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JUAN BOSCAN ALMOGAVER. The eternal themes of Renaissance

Spain has produced a lot of “kings of poets”, and one of the most famous is Juan Boscan Almogaver. The first line of one of his most famous poems typifies all his works: “I am still alive, though already I could not stand to live”. His poems were published after his death. This fact is one of the reasons why the tragedy of existence goes through all the poems of the poet. Why do we know so little about “the hero” of Spanish literature?

Nobleman, soldier and reformer

Juan Boscan Almogaver was born at the end of the XV century in Barcelona. Noble origin does not guarantee a happy childhood: as a boy he lost his father before he was five years of age. After receiving a quality education and awards, respected by society, Juan served at the court of the Catholic kings, and later at the court of Emperor Carlos I. A few years later he was assigned to mentor the Duke of Alba. He was working as a tutor until his death. In the court, Juan established friendly relations with Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, conductor of Italian influence in the XVI century. Later their messages to each other later became outstanding poetic monuments.Boscan came from an old noble family and was not spared his military service: he fought the Turks on the island of Rhodes, and after a couple of years was transferred to in Vienna. During this period, Juan established friendly relations with the Spanish ambassador to Italy, Garcilaso de la Vega, whose work ensured the victory of the new “Italian school”. Despite the “affairs of state”, Juan Boscan has made a major contribution to the poetry of Spanish Renaissance – also, he is one of the founders of the “Italian school”.

Spanish lyrics: the reform

Since the beginning of his “literary life”, the inspirational poet for Boscan was a Catalan man, Auziasa Mark. Juan and his friends Diego Hurtado de Mendoza and Garcilaso de la Vega saw themselves as disciples of Mark. Auziasa Mark was able to break away from the rhetorical tradition of Provencal troubadours by making intimate lyrical poems about love, faith and death. When Boskan served at the imperial court, he appealed to the Italian lyric tradition and Petrarch. “Italian school” won in Spanish poetry thanks to him and his famous teammates. He enriched the poetry of his country be decasyllabic, hendecasyllabic verse, developed forms of the sonnet, terza rima, etc. The manifesto of “Italian school”, published as the Epistle to the Duchess de Soma, became the symbol of the Spanish Renaissance. Boscan also developed the theme of poetic development of the ancient stories in the poem “Hero and Leander”. Cristobal de Castillejo was an “adversary” of cosmopolitanism of Boscan, who stick to the traditionalist school and popular forms of song lyrics. Juan Boscan also translated a book of dialogues of Baldassare Castiglione “The Book of the Courtier”, prepared volume of the works of Garcilaso.De la Vega’s and Boscan’s poems were published after his death by his widow Ana Girón de Rebolledo around 1543.


INSET: Noble origin does not guarantee a happy childhood: as a boy he lost his father before he was five years of age.


Have you ever thought about your inner man or woman? Every society has developed over the centuries a set of rules and dress codes, and they are different for each sex. If a man would wear a dress or leopard print shoes, you would find such behaviour in conflict with the laws of society, and hence you may classify this behaviour as transsexual. However, in today’s world, many people will not be greatly surprised if they see a large, well-muscled chap in a miniskirt on the street. In show-biz transvestites make a name for themselves more often with many shows featuring “drag queens”. In this issue we discuss why men like to wear bras, and more about less controversial phenomenon.

Medieval Kings and Bishops

In the past, many societies, which were not associated with Western culture, acknowledged the existence of transgender people, and they provided them opportunities for self-realization. Even if these societies did not become victims of colonization over time, the desire to emulate Western values has led to the eradication of transgender minority in these cultures. Not surprisingly, the cross-dressing induces some degree of bewilderment. Despite the popularity of transvestite personalities, there is confusion over whether these men are also homosexual and worry that they may be paedophiles. Most transvestites are heterosexual and there are no recorded cases of a transvestite being a paedophile to date. When the society was first confronted with a similar phenomenon? Medieval kings wore clothes, more like a luxurious than women’s apparel. Even bishops wear long robes, and high-court judges still cannot do their work wearing wigs. The French Revolution laid the foundation for the liberalization of attitudes towards homosexuals in the Western Europe. In 1791, France was officially decriminalized homosexuality. Due to the Napoleonic Wars French law has spread to many controlled territories, including some German states. However, dressing in the clothes of the opposite sex is a different story, and many transvestites are heterosexual. Of course, modern permissiveness and the media have enabled this lifestyle to become fashionable.

