Not A Safari

South Africa's World Cup, as seen from New York City

the geometers

The interlocking motifs of fifteenth-century Hispano-Moresque textiles in which the idea of the eternal order is evoked by infinite pattern, by return and reworking, by form, lines, angles, and colors, patterning that outlived the caliphates of Al-Andalus, qualities for which even the Christian kings of the Reconquista reached when they wanted to evoke luxury, refinement, and the persistence of higher things in base material, is associated in my mind from time to time with the angular mode that now dominates Spanish football, the intersecting polygons of Xavi and Iniesta, or rather of the collective emergent mind one might name Xaviniesta, in which, quite apart from the creation of goals, footballing victories, and delirium in the minds of opponents, one senses a sensitivity to abstractions and a command of intricate geometries that is like a succession of rooms for the imagination and that, were it to be mapped by the placement of a spooled shuttle on the ball, might restore in visible form the intermixed Mudéjar heritage of Spain herself.

Also, Xavi looks like an Arab.



Filed under: magic

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