I killed the aspidistra

 I admit it, I killed the aspidistra. I didn't mean to, but this is exactly what I have just done.

My aspidistra when it was alive

This summer I finally decided to halve my aspidistra plant. For years I had seen it decay little by little and fill the corner with enormous dry thorny leaves. Two days ago I decided it was time to reduce its size and I killed it!

This aspidistra has its own story: I inherited it from Aunt Mariana. We brought it home one August day many years ago in our hot Soviet LADA - prepared for the freezing Siberian steppes, without air conditioning, of course - on a trip we made to Linares, where she had lived, to pick up some things that were still left at my aunt's house after her death.

We also brought a few opaline vases and some china: old chipped plates and dishes that had been in use in her home for a long time made at La Cartuja de Sevilla,  a large wicker basket that collapsed as soon as I put some cloth inside it, and I also brought the two shoe-removing chair that were i
n her bedroom and that a friend of my brother Nicolas' fixed and upholstered so well that I enjoy them every day in my bedroom. I included in this freight one of their aspidistras.

Old china

aspidistra found its corner in our house, by the front door, and it grew so much that I had to take it out to the patio because it almost prevented us from entering the house.

Every time my mother came to see us she would say, --That 
aspidistra is huge, you have to halve it. I never broke it and she always kept saying the same thing, --That aspidistra is huge, you have to halve it.
Even before she spoke, when she entered the door of the house, I already knew what she was going to tell me and likewise I knew what I was going to answer her, "I'll do it, mum, I'll do it some day."

  But I never did it so until this summer. I tried to half it and I killed it. 

It was so big that it couldn't be taken out of the pot without breaking it and I wanted to keep it because the pot also had its history: it was a gift from Florencia, my mother-in-law, who always wanted to give me things and she never knew what. Until one summer, when we went to visit her, I told her that I would like her to buy me some flowerpots that I had seen in a very typical pottery near her house. She bought a very large Talavera-style decorated planter, and I put the aspidistra there and it thrived until it was huge.

Yesterday was the day. It is dead now. THE END.

Suddenly In full pruning operation of the plant, I remembered a book by George Orwell, Keep the Aspidistra Flying from 1935. In Spanish the novel is called Que no muera la aspidistra. (Don't let the aspidistra die)

George Orwell's books
And I said to myself, that's it, I've already done it: I have not followed Orwell's advice.

Wikipedia explains that strange title of George Orwell's novel: in Victorian England the only pots that could survive the weak English sun and the sordid air that was breathed in the houses due to heating by fireplaces, oil lamps and charcoal burners,  were the aspidistras, the well-known plants that here, in Andalusia, decorate those marvellous patios with a well, wicker rocking chairs, a pillar and some ladies with fans that spend the long summer afternoons in the 'fresco' of the patio.

Patio with aspidistras

For us, in Andalusia, the aspidistras are the flowerpots of the hallways and patios, but for the English the pilistras were the flowerpots of the houses of the petty bourgeoisie with pretensions to elegance, few social ambitions and a very mediocre life.

But Orwell's novel, like all of his works, contains a permanent critique of his argument against the society of the day. According to Wikipedia, again, "The title can be interpreted as a sarcastic exhortation to the effect of "Hooray for the middle class!"

I found another explanation on a page of the Degree in Journalism of the University of Zaragoza
Knowing its author, a POUM militant, a lieutenant in the International Brigades and a member of the National Guard, we can consider a double meaning of what the aspidistra means. On the one hand, we have that plant, a symbol of the bourgeoisie and resignation to a morality imposed by the ruling classes. On the other hand, we are left with the question of whether the journalist had any connection with the British Aspidistra, a radio station of American origin in charge of disseminating black propaganda. Like Napoleon in Animal Farm, Orwell left no stone unturned."

A plant with a lot of history, as you can see.

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