• Morgan Fagg

Let Jesus into your home (Covid-19)

Updated: Mar 15, 2020

I write more than I read which is a very bad habit to be in and yesterday as Madrid locked down, a man called to my apartment to check the boiler’s service.

His name is Jesús which is pronounced HeyZeus in Spain and he asked me where I was from and when I told him Irlanda he said that I sounded like Jin Jybson which took me a second to realise was the Irish writer Ian Gibson.

Ian Gibson seems to be universally recognised by Spanish people but not by Irish and I wonder how many people in Ireland have ever heard of the celebrated author.

I met Señor Gibson at the Bloomsday Society’s annual June 16th celebration where they presented him with a painting of him with James Joyce, Frederico Garcia Lorca and Salvador Dalí.

Gibson has been writing about Spain for years and his first books I believe were banned by Franco’s regime. Ian Gibson has written about the Spanish Civil War, Lorca and Joyce and even interviewed Dalí for a book about the Spanish surrealist called The Shameful Life of Salvador Dalí.

Ian Gibson is a living Irish legend and I was delighted to meet him in June and to also hear that he won the Presidential Distinguished Service Award for his cultural contributions.

JUST A DRILL: Let's work through this difficult time.

I have yet to read his books but I have seen him surrounded by adoring fans at a book fair in Retiro last year and listening to Jesús talking about our distinguished gentleman, I hope to fill my newly hung shelves with some of Ian Gibson’s work.

To hear a Spaniard quoting passionately from an Irish writer while the world went to hell outside, as the Coronavirus impacted on every parent and child is enough to warm your heart if the boiler doesn’t start.

Words matter, stay safe, stay warm and take joy in letting Jesús into your home and listen to his suggestions on who we should be reading during the long days ahead.

DISTINGUISHED GUESTS: Ambassador Maguire, Ian Gibson and Sara Canto.

FAIR PLAY: Ian Gibson signing books at a book fair in Retiro.

DISTINGUISHED PANEL: Joyce, Gibson, Dalí, and Lorca painted together and sharing a panel.

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