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THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING
UNUSUAL

“And I, too; for ever since I had strength enough to gnaw a bone I have longed for the power of speech, that I might utter a multitude of things I had laid up in my memory, and which lay there so long that they were growing musty or almost forgotten. Now, however, that I see myself so unexpectedly enriched with this divine gift of speech, I intend to enjoy it and avail myself of it as much as I can, taking pains to say everything I can recollect, though it be confusedly and helter-skelter, not knowing when this blessing, which I regard as a loan, shall be reclaimed from me.”

This quotation sums up the wish of a dog making the most of a magic spell though which his bark has been transformed into human speech. Undoubtedly one of the strangest (for being unusual) and most discerning animals in world literature, Berganza blurts it out during the first moments of his conversation with another dog, Scipio, in the “Dialogue of Dogs”, published in 1613 that forms part of the Exemplary Novels of the Spanish genius Miguel de Cervantes.

In the year commemorating the 400th death anniversary of the author of “Don Quijote”, our Perro Berde would not want to miss out on paying tribute to his colleague Berganza, a profoundly human character through whom Cervantes, in a world of frenzied journey between reality and fiction, gives man´s best friend the power of speech to describe some aspects of the world that he has to live through.

Our dog-magazine continues to be strange.  “Stranger than a three-headed dog” is our Perro Berde.  Carrying on with literary canine reflections, we humans are strange too.  That is how Miguel de Unamuno encourages Orfeo, the dog of Augusto Pérez, the protagonist of his novel “Mist” (1914), to think.  “What a strange animal is man! He never seems to notice what is before him. He caresses us and we never know why—but not when we offer to caress him. When we devote ourselves most to him he drives us away and beats us. There is no way of knowing what he wants; if indeed he knows it himself. “

We humans, who look out for our Perro Berde, fortunately know what we want. We keep on protecting our rara avis for being different and in some ways, for being unique.  Unique, for being one of the few cultural magazines published by an embassy of Spain, rare for being one of the few publications that continue to tackle questions, shed light and foster renewed introspection of history and culture that unite Spain and the Philippines under the strange veil of presence and oblivion that bring us together and which we attempt to condense in these pages.

Perro Berde wishes to thank especially the work of the previous editorial committee and all those people who have generously contributed to the editing and contents of this edition, particularly Meritxell Parayre Sabés and Isabel Pérez Gálvez.  To all of them, a polyglot´s affectionate bark: au, au! (Tagalog), ¡guau, guau! (Castillian, Galician), ¡bub, bub! (Catalonian), ¡zaunk, zaunk! (Basque), woof, woof! in English.

Enjoy Perro Berde 6.