As we all know, President Obama made an historic visit to Cuba recently as the U.S. and Cuba began to normalize relations. Patrick Hemingway, grandson of writer Ernest Hemingway (Hemingway also had s a son named Patrick, his last surviving child. This is Gregory’s son, Patrick), believes that his grandfather who lived on a farm called The Finca Vigia for 20 years, would have supported the recent change in relations between Cuba and the United States “He is considered, not only a cultural icon here, but one of Cuba’s own,” he said of his grandfather.
When talking with Cubans about the recent visit of President Obama, most Cubans agree with Patrick Hemingway when he noted that he felt Cuba had a bright future. They also viewed the President’s visit as a symbolic statement of commitment to the evolution of that relationship. Nothing adds to the picture that Cuba is moving toward a more open society and rejoining the world than the performance of the Rolling Stones on Friday, March 25th in Havana. While the Pope asked for a postponement as it was Good Friday, the show did go on as originally planned.
I just viewed the trailer and it looks good to me. It echoes Hemingway’s relationship with his great friend, Aaron Hotchner, although this relationship started later in life. Hemingway, for all of his flaws, often was welcoming to young writers and willing to share his personal time and experiences generously.
Please take a look if you have time. Best, Christine
Across the River and Into the Woods was one of Hemingway’s poorly received books. It was written while Hemingway was infatuated with Adriana Ivancich who was the prototype for Renata. It still sold decently and at one point, there was talk of a movie with a very young Sophia Loren as Renata and Gary Cooper as the Colonel. I liked the book but did not find Renata to be an interesting character or sufficient to draw the intense attention of the Colonel who clearly was partially based on Hemingway himself. Should be interesting.
Before it is too late, actual collaboration between the U.S. and Cuba is happening regarding the restoration of Hemingway’s beloved Cuban home. He lived there for about twenty years. As mentioned in previous posts, he and Mary left many papers and mementos when they were not allowed to return. Apparently, there remain many writings/notes of historical and literary interest even after Mary was permitted to remove some of them post-Hemingway’s death.
I subscribe to a number of RSS feeds and google alerts that keep me posted on all things Hemingway. So here are a few random developments.
1) Mariel Hemingway is producing a movie of Hemingway’s last book, A Moveable Feast, finished after his death and published initially in 1964. (Hemingway died in 1961).
2) Andy Garcia is wrapping up his movie about Hemingway and his boat captain, Gregorio Fuentes.
3) Coming out in the Fall is a possible Oscar contender called GENIUS, about
Hemingway’s editor Maxwell Perkins (played by Colin Firth) and Tom Wolfe (played by Michael Fassbinder). Dominic West plays Hemingway. All Brits playing Americans.
4) The Cuban government is working on how much access to permit to the Finca Vigia. Right now, the public can peer through windows but cannot go in.
5)Thomasville is having a Hemingway Outdoor furniture collection.
6) A man named Robert Wheeler spent a winter four years ago in Paris, retracing Hemingway’s time there in the early 1920s. He took a camera. And now he’s publishing a book, due out April 7. I can’t wait to see it.
7) Before announcing the winner of the 2015 PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction, Beacon Press director Helene Atwan, administrator of the prize, made note of a major gift from the Hemingway family. The cash prize attached to the award was doubled this year to $20,000. Patrick, Hemingway’s remaining son, was on hand to assist in distributing the awards which took place at the JFK Library, home of he Hemingway Collection.
Now that Cuba has opened a bit, more opportunities for on location filming is possible. The new biopic about Hem’s declining years was just filmed and it sounds like the producer was able to use the actual Cuban locations. However, more of this should be possible in the future.