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fanuzzir
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Spain and bullfighting

Some of Hemingway's most interesting stories take place in or describe the unique culture of Spain, his adopted homeland for long stretches. Examples of these are "Hills like White Elephants," "The Capital of the World," and "The Undefeated," perhaps his most transparent celebration of matador machismo.
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zman
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Re: Spain and bullfighting

I'm personally uncomfortable with bullfighting. Let's be honest: it's nothing more than the torture of an innocent creature to sate the bloodlust of the most sadistic animal on the planet. Yes, there is the bravery of the matador in the ring, but to celebrate it in literature is shameful on Hemingway's part, as great as the literature may be.
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Laurel
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Re: Spain and bullfighting



zman wrote:
I'm personally uncomfortable with bullfighting. Let's be honest: it's nothing more than the torture of an innocent creature to sate the bloodlust of the most sadistic animal on the planet. Yes, there is the bravery of the matador in the ring, but to celebrate it in literature is shameful on Hemingway's part, as great as the literature may be.




I think Munro Leaf's Ferdinand had the best view of bullfighting.
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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zman
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Re: Spain and bullfighting

I don't know "Ferdinand". I only saw a few previews to the book on amazon.

Please elaborate.
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Overheard in the Student Union at Brandeis University:
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fanuzzir
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Re: Spain and bullfighting



zman wrote:
I don't know "Ferdinand". I only saw a few previews to the book on amazon.

Please elaborate.


I'll let Laurel take this one. One of my daughther's favorites.
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Laurel
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Re: Spain and bullfighting



fanuzzir wrote:


zman wrote:
I don't know "Ferdinand". I only saw a few previews to the book on amazon.

Please elaborate.


I'll let Laurel take this one. One of my daughther's favorites.




Ferdinand was a little bull who loved to just sit under a cork tree and smell the flowers. But one day, he sat on a bee that was sitting on a flower....

You have to read the rest for yourself. There used to be a wonderful musical version told by Jacquelin Du Pre, I think, and accompanied by her on the cello, but I don't suppose it's available anymore.

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9780670674244&itm=1

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9780448421902&itm=3

If you go to the other place you can look inside at some of the pictures.
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Choisya
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Re: Spain and bullfighting

I agree zman, and although I often go to Spain and like most of the Spanish culture, I have never seen a bullfight and will close my eyes to this aspect of Hemingway's writing, just as I closed my eyes to Melville's gorier bits of whalehunting:smileysad:




zman wrote:
I'm personally uncomfortable with bullfighting. Let's be honest: it's nothing more than the torture of an innocent creature to sate the bloodlust of the most sadistic animal on the planet. Yes, there is the bravery of the matador in the ring, but to celebrate it in literature is shameful on Hemingway's part, as great as the literature may be.


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MacNCheese
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Re: Spain and bullfighting

Can someone explain "Hills Like White Elephants". It isnt blatantly clear to me what happened therefore anything beyond the obvious I as well didnt get.
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mistybay
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Re: Spain and bullfighting

I can personally understand those indiviuals who are opposed to bull fighting. I liken it to my distaste of pro boxing which I believe is a blood sport. However I'm not sure if I agree about not reading stories because they talk of boxing or bull fighting. Bull fighting is part of a culture which we can disagree with but it is there. We really can't deny it. Other wise we could say if we don't read about something it didn't occur. As an example, its like saying, if I don't read about the throwing of Christians to the lions or the Inquisition, or more recently the Holocaust, then I am showing my distain for what happened. Or I can pretend it didn't happen. I think we have to remember when and where some of Hemmingways stories occurred. This doesn't mean we all can't find distain for bull fighting, or other forms of animal and human cruelty.
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zman
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Re: Spain and bullfighting

I agree with you, mistybay. I for one never said I wasn't going to read them. In fact, I'm going to read the entire collection.
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hills like white elephants

[ Edited ]

MacNCheese wrote:
Can someone explain "Hills Like White Elephants". It isnt blatantly clear to me what happened therefore anything beyond the obvious I as well didnt get.




How many relationships did you have so far? One never 'gets' a relationship. I think it is about the probable possibility of impossibility to communicate with another, in words or bodywise. You can be very lonely in a relationship, more so sometimes than if you are alone.

but that is not what the story is about, that is just something I said. The story is, what it is for you. For me it is about life.Life is one day like that. Or any other day.

