Pamplona, España, 1961

Beruete is a high school teacher on the island of Ibiza, where he teaches Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology. In 1989, he won the Constitution Essay Prize for his book Libro del ajedrez amoroso (Love Chess Book). A graduate in Social and Cultural Anthropology, in 2006 Beruete began studying the subtle connections between utopia theory and gardening styles, and analysing how gardens have been a visible metaphor of the good life since ancient times, a sensory representation of happiness, and a valuable document of each era’s dreams of social perfection. Beruete has written books of poetry, short stories, and the novels Líneas negras sobre fondos blancos (Black Lines on White Backgrounds) and Para no morir (To Not Die), as well as the essays Libro del ajedrez amoroso (Love Chess Book), Verdolatría (Greenolatry) and Jardinosofia (Gardenosophy).

  • "In the wild 21st century, nature appears as the last physical and mental refuge." Álvaro Soto
  • "Somewhere in our brain, we long for the forest." Santiago Beruete

Bibliography

A new take on the expression “to live in harmony with nature,” based on another way of understanding our humanity.

Plants can help us understand human contradictions, and inspire us in what Montaigne called “the arduous science of knowing how to live well.”

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Non-fiction

A new take on the expression “to live in harmony with nature,” based on another way of understanding our humanity.

Plants can help us understand human contradictions, and inspire us in what Montaigne called “the arduous science of knowing how to live well.”

Verdolatría is organised around four essential philosophical questions: What can I know? How should I act? What can I expect? What does it mean to be human? It draws on ecological thought, lessons from the art of gardening, and botanical science to change our understanding of life on the planet and our place in it.

 

 

From the Hanging Gardens of Babylon to the ecological vegetable patches planted by urban guerrillas, the garden has been a reflection of society. Anyone fortunate enough to have a bit of green space around their house faces a complicated decision: Shall I fence it in and grow cabbage? Decorate it with a line of perfectly trimmed hedges? Install some swings and a fountain? Sit there and gaze at the horizon while pondering the immensity of the cosmos? Similar questions were formulated by Pre-Socratic philosophers, decadent Frenchmen at Versailles, and the first misanthrope who ran off to live in the woods. How we use the “domesticated nature” that is our garden evolves along with the world, and with each person. This book tells that story through the gardens of history’s great thinkers, artists, and architects. It’s a story of happiness, the good life, and the use of time and space, in a unique book that mostly speaks of pleasure.

 

 

"Sucede en el amor como en el ajedrez. No siempre se juega para ganar. Los adversarios se sienten menos atraídos por la victoria que por la belleza de las estrategias desplegadas, la voluptuosidad del duelo mental o incluso, el placer de la derrota."

Partiendo de una sutil analogía con el ajedrez, el Libro del ajedrez amoroso traza la historia de una de las instituciones culturales más relevantes y definitorias de nuestra tradición: el amor. De los trabajos de Tristán e Isolda al donjuanismo burlador; de la herencia platónica a la comprensión fisiológica del orgasmo, asistimos al proceso evolutivo de un fenómeno que, lejos de expresar una tendencia natural, asimila un gran número de discursos que con frecuencia quedan ocultos bajo el peso terrible e inmediato de la pasión. 

En el Libro del ajedrez amoroso se encuentran y dialogan Aristóteles y Bataille, Emma Bovary y Denis de Rougemont, Chrêtien de Troyes y Freud. Y gracias a la inteligencia y perspicacia de Santiago Beruete, consiguen desentrañar qué es el amor o, cuando menos, qué se ha pensado que era a lo largo de la historia.

Prizes

  • 1989 -  Premio Constitución de Ensayo por Libro del ajedrez amoroso