Do not over-suppress the woman within

Every little boy has features that are in their community may be considered to be feminine. Frequently when the boy shows them, people treat him with disapproval. The male child is encouraged to suppress these feminine traits to become be socialised. Upon entering adulthood a man with transvestite tendencies may be experiencing discomfort and need to explore expressing both sides of his personality. These desires are natural: it is the desire to complete oneself. According to the theory of the great Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung, the following stages are possible in the event of a desire to give a woman the freedom:

• He recognizes the positive, even medicinal value of cross-dressing.

• The transvestite gradually experiences his “inner woman”. In the process, he finds that not all of the properties of the soul can be tagged as “male” or “female”.

• The inclusion of woman in the male personality creates a new, stronger, identity.

Thus, the transvestite comes to the realization that it was not the desire to become a woman, it was necessary to express deeper aspects of his personality. In some cases the cross-dressing becomes less important after this self-actualization.




“A beautiful young wife misses her husband so much that she opens the closet, and puts on one of his shirts. Pressing his collar to her cheek, she takes a deep breath to smell it. Her tanned legs form a nice contrast with the strict white shirt and her long hair falls over the starched collar. She cautiously goes to a large mirror, sensual stepping on the white carpet and holding up another one of his shirts, still hanging on the rack. She’s smiling, spinning, and falling on the bed, dressed in a shirt, holding the other, the camera bashfully showing her thighs for a second. It could be an advertising of sheets, shirts or cologne. This could be the beginning of a porn movie. In any case, it does not look like a sexual perversion. We decide that a woman misses her husband or lover – whoever he was – and never think that she can enjoy his clothes for the power that they represent. We do not tolerate the thought that she might not be married, and that the clothing makes her sexual arousal. We attach great importance to the script, even when we see only the images. Now imagine: a nice young man so badly misses his wife that opens the closet, and puts on one of her silk robe. He presses lace collar to his cheek and inhales her scent. Taking out a transparent nightgown, he goes to a large mirror. Near the mirror he presses again to her nightgown and looks invitingly in the mirror and falls on the bed, exhausted, dressed in a robe. The camera shyly shows us a moment of his thigh… That cannot happen ever. No advertising company would ever use such a plot”.

Helen Boyd, “My husband Betty”



Torrevieja is a cosmopolitan city with one of the largest diasporas of modern times in Spain, the British Diaspora. British culture is quite complex and multifaceted. “British Spain” is a Christian “country”, and so you may find that many people live in a way you find surprising. In an interview with “BOMOND Magazine” Father Christopher Scargill, the
priest-in-charge of a parish in Torrevieja, Chaplain Revd, talks about the British believers, about his impressions of the country and other cultures of Torrevieja, and much more.

Father Skargill, thank you very much for giving us the opportunity for a meeting with you, and it is a big pleasure to talk to you. How did you come to Spain? How did you become a priest?

Christianity was always a part of my life growing up. I’ve been a priest for almost 25 years in various parts of England, and suddenly one thought occurred to me: it’s time to do something else somewhere else. The Church of England has dominated the religious scene for British believers in many countries. In Paris, Benidorm, Madrid, one in Rome, even in Moscow and St. Petersburg. I received an offer to move to Torrevieja as a priest. I decided to see what would happen… And everything is brilliant now!


Have you decided to move with your family?

Of course, yes. Or rather with my wife, who taught Spanish before and had lived in Spain. She was glad to be back, our youngest son also came with us. Two adult sons and my parents stayed in England. I go to visit them 3-4 times a year. By the way, there is one funny thing in the English clergy families. There are two types of children: those who almost from birth believe that will become priests, and those who from an early age are certain they don’t want to be! My sons work in another field, and I respect their choice. The same can be said about other families.

Tell us, please, your first impression of Spain, of Torrevieja.

