September 2, 2011

Puncturing the "Hemingway Paradigm," part 2

This blog seeks to puncture the "Hemingway paradigm" (see part 1 of this entry). It is part travel guide, steering you to those "pueblos con encanto" that Hemingway never knew, but which locals favor over the Pamplonas or Rondas to which Hemingway-obsessed Americans flock. It is part cultural guide, offering some tips and insights into subtle differences and hiccups that Americans commonly run into here. And part cultural study, placing Spain's dynamic, pluralistic, and very modern culture against the simplistic primitivism or exoticism typical of Hemingway's "lost generation." Along the way, I'll also muse on "our patron saint," to help make sense of why Hemingway saw Spain the way he did, but why we might want to move on and re-see it the way Spaniards today do.

John Sargent's painting, "Jaleo," 1882

Okay, so it's not just Hemingway. Sargent's "Jaleo", Welles's Homage to Catalonia, García Lorca's vivid depictions of southern Spain's gypsy culture (which we all read for high school Spanish lit.), to the Spanish guitar of Paco de Lucía, the images we hold of Spain's culture reflect a particular anglophone experience shaped in the early 20th century by Brits and Americans who passed through the Anglophone colonies of the Iberian peninsula. They are rich, indulgent images. But this is not a blog about them. Spain has moved on, grown up, and modernized.

Or, perhaps it is better to say, there are many Spains and that is only one of them. This blog seeks to introduce its readers to the Spain Hemingway didn't see (or at least didn't write about), and perhaps help them get a deeper and more modern day appreciation of what Spain is, and what it has to offer to the world.

1 comment:

An Expat in Spain said...

I just discovered this UK blogger who dives deep into the waters of English literature on and visions of Spain... visions conjured long before Hemingway:

http://booksonspain.wordpress.com/

I highly recommend the blog for anyone seeking thoughtful critiques of the 'Hemingway paradigm' in Anglophone literature!

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