Ernest Hemingway launched his career as novelist with The Sun Also Rises, set in large measure in the Basque Country. It was the beginning of a life-long involvement with things Basque. The present article examines the nature of this fascination and its shortcomings. Ernest became a regular attendee of Pamplona's San Fermín festival (and a key architect of its international fame). During his two-decade residence in Cuba, he surrounded himself with Basque jai alai players and political refugees from the Spanish Civil War. Yet Hemingway remained insensitive, if not downright indifferent, to their fervent Basque nationalism. When he subsequently divided his time between Cuba and Idaho (home of the most prominent Basque-American community in the United States) he manifested little interest in the sheepherders and their descendants. In sum, for Hemingway the Basques were the most authentic expression of his beloved Spain and were of interest to the degree that they fed his interests in bullfighting, trout fishing, cuisine, jai alai and folkloric exotica.
Douglass, William A.
"The Sun Also Sets,"
BOGA: Basque Studies Consortium Journal:
1, Article 1.
Available at: http://scholarworks.boisestate.edu/boga/vol3/iss1/1