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Courage, nonetheless, is not truly the heart and soul of bullfighting. Its very center may well be fear. Fear-the most human of emotions-the matador must keep in check, channel, gradually overcome and forget as his knowledge and his art progressively dominate his antagonist and subject him to his will, to his game and to his spell, until he succeeds in creating the illusion that all danger has evaporated, that what began as a challenge of blood and death has become a dance, ceremony, sculpture, theater, ritual."
--Mario Vargas Llosa from the introduction