Torrevieja is a good and interesting part of Spain. If I am not mistaken, a lot of English people moved here in 1995. And the Church of England has been developed here recently. I have noticed that there are many Russian people. It’s a pity, but I don’t know much about Russian culture, except Dostoyevsky, Tchaikovsky and Solzhenitsyn, that’s where my knowledge ends. I always wanted to see Moscow and St. Petersburg from a historical point of view. I would like to take a trip in the near future, but my wife is against it, she is afraid that we’ll freeze out there (smiling. – Ed.). By the way, our churches are very similar. For example, I apply theories in practice of many Orthodox theologians. Here is a great climate, and culture. I still continue to learn the Spanish language and Spanish mentality.

Have you noticed any differences between the British people, including the parishioners, living in England and Spain?

There is a big difference between the believers, but this difference was already in England. This is not the Catholic Church in Rome with one vision. There is a lot of different theories in England. You see, the Church of England is not just another Protestant Church. Some people in England are more Catholic than the Italians, some Protestants. We also have those who are very close to the Orthodox Church. We are neither Roman Catholic nor Protestant. So who are we? For a long time we were studying this issue. We realized that it is important to develop.

Tell us about your congregation. Who are they? What are the most common problems?

As I know, there are 50,000 of British people in Torrevieja. Of course, all 50,000 will not come to church. In my churches every Sunday there are about 140-180 people. Most of them – the people who have lived in other countries. They are used to a certain climate, and it would be difficult to go back to England, so the choice fell on Spain (a couple of hours flight from England). Of course, a few years ago, the property was very cheap compared to England. British people are active and responsive. When there was an exercise to plan in case of an earthquake in Torrevieja, among the volunteers were many Englishmen: former police officers, former soldiers, former nurses. There are many lonely people. Many of those who just need to talk.

Tell us about the complexities of the spiritual life of the English diaspora?

The main difficulty is that many of the parishioners arrive for 2-3 months, and many of them go back to England in august, because it is too hot. Our centres are not so big, but we try to celebrate all holidays, and organize large meetings as often as possible.

What can you say about the relationship between the English church in Torrevieja and the authorities of Spain?

We have a good relationship with authorities. The mayor of Torrevieja and other local mayors often come to the meeting with the British diaspora, to official events and concerts. There is a British Consul in Alicante, but he is responsible for all Costa Blanca, and he can not be everywhere. About the government in England… I do not think that they are particularly concerned about what is happening here. Too far.

How many English churches are there in Torrevieja?

If I’m not mistaken, there are seven such religious centers in Torrevieja. They located in the following areas: La Siesta, Los Balcones, Lago Jardin, La Marina, Campoverde, La Manga, Cristo Resucitado, Hondón de las Nieves. We meet almost every week. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of parishioners, but we try to do the best. There are also three or four other English churches which are not part of the Church of England.


Is there a place in Torrevieja, where you can meet only English people?

Of course, there are such places. There are many English pubs and restaurants. There is English-speaking Diaspora Association, there is Royal British Legion. Many people are involved in the theatrical life, my wife sang in choirs in English. Unfortunately, some English people in Spain are trying to create a bad imitation of England. My opinion is subjective, but I believe that if I live in Spain, I have to be in Spain. I prefer visiting Spanish places and raise the level of proficiency. After all, it is important not to forget international relations. Some Englishmen are not even trying to learn Spanish, partly from the fact of the fear. But I think, that the main thing is to try.

Will there be any event this autumn?

The Harvest festival will begin in late September. This is to give thanks to God for our food, and for the beauty of the world and to pray for both food producers and those who do not have enough food. A service will be held in each of the churches. At the beginning of November there will be a memorial service for those who died in the past year. This is a long-standing tradition. The service is scheduled for November 2, but it is not yet sure. On November 11there will be a service in which we give a tribute to all those who died in wars and to victims of terrorism. After all, the victims were not only soldiers, many civilians died as well. This tradition brings together the Spanish and the English. We invite everyone to the service.

What would you like to add or say to our readers?

