Looking for Hemingway: Spain, the Bullfights, and a Final Rite of Passage

Looking for Hemingway: Spain, the Bullfights, and a Final Rite of Passage

by Tony Castro

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In 1959, the most famous literary figure of his time set out in the twilight of his life to recapture his early success in the 1920s. The experience tested all the credos of bravery and grace under pressure he had lived by.

Just months before turning sixty, Ernest Hemingway headed for Spain to write a new epilogue for his bullfighting classic Death in the Afternoon, as well as an article for Life magazine. His hosts were Bill and Anne Davis, wealthy Americans in pursuit of the avant-garde life of the 1920s’ post-war expatriates, who lavishly entertained celebrities and the literati, from Noel Coward to Laurence Olivier, at their historic villa, La Consula. This hacienda would become Hemingway’s home during the most pivotal months of the Nobel laureate’s denouement, and Bill Davis—fellow adventurer who had survived the Depression running arms during the Spanish Civil War—would become his friend and bullfight-traveling companion.

Looking for Hemingway explores that incredible friendship and offers a rare intimate look into the final period of the legendary author’s life, giving comprehension not only of a writer’s despair but of suicide as a not unreasonable conclusion to a blasted existence.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493018222
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 11/16/2016
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Tony Castro is a historian, Hemingway scholar, journalist, and author of multiple books including the best-selling Mickey Mantle: America’s Prodigal Son, hailed by The New York Times as the definitive biography about the baseball Hall of Fame legend. A former national correspondent for The Washington Post, Castro has also written for the Los Angeles Times, the Dallas Morning News, the Texas Observer, and Sports Illustrated. He was given a special tour of La Finca Vigía, Hemingway’s home in San Francisco de Paula, Cuba, arranged for him by Fidel Castro in 1967, was among the first to view the collection of Hemingway papers opened to researchers by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, and has long known screenwriter Teo Davis, the son of Bill and Anne Davis, the American expatriates who hosted Hemingway’s last visits to Spain. He lives in Los Angeles.

Table of Contents

Prologue ix

Chapter 1 "Fiesta, Si!" 1

Chapter 2 La Consula 19

Chapter 3 The Dying Artist 31

Chapter 4 The Politics of the Corrida 41

Chapter 5 Hollywood in Spain 51

Chapter 6 The Rich Are Different 61

Chapter 7 Who Was Hemingway? 73

Chapter 8 Who Was Bill Davis? 81

Chapter 9 Silencio, Por Favor 91

Chapter 10 Bullfighting as Art 101

Chapter 11 Great Fortune 107

Chapter 12 The Well Runs Dry 117

Chapter 13 Needing a Death in the Bullring 127

Chapter 14 The Ghost of Manolete 137

Chapter 15 The Ordoñez-Domingúin Feud 145

Chapter 16 The Cost of the Softhearted Man 153

Chapter 17 The One True Sentence 163

Chapter 18 Paris One More Time 171

Epilogue 179

Author's Note and Acknowledgments 202

Appendix I Hemingway's Nobel Prize Speech 209

Appendix II Time Line of Hemingway in Spain 210

Appendix III Selected Letters from Ernest Hemingway to Bill Davis 212

Bibliography 218

Index 222

About the Author 233

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