Hemingway’s Postcard to Gertrude Stein from Spain


A postcard from Ernest Hemingway to Gertrude Stein dated 9 June 1924?. Was Ernest confused about the date or just living in the moment?

There is no copyright to this postcard that I know of. If so, tell me and I will try to make amends.

Anyway, it is the writing that interests me. I know of no one who has tried to reproduce the copy. As best as I can decipher, it goes like this:

… [something about the] illustrated life and death of Joselito. Tomorrow, six bulls of Martinez with Villalta, who is a very wonderful kid. Tall and stands out from the rest of them like a wolf. Think he’s going to be the new great one. Boxing looks paler and paler with (Bill Bird???)

Ernest Hemingway

Joselito (born Jose Gomez) began a famous rivalry in the bullring with Juan Belmonte in 1914.  It was a sharp competition which lasted until Joselito’s death in 1920. Read Death in the Afternoon and The Sun Also Rises. Nicanor Villalta made his debut in 1918. He never achieved the fame or recognition of the other two.

The boxing reference is vague But as every Hemingway fan knows, Ernest was an aficionado of boxing. In Paris he often took up boxing as a form of exercise.

Gertrude Stein may have been the inspiration for Hemingway to see a bullfight. Project Muse.  And,  Hemingway wrote about his first bullfighting experience in 1923.

Her Paris  address on the Rive Gauche was 27 Rue de Fleurs. Stein’s salon, which she shared with Alice B. Toklas, was the setting for many literary and artistic discussions in the Paris of the Twenties. It was Stein who coined the phrase The Lost Generation to describe Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Pound, and other American expatriates who fled to Europe after the First World War.  If you watched Woody Allen’s 2011 movie Midnight in Paris, then you got a good feel for the Hemingway and Stein relationship.


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