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I’m in Granada, Spain, for three months, as part of a sabbatical. We’re living in a “carmen,” which is a “a type of urban housing” typical of two specific neighborhoods in this city, “with an attached green space, both garden and orchard, that constitutes an extension of the dwelling, according to the classic definition of Seco de Lucena. A Carmen is a space closed to the outside, surrounded by walls about two meters high, usually whitewashed, with lush vegetation” (per Wikipedia).
That describes our rented house quite well. We’re located near the summit of the Albaicin, the neighborhood of which the young Lorca wrote, “[El] tiene sonidos vagos y apasionados y esta’ envuelto en oropeles suaves de luz oscura” (“It harbors vague and passionate sounds and is wrapped in soft tinsels of dark light”). I see what he meant, but the views are usually crisp and vivid–with the snow-capped Sierra Nevada rising behind the sharp angles of the Alhambra–and the birds that provide most of the soundscape seem raucously cheerful rather than wistful for the lost world of al-Andalus.
I’m busy with several research projects that will benefit from concentration, including an interesting collaborative study that involves trying to diagram the logic of open-ended responses to a political survey. I appreciate the quiet hours when Americans are asleep, although I’m glad to hear from people once dawn breaks in the USA.
Although I’m certainly learning about Granada and Spain, I feel too much of a novice to post much about those topics yet. I presume I will blog normally about civic engagement and related matters.