Monday, July 13, 2009

He Has a Hemingway of Giving it to You Straight

So, I have been reading Death in the Afternoon by Ernest Hemingway. It´s his book that combines descriptions of bullfights, bullfighters, bulls, really nice Hemingway honesty and assholishness. Towards the end of the book (just before the 40 some odd pages glossary) is somewhat of a stream of memories, each condensed to less than a full sentence, which, all together as a list, remind him of some of the better years of bullfighting in Spain. After this, which is really lovely in its own right comes the following words. I got what I got from it, which was quite a lot. You can interpret for yourself.

Keep in mind, I´m awaiting my departure from Ecuador tonight, after an incredibly beautiful and empowering 5 months here.

"I know things change now and I do not care. It´s been all changed for me. Let it all change. We´ll all be gone before it´s changed too much and if no eluge comes when we are gone it still will rain in summer in the north and hawks will nest in the Catedral at Santiago and in La Granja, where we practised with the cape on the long gravelled paths between the shadows; it makes no difference if the fountains play or not. We will never ride back from Toledo in the dark, washing the dust out with Fundador, nor will there be that week of what happened in the night in that July in Madrid. We´ve seen it all go and we´ll watch it all go agian. The great thing is to last and get your work done and see and hear and learn and understand; and write when there is something that you know; and not before; and not too damned much after. Let those who want to save the world if you can get to see it clear and as a whole. Then any that you make will represent the whole if it´s made truly. The thing to do is work and learn to make it."

Death in the Afternoon


Hayley said...

You amuse me. What is it about going away?

Hayley said...

By the way, this is Sofia. It just posts me as Hayley.

conscientizacao said...

It helps to have read the few pages before the passage, in which he bascally reminesces in short frases about certain things that happened in that year, and with certain people. Stuff like, "Gibbons drunk falling down the stairs and taken to so-and-so hospital; Belmonte gored in the right thigh after a most brilliant toreo," etc...

Any of us could do this about any part of our lives. I could easily, and in fact, in some way have, done this as relates to my time in Ecuador He seems to be undrstanding that while you can appreciat the past, you will neve be able to have those years back. For this reason, it is better not to try and repeat great years, rather keep moving on and enjoying where you are at in the present.

I felt this on the eve (not literally) of my departure, as I thought back on all I had done, but was simultaneously really excited about getting back and getting busy. For this reason, I enjoyed the quote and the sentiment I extracted therefrom.

conscientizacao said...

Leave me the fuck alone, or else.