The monument dedicated to Ernest Hemingway in Ronda. T. Bryant
Ernest Hemingway: A lasting association with Ronda
Foreign influencers in southern Spain

Ernest Hemingway: A lasting association with Ronda

The legendary literary figure, who first visited Ronda in 1923, used the location in some of his greatest works about the Civil War and bullfighting

Tony Bryant


Friday, 21 June 2024, 15:55

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Those who visit Ronda cannot fail to ignore the connection the town has with American writer Ernest Hemingway. The town hall has recognised this giant literary figure with a path named in his honour (Paseo de E. Hemingway), as well as a bronze sculpture situated in Plaza Blas Infante, close to the bullring in which Hemingway witnessed the Corrida Goyesca, an event that left a lasting impression.

Ernest Hemingway's first visit to Ronda in 1923 was to instigate the legendary American writer's lifelong passion for the town, for along with its spectacular location and stunning views of the Tajo gorge, it has long been one of the main cradles of bullfighting.

Hemingway developed a special connection with Ronda, especially with the world of bullfighting and with bullfighters, in particular Antonio Ordóñez, with whom he struck up a lasting friendship.

Unlike Seville, whose bullfight tradition Hemingway showed a dislike for, Ronda was a great surprise and inspired him to write. Ronda is mentioned in several of his works, such as Death in the Afternoon (1932), in which he wrote, "There is one town that would be better than Aranjuez to see your first bullfight in if you are only going to see one and that is Ronda.

The gorge-side town is also featured in a later publication, For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940), a novel that tells the story of a young American volunteer fighting for Republican forces during the Spanish Civil War. The pivotal scene in chapter ten of the novel describes the execution of fascist supporters, who were thrown to their deaths from the Puente Nueva, an act that Hemingway once claimed to have witnessed. Although Hemingway drew from events that actually took place in the town in 1936, he later claimed in a letter to have completely fabricated the story.

Hemingway would visit Ronda again in 1959 while working on his last book, The Dangerous Summer.

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