Friday, July 1, 2011

50 years after death, Hemingway lives on in Cuba

Malaysia Bloggers

Tourists take pictures of the typewriter used by US Nobel Prize in Literature Ernest Hemingway in 1939, at the Hotel Ambos Mundos in Havana. -- PHOTO: AFP

HAVANA - A DAIQUIRI at the Floridita, a mojito at the Bodeguita del Medio and an afternoon at Finca Vigia is the obligatory ritual for enthusiasts arriving in Cuba to honor the 50th anniversary of American writer Ernest Hemingway's death.

In Cuba, devotees can walk in the footsteps of the Nobel Prize-winning author at destinations dedicated to Hemingway's life on the island.

In Old Havana, the Hotel Ambos Mundos offers a tour of the room where Hemingway spent the first months of his 21 years in Cuba, between 1939 and 1960.

In the centre of the small room, a typewriter sits as a throne while a sheet of white paper rests in the carriage. The writer's glasses and a drawing pencil wait on the table and a fisherman's vest and bullfighters jacket hang in the dresser. Books and magazines rest on the bed.

'In America, Hemingway is known through his books, through libraries and museums, but in Cuba there is an oral tradition about his life. He belongs to the Cuban scene. To understand him, you have to come to Havana,' said Ms Jenny Phillips, the granddaughter of Hemingway's editor.

For this young woman, giving a conference at the Hotel Ambos Mundos for the 50th anniversary of Hemingway's death, the suicide of the writer on July 2, 1961 at his home in Ketchum, Idaho left no doubt he was preoccupied with death and, in a way, fated to commit suicide after he fell ill. -- AFP

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