May 12, 2009
From Yes! Magazine’s article about the International Book Fair in Cuba:
More than 300 publishing houses from more than 43 countries have set up stalls and events in the fortress. The book fair will stay in Havana for 11 days, then it will travel to 30 other cities across Cuba.
Last year more than 5 million people attended the book fair, purchasing more than 6 million books. To put this in context, Cuba has a population of 11.5 million people. That means nearly half the entire population goes to the book fair. Imagine participation on this scale anywhere else in the world. In the U.S., that would mean no less than 152 million people coming out to attend, of all things, a book fair.
Feb 4, 2009
Yesterday I posted about the copies of 3,000+ previously unseen documents from Hemingway’s estate that are now at the JFK Library. I emailed the library, and they sent me their press release, which doesn’t appear to be online. The crux is this:
Examples of the type of documents that will be available to researchers in Boston include:
Letters to Hemingway from his family including his mother Grace Hall and his sons John and Patrick;
Over a dozen letters from Adriana Ivanich, the possible muse for his novel Across the River and Into the Trees. Adriana also designed the dust jackets for Across the River and Into the Trees and The Old Man and the Sea;
A group of letters to Mary Welsh Hemingway [his fourth wife] written when they first met and were both serving as war correspondents in Europe during World War II;
Letters or cables from such luminaries as Robert Capa, Pablo Casals, Marlene Dietrich, Sinclair Lewis, Lillian Ross and Ingrid Bergman;
Mail from friends and fans particularly after Hemingway won the Nobel Prize for Literature and published Old Man and the Sea.
The press release also clears up the question of whether the screenplay for The Old Man and the Sea is an unused one written by Hemingway. Nope. Oh well, there’s still that alternate ending to For Whom the Bell Tolls.
Here’s the full press release:
Continue Reading »
Feb 2, 2009
Hemingway wrote a second ending to For Whom the Bell Tolls. As it stands, the novel has a beautifully, maddeningly ambiguous “ending.” Does this new version answer any of the questions we’ve been left with for 69 years? It looks like we’ll find out in late spring, when the JFK Library makes available copies of 3,000+ previously unseen documents from Papa’s Cuban estate. The Associated Press reports:
Now, thanks to an agreement between U.S. Rep James McGovern, D-Mass., and the Cuban government, copies of those writings are at the John F. Kennedy Library.
The archival replicas include corrected proofs of “The Old Man and the Sea,” a movie script based on the novel, an alternate ending to “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and thousands of letters, with correspondence from authors Sinclair Lewis and John Dos Passos and actress Ingrid Bergman. The documents were previewed Thursday and will likely be available to researchers in late spring.
That mention of a screenplay for The Old Man and the Sea is also intriguing. Hemingway wasn’t known to have written screenplays for his works. (The screenplay for the 1959 movie, starring Spencer Tracy, was written by Peter Viertel.) Is this a reference to something he wrote, or is it just a copy of Viertel’s screenplay?
When the documents are opened to the public, I’d be glad to hear from anybody who gives them a look.