domingo, 19 de marzo de 2017

Hemingway in Churriana, Málaga (Summer of 1959)

Gamel Woolsey, Ernest Hemingway y Gerald Brenan en 1959

Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American writer and journalist. He was born near Chicago on 21 July, 1899. In 1920, he moved to Toronto, Canada and started his first job with The Toronto Star, finally becoming a foreign correspondent. He then moved to Paris with his first wife, Hadley Richardson (he got married four times), joining a group of American expatriates that became known as “The Lost Generation” in the art world. It was here that he met the writers John Dos Passos, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, etc.

He published The Sun Also Rises in 1926. It became a best-seller. The story follows a journey from the nightlife of 1920s in Paris to the bullfighting rings of Spain with a group of expatriates. It is an age of spiritual dissolution. The disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation. Hemingway first travelled to Spain in 1923. It was then that he experienced “the running of the bulls: encierro", it is part of the Fiesta de San Fermin in Pamplona. The trip began his love affair with bullfighting.

This passion would be immortalised in his novel, Death in the Afternoon (1932). It reflects Hemingway's belief that bullfighting is more than sport, it is an art. A contemplation on the nature of cowardice, bravery and tragedy.

Hemingway returned to Spain in 1937 as a correspondent to cover the Spanish Civil War. These Spanish experiences served for the novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940). The Old Man and the Sea (1951) made Hemingway an international celebrity, and won the Pulitzer Prize in May 1952. In October 1954, Hemingway received the Nobel Prize in Literature.

In 1959, he decided to return to Spain to chronicle what was known as "a mano a mano" (hand to hand) for Life Magazine. Eventually it was published as The Dangerous Summer in 1985 after his death. It describes the rivalry of two Spanish matadors and their competition in one season of bullfights. The two men were the veteran Luis Miguel Dominguín (lover of Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, etc.) and his opponent, Antonio Ordóñez (brothers-in-law). During a rest in the fighting, they came to stay in Churriana, Málaga, at the mansion (La Cónsula), where Hemingway had been invited to spend the summer by his friend, Bill Davies.

Bill y Mary Davis celebrated extraordinar parties. Champagne from France and food from London were flown in. There were also fireworks, carnival booths, and a live orchestra. Hemingway woud be 60 years old that summer of 1959 and it would be the last one in Spain. The writer’s mental and physical health would rapidly deteriorate of the next months, he would become paranoid, and he would attempt suicide a number of times. He finally shot himself on 2 July, 1961.


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Owen, T.  Hemingway's Last Birthday in Andalucia. En
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