Hemingway in Cuba
- Submitted by: admin
- 07 / 18 / 2010
Hemingway passed away on a Sunday, just 19 days before reaching the age of 62 in 1961. That is how he left us on a day like July 2nd in Idaho and it was on that same month he was born but in 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois.
There are those that say that his love towards Cuba was not at first sight. His first visit took place in April of 1928 and only for a 48 hour period on board the vessel called Anita on transit on his way to Key West at the age of 28.
Later he would return once and once again starting 1932, when he came for a fishing tour, one of his passions, which also included hunting in Africa and the pursuit of bulls in Spain.
He would write about fishing. In 1933 he began his chronicles on the island for which he felt great sympathy which he expressed until the last days of his life.
He was in Cuba for the last time in 1960 making Cuba his official residence for over two decades and which he dedicated almost half of the useful years as a writer leading him to valuable awards like the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 and the Nobel Literature Prize in 1954.
Many of his work are intimately tied to Cuba. Some of his works were written in Havana and others because many of its characters were taken from Cuban reality.
His relationship was so tied to the island, that his home in the Vigia Farm in San Francisco de Paula, was turned into a museum after his death, visited now by many national and foreign visitors.
Since then, all remains there, intact as he left it. This Caribbean island served as a site for Hemingway to create and scene of many of his main texts like “To be or not to be”, 1937, “For Whom the Bell Tolls”,1940, “The Old Man and the Sea”, 1952 and “Islands in the Gulf”, edited post mortem.
“I always had good luck writing in Cuba”, said Hemingway, whose first visit took him to live in the Ambos Mundos Hotel, in Old Havana which is a great place to write, according to Hemingway himself and later the Vigia Farm on the outskirts of the Cuban capital.
Once established in Cuba, he frequently visited the bar/restaurant El Floridita, where he enjoyed Cuban cocktails. In a wooden bar he would read the daily newspaper and enjoy a Daiquiri.
Now, exactly where he used to sit, a lifelike statue dedicated to the renowned US writer is found.
His visits also took him to Cojimar, whose the La Terraza restaurant became popular due to his frequent visits. There, he met Anselmo, his Santiago in the book “The Old Man and the Sea”, and of course was almost forever alongside his friend Gregorio Fuentes.
This coastal town, east of Havana, was mentioned a number of times in his works as a writer and journalist and there is a plaza with a bust dedicated to him.
Still today it is not difficult to imagine him walking the avenues together with his inseparable Gregorio.
Despite later biographies which do not hghlight the issue, there is not a doubt that Hemingway’s passage through Cuba was not short lived, but unforgettable.
By Luz Marina Fornieles
Source. Radio Rebelde