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"This gorgeous brutality"

"This gorgeous brutality"

Ernest and Hadley had been married just three months when they stepped aboard the Leopoldina in December of 1921, their sights set on Paris. The ship was old but they must have felt new – the day before their ship sailed, Hadley cut her long golden-red hair into a “bob”. They arrived in Paris just before Christmas. How could they know they were about to meet some of the most famous artists and writers of the twentieth century? While Paris offered every imaginable cultural and artistic experience, it was the wild countryside of Spain that captured Hemingway’s imagination – trout streams and gypsies, plazas noisy with dancing and music. Gertrude Stein was the first to suggest that Hemingway go to Pamplona and he saw his first bullfights there in 1923. Hadley sat next to him glowing with pregnancy, stitching clothes for Bumby, who would be named after one of the bullfighters Hadley admired. Bullfighting appears in Hemingway’s first novel, The Sun Also Rises and years later in Death In The Afternoon.

Ernest was not the only one stirred by the passions of the bullfight; listen to Hadley reminisce about the atmosphere of fiesta:

These tapes belong to the Ernest Hemingway Collection/John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston