Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Hemingway in Cuba

Yesterday Cuba opened up its Heminway archives, hitherto having been languishing in the basement of his house. Read the article. Over at Babalu Henry reminds us that not too long ago, you, too, could purchase one of Hemingway's possessions for the less than princely sum of $200 dollars. Anyway, recently Humberto Fontova ran across another bit of Hemingway lore, one you are not likely to hear about and which presents...something. In this piece, James Scott Linville is reminscing about an incident with his boss at the Paris Review, George Plimpton. Enthusiastic, Mr. Linville wanted to make use of the recently published Motorcycle Diaries. To his surprise, Mr. Plimpton, noticeably stricken, demurred. He then told the author of an experience he had with Mr. Hemingway in Cuba:

A sad look came over him, and he said, "Years ago, after we'd done the
interview, Papa invited me down again to Cuba." George had done a justifiably famous interview with Ernest Hemingway for the magazine, and usually referred to him as "Papa", as Hemingway had encouraged him to do.

"It was right after the revolution," George continued. One afternoon, Hemingway told him, "There's something you should see." The nature of the expedition was a mystery; Hemingway made a shaker of drinks, daiquiris or whatever. They got in the car with a few others and drove some way out of town. They got out, set up chairs and took out the drinks, as if they were going to watch the sunset. Soon, a truck arrived. This, explained George, was what they'd been waiting for. It came, as Hemingway knew, the same time each day. It stopped and some men with guns got out of it. In the back were a couple of dozen others who were tied up. Prisoners.

The men with guns hustled the others out of the back of the truck, and lined them up. Then they shot them. They put the bodies back into the truck. I said to George something to the effect of "Oh my God."

Meaning, who knows? Article about the Che movie here.

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