At first Mary dismissed me as another hanger-on. When I arrived in Cuba she was quite distant, but she gradually included me in her activities. Mary was smart enough to realize I did not pose a threat to her marriage, so she decided to make the most of the female companionship. How did it irrevocably change his persona? How did it strike at the heart of what he could always rely upon—his writing? VH: Hemingway read approximately three books a week, as well as many magazines and newspapers.
He fished and hunted, both of which required keen eyesight. The fear of losing that capacity was devastating to him. Concern about his condition interfered with his ability to write and contributed to the deep depression that led to his decline and suicide.
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JMG: You say that Hemingway had "strange standards regarding young women" page Were you ever the recipient of this attitude? VH: Hemingway was married four times, and I suspect had many affairs with women. I can speak only of the short time I knew him, which was in the final two years of his life. He idealized young women and expected them to be pure.
- Ernest Hemingway, the running of the bulls and a fading tradition?.
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His attitude was paternal rather than that of a suitor. For me he was a chaperone or father figure, not a lover. JMG: What was your initial impression of Fidel Castro, whom you met during the early years of his power? Why do you think he helped you and Mary Hemingway? Do you think the Cuba that you knew when you first visited is gone forever? VH: I was rather enchanted by Castro, a very earnest young man with a mission.
He had charm and yet was shy. He clearly admired and respected Hemingway and was greatly honored to meet the American writer. The Cuba I enjoyed in does not exist anymore.
Indeed, few places remain the same two generations later. The Ireland I grew up in is no longer recognizable. We can preserve such places only in literature and art. JMG: You discuss the power and the burden of bearing the Hemingway surname. How did you teach your children to handle this?
How have they reacted to this book? VH: My children first learned of their Hemingway connection when they attended school. What is important in life is who you are, not to whom you are related. I taught my children independence of mind and spirit. I gave them an excellent education. The rest was up to them. I would venture to say my strategy worked.
My children have told me they are very proud of me.
Which Hemingway story references the running of the bulls" in Spain?"
One son set up a website for the book as a Christmas gift, another accompanied me on my east-coast tour. My daughter and her husband arranged a reading and signing in their hometown and gave a superb party afterward to introduce me to their friends. You can count on that" page How have you carried those words with you in your life? How have they guided you?
JMG: What about Greg first attracted you to him? Did your years with him influence your view of Ernest especially in light of their troubled father-son relationship or of Mary? VH: Greg was an enchanting person. We spent a good part of four days together at the funeral.
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He was funny and clever. He was a startlingly good athlete and amazingly articulate. The courtship was intense and a lot of fun. He was living in Boston then and I was in New York. It took several years of marriage before I realized how disturbed he was, and yet I still hoped. My years with Greg did not influence my view of Ernest because we simply did not discuss his father.
Greg harbored great anger toward both his parents. The man I knew and the father he knew were two different entities. Just as Greg was not mentioned at the finca , Ernest was not discussed in our home.
Running with the Bulls: My Years with the Hemingways by Valerie Hemingway
I would say that my view of Mary did not change because of my marriage to Greg. I have always judged people on personal experience. Greg resented Mary. Therefore anything he had to tell me about her was biased. I was not influenced by his opinion. JMG: After your many struggles with Greg, including his transvestitism, what was the ultimate last straw that led to your divorce?
Was the postscript that deals with Greg in the initial draft of Running with the Bulls, or did you add it later? VH: Greg filed for divorce, not I. I realized he was sick and in need of medical help. If he could have received that help, he stood a chance of achieving something in life. When he realized what I was trying to do, he filed for divorce. The postscript was not in the initial draft. The final three pages of the book are a condensed version of a eulogy I gave for Greg at the Hemingway Society International conference in Stresa, Italy, in JMG: You have held a variety of positions in journalism and publishing.
How was tackling a memoir of your own life different from working with the words of others? Was there a single aspect of this book that you found the most challenging? The most exhilarating?
RUNNING WITH THE BULLS: My Years with the Hemingways
Harder because you have to sit and create, to impose discipline and adhere to a schedule whether the muse is willing or not. Easier because there are no restraints, no misunderstandings. What I found most challenging was trying to sort out and condense a vast amount of material—the highlights of almost sixty years—to produce a coherent and flowing story.
librarybadge.com/noxu-cell-phone-location.php I know exactly how exciting or harrowing parts of my life have been. Would I be able to convey those emotions to the reader with only words? The most exhilarating aspect of writing was reliving those wonderful early years and realizing for the first time how exceptionally lucky I was to have lived such a life. JMG: At the conclusion of the book, you say, "This is my time to speak" page What made you decide that the moment had come to share your story?
Did you find it difficult to break your silence? Gradually, biographers invented a persona for me. I came to the conclusion that if I wanted to correct my image before it was cemented, I would have to tell the story in my own words. I felt that, rather than continue to hide, I should speak out.