Mario Vargas Llosa, whose work has appeared in Reason's pages, writes an interesting piece on Madrid for the Guardian:
Madrid's modernity is not only in its buildings, new developments, infernal traffic jams, proliferating fast food outlets, the piebald invasion of tourists, or the alert ear that can, in the queues at the Prado or at night around the Plaza Mayor, hear all the languages in the world. It is in the mental cosmopolitanism of its people who, in their diversity, have grown emancipated from the stigma of a "municipal" Madrilenian identity (as Rub?n Dar?o would say) and who, like the people of London, Paris or New York, have become citizens of the world. Thus, in an exhibition at the Galer?a Moriarty, the Japanese photographer Atsuko Arai a couple of years ago could show how, without leaving the historic centre of town, the capital of Spain was a microcosm harbouring the landscapes and cultures of half the planet.
He has a nuanced critique of Zapatero, too.
Read the whole thing here.
[Link via Arts & Letters Daily]