Bethany Professor Emeritus Releases Book on Hemingway

BETHANY, W.Va. –  Dr. Larry Grimes, Professor of English Emeritus and Director of Church Relations at Bethany College, has used his knowledge from years of studying Ernest Hemingway in the new release “Hemingway, Cuba and the Cuban Works.” The volume is edited by Grimes and Bickford Sylvester, emeritus professor at the University of British Columbia.grimes.jpg

The book, which was released by Kent State University Press, examines the profound impact of Cuba on Ernest Hemingway's life and work. Hemingway lived in Cuba longer than anywhere else in the world, yet this is the first book dedicated to studying his life and writing there.

“As a writer, Hemingway took ‘place’ very seriously, so the influence of Cuba on his life and works seems most important,” Grimes said, adding that Hemingway lived there for twenty years.

“Because Hemingway lived most of his adult life in Cuba and did not return to live in the United States, I think both his life and his writing changed,” Grimes said. “He became a truly international writer and not just an American writer.”

“Hemingway, Cuba, and the Cuban Works” presents contributions by scholars and journalists from the United States, Russia, Japan, and Cuba, who look at the Cuban culture and how it affected Hemingway’s writing.

The volume opens with an examination of Hemingway’s place in Cuban history and culture, evaluations of the man and his work, and studies of Hemingway's life as an American in Cuba. These essays look directly at Hemingway’s Cuban experience, and they range from the academic to the journalistic, allowing different voices to speak and different tones to be heard. The section includes reflections from Gladys Rodriguez Ferrero, former director of the Museo Finco Vigía, who describes the deep affection Cubans hold for Hemingway; and recollections from the now-adult members of Gigi’s All Stars, the boys’ baseball team that Hemingway organized in the 1940s.

In the second part of the collection, Hemingway scholars among them, Kim Moreland, James Nagel, Ann Putnam, and H. R. Stoneback employ a variety of critical perspectives to analyze specific works set in Cuba or on its Gulf Stream and written during the years that Hemingway actually lived in Cuba. A long letter by Richard Armstrong describing the Machado revolution in Cuba is also included, as are Hemingway's photographs of fishermen at Cojimar, which provide vivid visual commentary on “The Old Man and the Sea.”

Appended to the collection are Kelli Larson's bibliography of scholarly writing on Hemingway's Cuban works and Ned Quevedo Arnaiz’s sample of Cuban writing on those works. A chronology placing Hemingway’s life in Cuba beside historical events is also provided.

Grimes is also the author of “The Religious Design of Hemingway’s Early Fiction.” His essays and reviews have appeared in several anthologies and journals, including The Hemingway Review, Modern Fiction Studies, and Studies in Short Fiction.

Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.