Gabriel García Márquez was 28 years old when he saw Ernest Hemingway walking on the sidewalk in front of him. A gold plaque should be placed on both sides of Boulevard Saint Michel, the exact place where the son of the telegrapher from Aracataca and Luisa Santiaga de Macondo managed to shout the word “Master!” to the old man without a sea, now with a white beard and gold-rimmed glasses, who answered at the top of his voice “Adios, Amigo!” Encounter remains as a metaphor for a bridge between languages and between what they call narrative journalism and the pure and hard literature of the imaginary capable of becoming an augmentator of a minimal anecdote until it becomes a legend.
Hemingway, a documentary by Ken Burns produced by PBS (Public Broadcasting System) and broadcast through the FILMin platform is a mural in three parts, a screen with three polyhedral sheets that portrays that man named Ernest Hemingway as never before, who always remains as an image blurred from afar and sharp from near. With notable interviews and magnetic quotes, the prose of the hefty and bearded man fades on the screen, with misprints and by his own hand: unfinished manuscripts and perfect paragraphs, unforgettable pages and unknown passages. If you have not read it, you have your whole life to try and if you think you already know him in full, you get the almost endless surprise of trying to hug the young cadet of the First World War who is at the wheel from the other side of the boulevard of a war ambulance in Italy, the lonely bard who curdles the noises of his typewriter in an attic of a Paris in black and white or the maddened fan running down the Calle de la Estafeta in Pamplona, on the edge of two chestnut, cornivuelta and astifinos bulls. He is the fisherman of the silence of the trout and the old man clinging to the mast of an immense velz fish, he is the hunter in the woods and the soldier wounded in a hot fight against fascism and also the accommodating and convincing divo of letters capable of antagonizing one of his best friends in the middle of the Spanish Civil War for not looking bad with the Soviet generals who give him vodka.
He is the son who hates his mother until the end of his days and who denies the alleged cowardice of the suicidal father, without foreshadowing that he himself will end up taking his own life with a shotgun and is the father who denies the trans son without acknowledging that he He himself plays wigs in the beds that he shared with four wives and who knows how many women and is the apparent male misogynist who in quiet phrases and verses is capable of telegraphically cloning the true feelings of an outraged woman and is the one who goes boxing in alleys from Havana and the brain electroshock patient who can hardly be grateful for the highest award that came to him from Sweden.
Hemingway with a mustache without gray hair and a perfect face in the midst of a face worn down by the wounds of many wars; the novelist of not one but several perfect novels and more than two failed ones, the novelist of all the ink stories and countless stories that he invented to become an icon of himself. Hemingway next to Fidel Castro in the convoluted triumph of one more revolution that will be treason and trompe l’oeil, or sitting in the White House living room narrating to Roosevelt the wounds of a Madrid wounded by the bombs of hatred and the one who walked in the caves of the East, the forests of Idaho and the memory of his Saint Louis Blues with notebooks and more notebooks of prose in branch, already of fiction linked to his biography or of chronicles agreed with the voices of all the others. There goes arm in arm with one of many women or in line with the fighting bulls, next to faithful dogs and in the shadow of his own beards, Hemingway the stranger who almost landed in Normandy and the one who almost got lost in a German forest surrounded by sharks and the controversial polemicist who was ahead and behind his time in the snows of Kilimanjaro, while the lions roar in the distance the symphony of all their helplessness and breakdowns.
Ernest Hemingway adrift on a canal in Venice and in pursuit of a German submarine in a fragile fishing boat; Hemingway in the silence of those who have not yet read it and in the polyphonic auditorium where all his readers mix immense admiration with trustworthy ignorance … all on the screen of a masterful documentary, like the ones used by Ken Burns –biographer of the Civil War of the United States, Jazz and Baseball, among other murals — which leaves all the reader-viewers of his documentary with a tasty saliva of wonder and stillness, as if the world stopped in the middle of an ungraspable moment and Hemingway appeared to us. , from sidewalk to sidewalk … frozen forever in the pages that best narrate it.
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Hemingway, sidewalk to sidewalk