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"He Was Sort of a Joke, In Fact": Ernest Hemingway in Spain

From: The Hemingway Review
Volume 31, Number 2, Spring 2012
pp. 84-100 | 10.1353/hem.2012.0004



While Hemingway had a close devotion to things Spanish throughout his life, he was at times ridiculed by Spaniards for what some perceived as his pretensions as a bullfighting insider and poor ability to speak Spanish. José Castillo-Puche, friend and biographer of Hemingway, said that by the end of his life, "Ernesto was no longer a fascinating figure to people in Spain; he had become a sort of joke, in fact" (20). Through scrutiny of Hemingway's cultural forays into Spanish society—in language and toreo, in particular—this article reveals a crucial but often neglected dimension of Hemingway's relationship with the Spanish people.