HEMINGWAY, Ernest (1899-1961). Autograph letter (signed 'Yours in Christian Science, Mother Eddy') to Ezra Pound, Burguete, Spain, n.d. [?1 or 2 July 1925], one word deleted by a later hand on p.4, 4 pages, 4to, on a bifolium.
A GREAT SATIRICAL DIATRIBE ON THE VIRTUES OF BULLS. Hemingway writes on the way to Pamplona, having found the fishing at Burguete destroyed by logging -- 'Last decent fishing left in Yarrup -- not including Norway'; nevertheless, Hemingway admits 'Feel good for the first time in months. Certainly feel good. Feel so good there's nothing to write about'; he enquires about the publication of his short story, 'The Undefeated', in This Quarter, 'I'd like to see my bull story printed, but so long as I've been paid for it and can read it every mo. in serial form in Der Querschnitt in German and refresh my German thereby I'm in no hurry'; if Walsh is not going to produce another issue, however, Hemingway will 'pooblish it somewhere else'. Pound has written a tribute to Hemingway as 'hero and family man', for which Hemingway offers ironic thanks: 'I will [...] riposte when your guard happens to be down'. He continues with a scathing commentary on a talk by 'Ford Madox Madox Ford' on new writers, describing it as largely 'imaginary conversations between himself and Americans speaking an imaginary Yankee dialect [...] It gave his megalomania a gala night'. This, Hemingway concludes, would have shown Pound why he comes to Spain to watch bulls, and he launches into a satirical comparison of the virtues of bulls and the vices of Ford, which becomes a bitter diatribe against society:
'Bulls at least are not the greatest stylists in English -- no bull has ever been a political exile. Bulls don't run reviews. Bulls of 25 don't marry old women of 55 and expect to be invited to dinner. Bulls do not get you cited as co-respondent in Society divorce trials. Bulls do not borrow money. Bulls do not expect you to marry them and make an honest woman of them. Bulls are edible after they have been killed. Fewer bulls are homosexual. [...] No bull has ever been at the Café du Dome [...] To me bulls ain't exotic. They are normal. And such a goddam relief from all this horseshit about Art etc [...] To hell with delicate studies of the American scene. Fuck the American scene. Fuck moers [sic], manners, customs all that horse shit. Let us have more and better fucking, fighting and bulls'.
Hemingway's exhilarated delight in the virtues of bulls is of particular interest at this date, as the letter clearly pre-dates his visit to the Fiesta de San Fermin de Pamplona in July 1925 -- the occasion on which he is thought to have conceived the germ of The Sun Also Rises (published in October 1926), the novel which was to bring him an international reputation. Ford Madox Ford had moved to Paris in 1923, and was closely involved with the circle of Pound and Hemingway, both of whom he published in the Transatlantic Review from 1924. A number of the specific references in Hemingway's praise of bulls are obscure; but it seems likely that the reference to 'Society divorce trials' relates to Pound's appearance as co-respondent in the divorce of Bride Adams in 1923. Hemingway's spoof signature is a reference to Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science.