Light, and yet more light! I would say the following: let’s come together, get ready, take part. We are not that strange, really! We can say that with us you will find England with a Spanish accent. We are open not just on Sundays, we are ready to help in any day of the week at any time of the day. One has only to call. Whether it’s a problem with the kids, or mental discomfort – we welcome everyone.


1. Unfortunately, many English people in Spain are trying to create a bad imitation of England. My opinion is subjective, but I believe that if I live in Spain, I have to be in Spain.

2. British are active and responsive people. When there was an earthquake in Spain, many Englishmen were among the volunteers: retired police officers, retired soldiers, retired nurses.

3. Lago Jardin Church is a beautiful little Church, set in lovely gardens within the Urbanisation of Lago Jardin 1. There is a service of Holy Communion every Saturday evening at 6.00pm (except during August, when no services are held). Everyone is assured of a warm welcome when visiting Lago Jardin Church. It is a wonderful setting for Wedding Blessings and Baptisms.

"There is a salty wind": Interview with the President of the Association of Restaurant Business José Antonio Álvarez

“There is a salty wind”: Interview with the President of the Association of Restaurant Business José Antonio Álvarez

Tourism is one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world. Questions about progress in the catering trade and the hotel business are especially important in the current economic climate. The Association of Catering Trade of Torrevieja and surrounding areas was established in 1976, and it is the first organization of its kind in Valencia. In an interview with “BOMOND Magazine” the President of the Association of the restaurant business in Torrevieja and a front-of-the-house manager in the restaurant “El Puerto” Jose Antonio Lozano Alvarez talks about the development of this field in Spain, shares tips and talks about the appeal of Torrevieja for tourists.

"There is a salty wind": Interview with the President of the Association of Restaurant Business José Antonio Álvarez

Mr. Alvarez! The association has now existed for decades. You must certainly be feeling the effects of the crisis. Tell us, please, how badly damaged the hotel industry and catering business is in Spain. Can you share a personal outlook of this field?

The crisis has hit the restaurant business, and all manufacturing industries of the country. This is primarily due to lowered power consumption, and this is the direct consequence of the high rate of unemployment in the country. Unfortunately, this situation has led to the fact that many of my companions did not survive and were forced to close their businesses. However, the region is popular for tourists, so we need to become more attractive and do not cease to grow.

We’ve heard about the public events organized by your association. What are they: fairs, exhibitions, presentations?

There are traditional food fairs, festivals, food and Spanish snacks tastings and snacks, for example, the week “Los Arroces de Torrevieja”, Gin and tonic & Cocktail Tour, Jueves Tapas Mahou… and many others. Starting last year we take a part in one of the most important gastronomic fairs in Spain – “Lo mejor de la Gastronomia”. Those wishing to attend are advised to visit the website

Why is Torrevieja so attractive amongst tourists from all over the world?

Torrevieja is a city on the coast, with excellent climate, first-class infrastructure, hospitals, sports facilities and three berths for marine tourism. Cultural events are held throughout the year. The city is strategically located in Vega Baja, between Alicante and Murcia, and only 30 minutes from Alicante airport. Visitors are close to the main shopping areas and entertainment centres, equipped with the best restaurants.

Mr. Alvarez, you can be called an expert in the restaurant business. Please, tell us about the features of Mediterranean cuisine. What would you recommend to try first of the national dishes, except paella and gazpacho.

I’ll say about Torrevieja. Torrevieja is a city with strong maritime roots; it is the home of fishermen, impregnated by the salty winds of the Mediterranean Sea. This gives us the opportunity to taste the thistle, goulash, soups of fish and seafood, try the full range of experience and enjoy the unique taste and aroma of rice (vapour, white, black, boiled in broth, etc.). Gardens and fields Vega Baja deserve specific words. They allow us to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, including legumes. And the proximity to Murcia gives us the opportunity to enjoy the national dishes of this region.

According to tradition, you can add anything you wish. For example, you can give advice to people, who are taking their first steps into the restaurant business.

First of all, you need a great desire, patience and willingness to devote yourself to the profession, where customers are a priority for you. All this is all feasible because of constant learning and improving your skills.


