigado en la misma esencia o naturaleza de las cosas-, que permita confluir los esfuerzos y el futuro de lo pasado en lo presente para enriquecerlo y nutrirlo de tal manera que este, a saber, el presente, pueda proyectarse con claridad, coherencia y firmeza hacia el tiempo futuro: lo por venir, constituyéndose un verdadero y autentico progreso –humano- que enriquezca al hombre y su naturaleza en la continuidad entre sus orígenes, el tiempo actual y el venidero.

Por lo tanto “tradiciones” como la “toma” o los “mechoneos” no son tales, no son                << tradiciones>> (en su sentido verdadero: Uberliefering) por cuanto no son cultura humana que llegue a constituir un verdadero legado que tenga sentido recoger y cultivar para enriquecer, con la transmisión de ese pasado que se encarna en el ejemplo, al tiempo presente; y hacer asi mani-fiesta la entrega y herencia para las generaciones venideras, en la cual proyectar su recuerdo y recuerdo en el cual per-vivir.

En el simple hecho de no hacer la “tradicional”  !!!Toma!!! de Nuestra Universidad, iniciarían y darían comienzo a una autentica tradición (Uberlieferung), por cuanto seria en aras de la cultura humana (estudiantil y universitaria) que legar a las generaciones por venir.

A los alumnos (alumno quiere decir escuchar) de Ingeniería Comercial, los cuales están llamados a dar el ejemplo, por cuanto es su carrera la que dio origen y nacimiento a la Escuela de Negocios que hoy ya y/o es Nuestra Universidad: ¡Divídanse! Ante la ejecución y cometido de este “tradicional” propósito; pues cuando principios (aquí son de educación  -Paideia-, cultura, derechos y deberes – no se cumple el deber por el deber, por cuanto esto es moralismo (Pieper)- ;  dignos ideales) están en juego la polarización es sana y buena; porque persistir en sus afanes de (injusta) Toma; tendrán que asumir las consecuencias…

5 El Sr. Mnesteo llama a los hombres (y pone el énfasis en Ingenierita Industrial) a impedir la toma de la Universidad:

“Aunque se levante contra mi un ejercito no temerá mi corazón” (Sal. XXVI,3);

“Cuando la acción es racional no es violencia” (Millan-Puelles).

6 El Sr. Mnesteo dice lo desfavorable para la Universidad no es estar abierta a otras nacionalidades por cuanto sus fines son la búsqueda de la Verdad y la educación de personas; si no que lo desfavorable es que en sus estudiantes prime la irracionalidad (a saber: la tontería; a saber: la imbecilidad): la cual ciega la inteligencia a la Verdad; y entorpece a la voluntad ante el Bien.

7 El Sr. Mnesteo reconoce el esfuerzo de creatividad, imaginación con experiencia, e ingenio, por parte de los organizadores y realizadores de el “hombres contra mujeres” de la ya pasada Semana de Nuestra Universidad; con buen humor, puntual; y, sin vulgaridad, sin sordidez, sin pobreza como en años anteriores .

8 El Sr. Mnesteo, apoya al actual Centro de Alumnos de Humanidades representado por Ibáñez en la presidencia; y la reelección de su gobierno.

9 Si Usted quiere saber quién es el Sr. Mnesteo (vincit quise vincit) vaya a la Biblioteca y busque, Usted., La Eneida, de Virgilio, vates (n. Sing.) vati (gen. Pl.), y lea el canto o Carmen V. ( Paidia).