Do you really want to understand it? And are you willing to play? Then I have a suggestion. Write about the gaps of your not knowing.

Understand the story through your writing. The story hooks something in you.Check out what it is.

Try to see the story like a painting.It could also be a black and white photograph. Let your mind wonder, write it down and post it here if you want to. What would you tell me about it if you had to describe that painting to me? What would you tell yourself? What if you do not want to tell? Do it anyhow...should you?...etc...

I think that would be just great if we all could 'discuss' it in that way.

ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 02-08-200710:04 PM

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fanuzzir
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Re: Spain and bullfighting

[ Edited ]
You'll see some fascinating insights in the thread "Hills Like White Elephants," including the banal observation (made by me, of course) that people in relationship can find a way to cope with even the most unbearable pain. For a less subtle take on a disintegrating relationship, check out "Short Happyt Life of Francis M," under African stories. I'll never give my wife a pistol again (!)

Message Edited by fanuzzir on 02-08-200708:54 PM

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bentley
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Re: Spain and bullfighting (The Capital of the World)

[ Edited ]
Just completed The Capital of the World and frankly I learned more about bullfighting that I expected that I ever wanted to know.

I would highly recommend it for those who want to understand bullfighters and their world.

Hemingway included excellent characterizations of three different matadors as well as picadors and banderilleros.

One of the characters remarks that there are only two curses of Spain, the bulls and the priest. LOL

It was a little gory for me but definitely is a story for a bullfighter connoisseur.

Message Edited by bentley on 02-23-200708:36 PM

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Re: Spain



bentley wrote:smileysurprised:ne of the characters remarks that there are only two curses of Spain, the bulls and the priest. LOL




yes, once they did away with Franco.

ziki
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jazzy_jess
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Re: Spain

I used to think the same about bullfighting until I spent my junior year of college in Spain. I think I look at it much differently now. Watching a bullfight can be a profound experience. It's actually an amazingly, beautiful showing of culture that can only be understood upon seeing it - the colors, the sounds, the costumes. I think Hemingway felt the same way about it, and he, being overwhelmingly descriptive in his works and finding beauty in things that may not be as beautiful to others, chose to describe it in many of his books. In regards to the humanity of slaying a bull, one Spaniard put it to me like this. "We eat bull. This bull has a chance to fight for his life."
The world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only a page. - St. Augustine
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Anchutka
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Re: Spain and bullfighting

You know, Zman, Hemingway had the same thoughts. He thought he is going to throw up during a performance. He went to study bullfights because he needed to get these feelings about life and death. But what he had saw actually influenced him so much that he wasn’t able to write about it for five years. His book on corrida _Death in the Afternoon_ considered the best book on bullfights in English.
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Anchutka
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Re: Spain and bullfighting (The Capital of the World)



bentley wrote:
Just completed The Capital of the World and frankly I learned more about bullfighting that I expected that I ever wanted to know.

I would highly recommend it for those who want to understand bullfighters and their world.




Well, you won't learn about bullfighting reading this short story. In fact, you won't understand this story without knowing something about bullfights.
If you want to _understand_ bullfighters, you better read _Death in the Afternoon_.
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bentley
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Re: Spain and bullfighting (The Capital of the World)



Anchutka wrote:


bentley wrote:
Just completed The Capital of the World and frankly I learned more about bullfighting that I expected that I ever wanted to know.

I would highly recommend it for those who want to understand bullfighters and their world.




Well, you won't learn about bullfighting reading this short story. In fact, you won't understand this story without knowing something about bullfights.
If you want to _understand_ bullfighters, you better read _Death in the Afternoon_.




I think you learn a great deal about the bullfighter mentality etc. I have included some urls which deal with the story and the "inner game of bullfighting" perspective that I was referring to. And once again..I am so delighted that someone else has read this story and commented on it. This story was not one of my favorites but I can appreciate what you have seen in the story.

https://www.worldtravelers.org/madrid.asp

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3786/is_200410/ai_n12412538

http://home.gate.net/~maltshop/postingpole/essays/lifeismeantforliving.htm
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