1. The crisis has hit the restaurant business, and all manufacturing industries of the country. This is primarily due to lowered power consumption, and this is the direct consequence of the high rate of unemployment in the country. However, the region is popular for tourists, so we need to become more attractive and do not cease to grow.

2. Gardens and fields Vega Baja deserve specific words. They allow us to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, including legumes.

Interview with Tourism Advisor, Luis María Pizana: Reasons why everyone should live in Torrevieja

Interview with Tourism Advisor, Luis María Pizana: Reasons why everyone should live in Torrevieja

Torrevieja is a town that hosts an influx of curious visitors all year round. There is also a magnificent autumn season for tourists to enjoy. It is a centre of the tourism industry, focused on coastal recreation. There are many features that make Torrevieja special. Culture, Sport, Gastronomy and Tourism Advisor, vice-president of the Common Council of Habaneras Luis Maria Pisana kindly agreed to tell readers of “BOMOND Magazine” about tourism and sport of Torrevieja, about the “hidden” sightseeing attractions of the city.

Mr. Pisana, thank you for giving us the opportunity for a meeting with you! What can you say about the current state in the tourism industry and the numbers of tourists?

The influx of tourists from Northern Europe significantly increased in recent months. This is, I feel, is due to improvements in the fields of tourism, sport, gastronomy and culture. We hope that everything is going to get better and better. The off-peak tourist season in Torrevieja takes place several times throughout the year. Looking father ahead, we can feel hopeful for expectations about the development of the city.

How do you implement a program of development of physical culture, sport and tourism in the municipality? Do you promote a healthy lifestyle?

The main objective is to strengthen the attractiveness of the city throughout the year. For this reason, we generate employment in all industries; paying great attention to the issue of economic activity. We have a great team. It is worthwhile expending some effort to offer really good things, good quality things, for visitors and residents of Torrevieja.

What сan you say about the material and technical resources of physical culture and sport? Including those for persons with disabilities.

According to President of FESA, it works pretty well. We have much experience in organizing events and competitions in various disciplines for people with disabilities. I have to mention the Palace of Sports “Infanta Cristina”. This venue is for benefit and enjoyment of all, with a heated pool. All our sports camps are for athletes of all levels and for people, who want to be more active and have a healthier lifestyle.

How do you bring Torrevieja to the Forefront? Do you organize any special events?

In addition to the wonderful climate which we enjoy all year round, and a wide range of services, it is necessary to note a range of sporting and cultural activities. There is the opportunity to enjoy our exceptional cuisine, visit a chain of stores that provide an individual approach to each client, and to feel in touch with nature in places that have great ecological value. Also you will feel a great love of our citizens. By the way, every year we create new entertainment and educational programs. For example, Torrevieja Nautical Experience, which brought residents and visitors to the world of sailing.

Entrevista con Luis María Pizana Concejal de Turismo, Cultura, Deporte y Hostelería de Torrevieja

What are the features of the city? What or which places tourists should visit? Why this municipality is so attractive for British tourists?

Torrevieja has a very special places and secrets, unknown to most. In the same way as our natural parks: Parque Natural de las Lagunas de La Mata y Torrevieja, Paraje Natural Municipal, Parque Del Molino del Agua. And, of course, our beaches have various awards, such as the Blue Flag or the letter Q for Quality Tourism. Sports enthusiasts should visit our sports town. We have many cultural centres. One of the most interesting museums is the museum–submarine “S-61 Delfin”. Take a walk through our quays. In general, Torrevieja is a city where everyone can find something new and individual.

Which categories of tourists do you want to attract primarily?

The cultural tourist is a dream for any manager. We want to attract a large volume of tourists from Northern Europe. We are focused mostly on Scandinavia, Great Britain and Russia and France.

Are there any sports or other events in the near future? We mean activities which can attract more tourists?

Our “sport world” has endless amounts of offers with opportunities to improve fitness and health. We have two hospitals with highly skilled personnel, public and private. They are equipped with the latest technology. As for attracting more visitors we can note the increasing attendance of various trade fairs, promotion in social networks, advertising tours. Many tourists decide to come and live in Torrevieja, even if they have only visited us once.