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Running with the Bulls: My Years with the Hemingways

Running with the Bulls: My Years with the Hemingways

Écrit par Valerie Hemingway

Raconté par Anne Flosnik


Running with the Bulls: My Years with the Hemingways

Écrit par Valerie Hemingway

Raconté par Anne Flosnik

évaluations:
3.5/5 (2 évaluations)
Longueur:
12 heures
Sortie:
May 16, 2017
ISBN:
9781543612196
Format:
Livre audio

Description

A chance encounter in Spain in 1959 brought young Irish reporter Valerie Danby-Smith face-to-face with Ernest Hemingway. The interview was awkward and brief, but before it ended something had clicked into place. For the next two years, Valerie devoted her life to Hemingway and his wife, Mary, traveling with them through beloved old haunts in Spain and France and living with them during the tumultuous final months in Cuba. In name a personal secretary, but in reality a confidante and sharer of the great man's secrets and sorrows, Valerie literally came of age in the company of one of the greatest literary lions of the twentieth century.

Five years after his death, Valerie became a Hemingway herself when she married the writer's estranged son Gregory. Now, at last, she tells the story of the incredible years she spent with this extravagantly talented and tragically doomed family.

In prose of brilliant clarity and stinging candor, Valerie evokes the magic and the pathos of Papa Hemingway's last years. Swept up in the wild revelry that always exploded around Hemingway, Valerie found herself dancing in the streets of Pamplona, cheering bullfighters at Valencia, careening around hairpin turns in Provence, and savoring the panorama of Paris from her attic room in the Ritz. But it was only when Hemingway threatened to commit suicide if she left that she realized how troubled the aging writer was – and how dependent he had become on her.

In Cuba, Valerie spent idyllic days and nights typing the final draft of A Movable Feast, even as Castro's revolution closed in. After Hemingway shot himself, Valerie returned to Cuba with his widow, Mary, to sort through thousands of manuscript pages and smuggle out priceless works of art. It was at Ernest's funeral that Valerie, then a researcher for Newsweek, met Hemingway's son Gregory – and again a chance encounter drastically altered the course of her life. Their twenty-one-year marriage finally unraveled as Valerie helplessly watched her husband succumb to the demons that had plagued him since childhood.

Valerie Hemingway played an intimate, indispensable role in the lives of two generations of Hemingways. This memoir, by turns luminous, enthralling, and devastating, is the account of what she enjoyed, and what she endured, during her astonishing years of living as a Hemingway.
Sortie:
May 16, 2017
ISBN:
9781543612196
Format:
Livre audio


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3.5
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  • (3/5)
    Valerie, the author, found herself being offered a job by Ernest Hemingway when she was in her early 20s; during the bullfighting season in Spain. Two years before he killed himself. This is the story of those years before his death. She exposes, and yet skirts around her relationship with Hemingway. Then tells of her long involvement afterwards with Mary Hemingway and Ernest's estranged son, George, whom she married.I found this a slog to get through. After a couple of chapters on her personal life before she met the Hemingways; the first third of the book is all about the bullfighting in Spain. On and on, bullfights, drinking, etc. The author has a bitter tone to her voice, as well she may after her long involvement with the family, especially her marriage to George who was mentally ill. In spite of her many protestations of affection, she can be quite snide. Give the woman her due though, she gave many years of her life in service to them.I was interested in the author's life in New York city, and her involvement in the publishing world in the 1960s, but that is glossed over and the rest of the book is full of the dreary details of her twenty some-odd years of putting up with George Hemingway and his mental illness. I found enough of interest in the tale to finish the book, but I didn't enjoy one minute of it. What does that say? Is it the fault of the author, or of myself? I don't know, but other readers may feel differently.
  • (4/5)
    Not surprisingly for an authour of great fame and stature such as Hemingway, there’s a lot out there written about him. Running with the Bulls: My Years with the Hemingways by Valerie Hemingway (2004, Ballantine Books) caught my eye, though, so I purchased it.Valerie Danby-Smith was born in Dublin, Ireland; and at 19, became Ernest Hemingway’s personal secretary during the last couple years of his life. During that time, she traveled with Ernest and his wife Mary through Spain, France, and Cuba. A few years after Ernest’s death, she married his son, Gregory. Gregory had been estranged from his father for several years and Valerie Hemingway speculates that part of the reason was because Gregory was a secret transvestite. Her marriage to Gregory was a challenging one, ending in divorce. Gregory eventually underwent some gender re-assignment (becoming “Gloria”). He passed away in 2001, leaving several children (four of which were Valerie’s).Although Valerie Hemingway only knew Ernest during the last couple years of his life, much of this book is focused on those two years (and also her growing up in Ireland). Because the Hemingways traveled extensively, I got glimpses of Spain (lots of bull-fighting discussed; Ernest was an enthusiast and Valerie learned to enjoy bull-fights also), traveling through France and living in Cuba as Fidel Castro began his rise in power (the Hemingways were friendly with Castro).“It is hard to believe that van Gogh arrived in Arles eleven years before Ernest was born. His presence is as indelibly there as Ernest’s is in Cuba today. Other painters Ernest liked to talk about as we drove through Provence were Cézanne, Gaugin, Matisse, and Dufy. He spoke with enthusiasm, in pidgin English and a mixture of French and Spanish, as if all life were a game, a contest, and a puzzle.”–page 72, Running with the BullsIn her memoir, Valerie Hemingway sensitively covers the tumultuous period of her life with Gregory. It cannot have been easy being married to him — he was a medical doctor but also bi-polar in addition to his transvestite issues. Yet, her memoir was dedicated to his memory, along with to her children. I wondered along with Valerie if Gregory had different parents or if he had been born at a different time, would it have lessened Gregory’s difficulties in life?This book is not one that encompasses Ernest Hemingway’s entire life. It is one person’s perspective; and enlightening in some ways. For instance, I knew very little about pre-communist Cuba, and Valerie Hemingway was informative about that time and place. So, overall, I found Running with the Bulls to be an interesting memoir.