Saturday, September 3, 2005

The Dangerous Summer by Ernest Hemingway

The Dangerous Summer by Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemmingway wrote The Dangerous Summer in 1960 for LIFE magazine. Here, Hemingway recounts the summer he spent in Spain in 1959 watching a series of bullfights between two great matadors. Luis Miguel Dominguin and his brother-in-law Antonio Ordonez became rivals in a mano a mano (hand-to-hand duel). Throughout the summer, Dominguin and Ordonez tried to show one another up as performers in the ring while traveling from city to city and match to match.

I read an edited version of Hemingway’s LIFE magazine piece with an introduction by James Mitchener. The book serves as an introduction to bullfighting, gives insight into Hemingway’s personal life, and gives the reader beautiful glimpses of Spain as they travel the country. The Dangerous Summer is one of Hemingway’s last stories, and in it, Hemingway looks back upon his life.

Hemingway was friends with both Dominguin and Ordonez, and had broken his personal rule to stop being personally involved with bullfighters. Ordonez was the son of Cayetano Ordonez, a friend of Hemingway's in the 1920s and the model for Pedro Romero in The Sun Also Rises. Although Hemingway is friends with both Dominguin and Ordonez, he favors Ordonez throughout, believing him to be an exceptional bullfighter. Hemingway draws a contrast between these young, vibrant matadors and provides lasting sentiments on their bravery and immortality.

External Link:
"The Last Ole” By William Kennedy, The New York Times

Related Review:
In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway

Purchase and read books by Ernest Hemingway:

The Dangerous Summer by Ernest Hemingway In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway Death in the Afternoon by Ernest Hemingway

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