Hemingway and the Cuban Revolution
“The Cuban Revolution” by Yuri Paporov discussed Hemingway’s life, thoughts, and actions during the time of the Cuban Revolution. The article starts off by discussing how Hemingway was obsessed with getting any information he could about the Cuban Rebels from the news. This led him to stay up late to read or watch the news so he did not miss anything. Paporov explains that one of the reasons Hemingway was obsessed with the Cuban rebels was that he feared that he was a target for assassination. This led to an increase in his paranoia. Though Hemingway thought he was a target, he was actually quite supportive of the rebels as he told his house staff
Castro's car during the Cuban Revolution, from the Museum of the Revolution in Havana Cuba
“Give them anything they want to take. All the cartridges! Still more, if it's necessary, fill up the gasoline tanks of the cars and tell Juan to do what they want him to and to take care of the cars. If the house is needed because of its strategic position, let them use it” (20). This was due to Hemingway’s desire to stay in favor with the Rebels because he believed they would soon be the leaders of Cuba. Additionally, he lost more faith in Batista's government after an incident earlier in the year where Batista’s soldiers came to Hemingway’s house and accused him of hiding men, and when his dog barked, they shot it. This not only worsened Hemingway’s depression but made him firmly on the side of the rebels. Later, once Hemingway returned to the United States for a trip to the Sun Valley, he went on record saying he supported the Cuban Revolution, and how it gave hope to the Cuban people. This led to Fidel Castro referencing Hemingway in a public address, but the two men only met briefly during a fishing tournament shortly before Hemingway permanently relocated to Idaho.
Hemingway's Youth Cuban Baseball team
“An Interview with Gigi’s All-Stars” by David Martin is an interview with several of the kids who used to play on Hemingway’s baseball team during the 1940s. The team got its name from Hemingway’s son, Gregory, who was nicknamed Gigi. The primary person interviewed was Alberto Ramos Enriquesz who played baseball with Hemingway’s son. He was also a cook at Finca Vigia towards the end of Hemingway’s time in Cuba. Enriquez explained that he started working for Hemingway in 1940 when he was nine years old. He did basic things, including
Caycuo Bias pictured where Gigi's All Stars used to play in the Finca
sweeping and running errands, to help earn money for his family. Additionally, Enriquez talked about how the Hemingway’s treated him. They treated him “like a big family, not treated as servants. We were treated like his children" (31). Once Hemingway decided that he wanted to start a baseball team for the kids in the neighborhood, the team quickly formed. The interview then diverges from David Marten and Alberto Ramos Enriquesz to other kids who played on Gigi’s All-Stars. The first player that spoke about his experiences with Hemingway was Oscar Bias Fernadez who spoke about how he met Hemingway when he first toured Finca Vigia and how a conversation ensued. Fernandez explained that Hemingway realized that the kids in the neighborhood had nowhere to play, and invited him to come and play in Finca Vigia once he bought it. Later, Hemingway introduced the neighborhood kids to his own kids and got them all baseball uniforms - the first for the whole town. Humberto Hernadez also explained how he met Hemingway when he was attempting to collect money to buy baseballs. In this short story, Hernadez explains that the first Finca owner he went to released dogs on him when he got close to his property. Disheartened, he went to Hemingway’s house, and instead of giving him money to buy balls, Hemingway invited him to join Gigi’s All Stars, which provided him with a bat, glove, and balls. Martin concludes the interview, thanking the men who came to talk about their experiences with Hemingway.
DeFazio discusses the correspondence between Mary Hemingway and her husband, Ernest, during their time in Cuba at the Finca Vigía; he argues that both Mary’s closeness and frustration with Ernest blinded her to his rising health problems. DeFazio cites Mary’s letters to Ernest (which she published in her memoir How It Was) detailing how she was often anguished by the actions of Ernest Hemingway: his “inconsistent attention,” flirtatious
Hemingway and his wife Mary
behavior with other women, deep immersion in his writing, and management of their finances (41). DeFazio explains that the monetary issues were some of the most pressing, and Mary often apologized to Ernest for discussing these matters because of how it would upset him. In her letters, Mary shares that she often felt useless, as “she had learned to focus her imagination and energies toward the end of pleasing her husband,” and she felt that Ernest was not satisfied with her (47). Mary even debated whether to leave Ernest for about seven months and wrote to him about it; however, she eventually decided against it because she did not want to exacerbate his troubles. Mary relinquished her career and independence to be with Ernest, and she was now consumed with many obligations – including being the sole caretaker of the Finca for a time – while she felt betrayed by Ernest’s lack of affection, loyalty, and appreciation. As DeFazio argues, these duties and emotions blinded Mary from noticing Ernest’s deteriorating health, despite the signs being right before her eyes.
Deibler analyzes Ernest Hemingway’s impact on Cuban culture – both as a writer and, more importantly to the people of Cuba, an adventurer. In fact, Deibler writes that the creation of the “Hemingway myth” mostly revolved around Hemingway’s daily life and “his relations with the people of the Cuban capital” rather than his literature (63). Deibler primarily scrutinizes a book by Cuban writer Enrique Cirules titled Ernest Hemingway in the Romano Archipelago. In this book, Cirules makes claims about Hemingway’s personal life and his writing, his sources largely based on stories told to him in his home village of San Fernando de Nuevitas; his sources range from a tavern owner called Agustín el Tuerto, to a female innkeeper referred to as La Colombiana, to a variety of fishermen and turtle hunters in the village. One of the claims Cirules makes concerns an alleged love affair between Hemingway and Jane Kendall Mason – a rumor largely based on widespread speculation. Deibler argues that much of the evidence Cirules uses is erroneous (including important dates and biographical data) and the writer’s claims “begs for hard evidence” to support them, which would be difficult to acquire: places like Agustín’s tavern and La Colombiana’s inn are closed, and Cirules does not make it clear in his book if his sources are still alive (67). Despite Cirules’ information potentially being based on speculation, Deibler argues that writers like Cirules at least show how there is much to be learned about Hemingway’s time in Cuba and how he came to hold a “unique and enduring place in Cuban culture” (71).