The traveler, alas, is at the mercy of his aesthetic sensations. A fine evening, a seat under a plant tree, the smile of a peasant girl, the scent of orange flower, a view over mountains or river—and he feels at home. His country is not the land where his friends live, but the wider territory of beautiful things—the territory where, if one agrees with Stendhal, he collects those promissory notes of happiness which give a precious fraction of their value when they are pocketed. He is therefore continually subject to accidents. An ugly town, a rainy day, and unsympathetic hotel, and he is at once a double exile—equally far from his native land and from that ideal country which he has set out to visit. The only recourse left is a bottle of wine.

Gerald Brenan in Face of Spain

About Gerald Brenan

Portrait of Gerald Brenan

Edward FitzGerald "Gerald" Brenan, CBE, MC (7 April 1894 – 19 January 1987) was a British writer and hispanist who spent much of his life in Spain.

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