HAVANA._ The reciprocal affection between the U.S. novelist Ernest Hemingway and Cuba is so amazing that it makes us recall the old saying two of a kind.
“I live in Cuba because I love Cuba,” said the U.S. writer and journalist when he expressed his affection for the Caribbean island, which warmly welcomed him on his first visit in 1928.
The “Finca Vigía” (Lookout Farm), today a museum, was his favorite place of residence in Cuba where he lived from 1939 to 1960 - the first five years together with his wife Martha Gellhorn.
It was in this very place that he wrote The Old Man and the Sea in 1951; today considered one of the 20th century’s most outstanding fiction pieces and possibly his most famous work.
Published in 1952 and taken to the big screen several times, the novel tells the story of an old fisherman who is determined to stay in the open sea until he catches a fish.
When granted the Nobel Prize in Literature for his entire work, Ernest Hemingway dedicated the award to Cuba. The statuette can be seen at the Santuario del Cobre’s Chapel of Miracles in the eastern Cuban province of Santiago de Cuba.
It’s worth saying that in addition to Hemingway’s literary works, Cubans also praise his systematic contact with the people.
Many are the individuals involved in the conservation of his former residence, documents and places he used to visit, such as the Hotel Ambos Mundos and the bar La Bodeguita del Medio.
Other sites connected with the writer’s stay in Havana are also very well maintained, as is the case of the Floridita Bar-Restaurant which features a life-size bronze statue of Hemingway sculpted by Cuban artist José Villa Soberón.
Additionally, in the locality of Cojímar (east of Havana), where he docked his yacht El Pilar, sculptor Fernando Boada erected a bust made of bronze fragments collected by local fishermen.
A PRAISEWORTHY RAPPROCHEMENT
Hemingway’s presence in this country has also provided a sort of link between the people of the U.S. and Cuba. This is exemplified by the U.S.-based Finca Vigía Foundation headed by Mary Jo Adams: a program for the exchange of experts involved in the restoration process of the main house and the Yacht El Pilar.
According to Adams, whenever both countries work together in the restoration of Hemingway’s house and the preservation of his documents, a small diplomatic bridge is constructed between the two nations.
Similarly, events such as the Ernest Hemingway International Billfish Tournament, one of the oldest of its kind in the world, attract lovers of that sport from all around the world to the island.
Furthermore, the International Colloquium on Ernest Hemingway takes place in Cuba every two years, with its most recent edition held June 18-21 with the participation of researchers from six countries.
Even though there are many events influencing the current process for the reestablishment of Cuba-U.S. diplomatic relations, the importance of the U.S. writer’s presence in Cuba cannot be disregarded.Share on FB Share on TT