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Grauer Journal

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Ernest Hemingway's life in Cuba.

This year "Papa Hemingway" would have turned 120 years old. Our tribute to one of the greatest writers of the 20th century.

Born American, Ernest Hemingway proclaimed himself Cuban and spend the last 20 years of his life enjoying the island’s chill morning breezes and its bright sun.

The writer’s Cuban adventures began in 1939 when his third wife, an outstanding war-time journalist Marta Gellhorn, found a house named "Finca Vigia" on the outskirts of Havana and where they settled together. Situated 10 km from Havana and surrounded by a natural park of 8 hectares, the villa provided excellent conditions for Hemingway who preferred to write early in the morning with the windows wide open and not being disturbed.

Half a century later this residence became the most popular museum in Cuba, with dozens of tourist buses coming every day. The house stayed completely intact as if "Papa" has just left it and reveals traces of his numerous passions: taxidermy animals on every wall – hunt trophies, a collection of half-full bottles of gin in the living room, omnipresent books and, of course, his personal typewriter "Corona No.3".

Cheerful as he was, Hemingway fully enjoyed the island’s culture and led an active social life. The bars he used to visit, La Floridita and La Bodeguita del Medio, are nowadays major touristic spots in Havana. During his fiestas in those bars his creative genius sparkled as well. "Daiquiri", "Mojito", "Bloody Mary" and "Martini Dry" are among the cocktails invented by this great American. Today they can be easily found on the classic menu list in any bar.

Apart from partying, Ernest Hemingway was passionate about fishing and used to board his boat "La Pilar" in Cojímar, a small village in the neighborhood, every other day. These trips were for sure his principal source of inspiration for one of his major works, "The Old Man and The Sea".

What is more, fishing made him meet Cuba’s President Fidel Castro, as it happened in May 1960 at a fishing tournament, organized by the writer himself.

It was a very warm encounter and both of these two outstanding personalities of the 20th century always spoke well about each other ever after.

The Cubans, to whom Hemingway dedicated his Nobel Prize in 1954, proudly preserve all his legacy and keep his spirit wander colourful streets of Havana.

To learn more about Hemingway’s affection to Cuba, we are delighted to invite you to our Art and Culture area, where you will find exclusive pieces - an original photo of the writer with Fidel Castro as well as a caricature made by a Cuban artist Juan David. You will also discover his humidor, offered in 1959 to Ernest Hemingway by the journalists of Cuba.

(Pieces from our private collection)

For more information, contact us on +41 22 552 2799