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Ernest Hemingway and San Fermín

July 07, 2023 3 min read

Ernest Hemingway and San Fermín

This past July 6th, one of Spain's most important festivals began: San Fermín. But how did the festivities of a city with less than 200,000 inhabitants become known worldwide? This phenomenon originated thanks to Ernest Hemingway's fascination.

Ernest Hemingway and San Fermín

This year marks 100 years since the famous Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer first encountered San Fermín, which would become a lifelong love and the inspiration for his first major novel, "The Sun Also Rises" (or "Fiesta" in Spain). In this novel, the characters explore every corner of the festival and the city. Published in 1929, it was the work that launched the author's career and expanded the fame of the San Fermín festival internationally.

Whether you have visited the small city of Pamplona yourself or are a fan of Hemingway, you'll know that the influence of the writer and the city's admiration for him are evident throughout Pamplona. Numerous bars reference him in their names and décor, and you can find his books and all sorts of souvenirs dedicated to him in countless shops.

Ernest Hemingway Monument, Luis Sanguino

Ernest Hemingway Monument, Luis Sanguino

So much so that next to the Pamplona bullring stands a statue in honor of the writer, created by Luis Sanguino, which is dressed with the classic red kerchief (“pañuelico”) by the city's residents every year. Inside the "Café Iruña" bar, which Hemingway depicted in his work, there is also a statue of him.

THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA

But that's not all. This year also marks the 70th anniversary of Hemingway's Pulitzer Prize. While we take advantage of this wonderful festival to pay tribute to the author, it wasn't "Fiesta" that earned him that award in 1953, but rather "The Old Man and The Sea." Although the Nobel Prize in Literature he received the following year was for his complete body of work, including iconic novels like "A Farewell to Arms" and "For Whom the Bell Tolls," "The Old Man and The Sea" remains his most renowned work.

Ernest Hemingway Montegrappa notebook and San Fermin kerchief

In "The Old Man and The Sea," Hemingway portrays themes that were central to his experiences as a volunteer and correspondent during the wars: death, bravery, solitude, persistence, the struggle against adversity, and loyalty. The gripping tale of the fisherman Santiago's battle with the marlin continues to be one of the most influential works of fiction.

MONTEGRAPPA

As a tribute to this writer and anniversary, Montegrappa has created a piece bearing the same name. Whether in rollerball or fountain pen form, the mahogany kotibé wood body represents Santiago's boat and is adorned with details from the novel.

Montegrappa LE The Old Man and The Sea

Montegrappa LE The Old Man and The Sea

The clip, shaped like a fishing rod, and its two-tone blue enamel represent the sky and the sea. Sterling silver and 24k gold-plated engravings depict the Old Man on his boat, the marlin leaping from the sea, and the silhouettes of sharks beneath the waters. It comes with a special packaging that replicates the weathered boat from the book and features a metal-cut marlin mascot.

So, whether you're rereading Hemingway's works for his anniversary, encountering his statue during San Fermín and not understanding its significance, or simply at home and now interested in doing both, I recommend that you delve into the relationship between the writer and this small city of grand fiesta, it's truly remarkable.




If you have any questions, feel free to contact our team. We'll be happy to assist you. ¡Viva San Fermín!

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