Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Catalan Oath

Reading Robert Hughes' BarcelonaI came across this excellent Catalan oath:
We, who are as good as you, swear to you, who are no better than us, to accept you as our king and sovereign, provided you observe all our liberties and laws, but if not, not.
(“Nós, que valem tant com vós per separat, i junts més que vós, us investim sobirà i us jurem lleialtat per tal que ens protegiu, defenseu i treballeu pel nostre progrés, i si no, no”.)
He also has a chapter called "The Color of a Dog Running Away" (see Icons passim).
One strikingly poetic Catalan phrase evokes the drabness of Barcelona twenty-fice years ago: "color de gos com fuig," "the color of a dog running away" - that is no color, indeteminancy. mud, yet with something unquestionably there.
So now we know the background to the title of Richard Gwyn's book, though I frankly am none the wiser. The meaning of the phrase "the colour of a dog running away" remains as elusive as the colour of a dog running away. Dear me I must be dim.


KaliAmanda said...

But you *do* know the color of a dog running away. It's the hue equivalent of the sound "woosh!"

Nick Browne said...

The colour you see now, admonished as I am, is the colour of a cur running away.