Biography Ernest Hemingway

Biography Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway was an American novelist and journalist and winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize in Literature. He was a literary icon of the 20th century, was renowned for his succinct prose and profound insight into the human condition. He was born on July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, United States and died in 1961 in Ketchum, Idaho. Hemingway crafted stories that captured the essence of war, love, and adventure with remarkable clarity and simplicity. Hemingway's experiences as a journalist and ambulance driver during World War I influenced his writing style deeply, characterized by its economical yet evocative language. His most notable works, "The Old Man and the Sea" and "A Farewell to Arms," continue to resonate with readers worldwide, earning him a lasting legacy as one of the greatest American writers of all time.

Hemingway and Barcelona

Ernest Hemingway spent considerable time in Spain in the years 1921 to 1926, when he worked as a foreign correspondent for the Toronto Star in Paris. He fell in love with the Spainish culture, people, and landscapes. He also became a bullfighting aficionado. The last time he was in Spain was in 1960, a year before his death. Hemingway's experiences in Spain influenced his writing and provided inspiration for some of his works, including his novel "The Sun Also Rises" his first novel which portrays American and British expatriates who travel along the Camino de Santiago from Paris to the Festival of San Fermín in Pamplona to watch the running of the bulls and the bullfights.

Hemingway was only in Barcelona a couple of times. In April 1938 during the Civil war and again in 1959 while writing "The Dangerous Summer". He is reputed to have visited Barcelona's famous absinthe-bar Marsella many time and also the Boadas cocktail bar. During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), Hemingway was deeply involved in reporting on and supporting the Republican cause against General Francisco Franco's Nationalist forces. He went from Barcelona to the Catalonia town Tortosa on 4 April 1938 ​​to report on the defence of the region of Baix Ebre from Franco’s advancing troops. Ernest Hemingway’s article “The Bombing of Tortosa” became one of the most iconic texts of his coverage of the Spanish Civil War: “Above us in the high cloudless sky, fleet after fleet of bombers roared over Tortosa. When they dropped the sudden thunder of their loads, the little city on the Ebro disappeared under a mounting yellow cloud of dust. The dust never settled, as more bombers came, and, finally, it hung like a yellow fog all down the Ebro valley.” That evening, Hemingway made a terrifying reflection: “There were many reasons impelling us to leave Tortosa and go towards Barcelona, these include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

He was one of the last chroniclers to abandon the field of the Battle of the Ebro. He wrote, “At two o’clock this afternoon, Tortosa was almost demolished, evacuated of civilians and not a soldier in sight. Twenty-four kilometres away, they were fighting fiercely to protect Tortosa, the target of the fascists in their advance towards the sea.” His last report would be on 18 April 1938. He was close to Amposta, hiding behind an onion field next to the road to Tortosa. He wrote, “The Ebro Delta has a fine rich land, and, where the onions grow, tomorrow there will be a battle.” 

Hemingway's novel "For Whom the Bell Tolls," published in 1940, is set during the Spanish Civil War and is partly based on his experiences in Spain. The novel vividly portrays the brutality of war and the struggles of the Spanish people, capturing the complex political and emotional dynamics of the conflict. Barcelona, with its mix of idealism, chaos, and tragedy, serves as a backdrop for much of the novel's action. Overall, Hemingway's time in Barcelona and his involvement in the Spanish Civil War left an indelible mark on his life and work, shaping his views on war, politics, and humanity. His writings continue to be celebrated for their portrayal of this tumultuous period in Spanish history.

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Boadas cocktail bar
Marsella bar

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 April 2024 11:32