One thing that surprised me on my trip to Spain was learning about all of the American cultural influences—the artists, writers, even an American bullfighter, who visited, lived, wrote in and wrote about, Spain. American writers have a long literary tradition in that country. Since I’m a writer and a reader, I found those connections fascinating. Here are a just a few examples: •
Many writers and poets lived in Ronda (which means place surrounded by mountains). Ronda was the oldest summer court. It boasts the best weather for asthma and tuberculosis, and beautiful summer homes with patios and gardens.
Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles spent many summers in Rondaand wrote about its beauty and its bullfighting traditions. Orson Welles said he was inspired by his frequent trips to Spain and Ronda (e.g. his unfinished film about Don Quixote). After he died in 1985, his ashes were buried in a well located on the property of his friend, retired bullfighter Antonio Ordoñez, outside of Ronda, a city that has named a street close to the famed bullring of Ronda, The Paseo de Orson Welles.
• Hemmingway wrote “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” based on his experiences in the Spanish Civil War. The famous scene in Chapter 10 describing the 1936 execution of Fascist sympathizers in a (fictional) village who are thrown off a cliff, is considered to be modeled on actual events at the time in Ronda.
• “The Sun Also Rises,” is a 1926 novel written by Hemmingway about a group of American and British expatriates who travel from Paris to the Festival of San Fermín in Pamplona to watching the running of the bulls and the bullfights. In his non-fiction book, “Death in the Afternoon,” Hemingway writes about the ceremony and traditions of Spanish bullfighting.
• The American bullfighter and painter, John Fulton, is recognized in Spain in Ronda, where he trained as a bullfighter.
• Ava Gardner had a romance with Dominguin, a leading bullfighter in the 1940’s and 50’s who was a close friend of Picasso, and a dueling matador featured by Ernest Hemingway in “The Dangerous Summer.”
• American painter John Singer Sargent painted in Ronda and his masterpieces El Jaleo (1882) and La Carmencita (1890) were inspired by his love of Spanish music and dance.
• Washington Irving briefly resided in the palace Alhambra, which inspired his book “Tales of the Alhambra,” and several histories of 15th-centruy Spain. There is a plaque dedicated to Washington Irving inside The Alhambra.
• Iberia, written by James Michener, who first visited Spain in 1932, is his personal travelogue of his impressions of many travels all over Spain. Georgia
Author Marilyn Baron writes humorous women’s fiction, humorous paranormal short stories and romantic suspense. Her latest release, Dead Mix was released at the end of July from TWB Press at http://www.twbpress.com/deadmix.html. To read more about “The Edger,” visit her blog at Petit Fours and Hot Tamales at http://www.petitfoursandhottamales.com/marilyn-baron/; for her angel stories visit TWB Press at: http://www.twbpress.com/achoirofangels.html. Find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Marilyn-Baron/286807714666748. Her next book, “Under the Moon Gate,” a romantic thriller set in contemporary and WW II Bermuda, will be released from The Wild Rose Press in spring 2013.