Now that the physical copy in which it was published – the September issue – of British GQ magazine has been replaced on the shelves, Condé Nast has kindly put my article about the comeback of the torero – the word we so badly translate as ‘bullfighter’, it is not a fight, or a sport, or fair – Juan José Padilla online for free here. In it I detail his return to the ring in Olivenza following a near fatal goring last year, in which a bull removed his left eye with its horn from behind!
GQ‘s edit of my words was ‘strong’, and they even added a few of their own under my name (I would and, indeed, could never write the phrase “my dread boiled”, I wrote “I was worried”. More on this at the blog ‘The Last Arena’ here.) However, I remain deeply grateful to them for allowing to write such an long and serious piece on my first mentor – alongside our brother-in-arms-and-arts Adolfo Suárez Illana – in toreo (again, a word mistranslated as ‘bullfighting’.)
Should you wish to read more on the comeback corrida (mistrans. ‘bullfight’) itself, here is a more in-depth description I wrote for the magazine of The New York City Club Taurino.
However, if you want to truly know about that world, and Padilla himself who is the star at least five chapters, then read my book about my two years in Spain, one watching corridas, the other training as a torero myself. It was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book Of The Year 2011 – ‘the world’s richest sports writing prize’ – and is on GQ‘s suggested reading list and available from iTunes via their website at a discount here. (Information on other forms of purchase are available on the book’s own website here.)
Oh, and an extract detailing my 20 hours of drinking with Padilla back on the day we first got to know each other is on this blog here.