Ernest Hemingway and the Spanish Civil War with Mark Planellas Witzsch

Ernest Hemingway and the Spanish Civil War with Mark Planellas Witzsch


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In 1937, Hemingway arrived in Spain as a war correspondent for the North American Newspaper Alliance. He immediately realized that the Spanish Civil War was far more complicated than was understood at home and even more complex to explain to an American audience. Cultural Historian Mark Planellas Witzsch will show how Hemingway’s literary works produced in the Spanish Civil War period were deeply influenced by his experience reporting on the war and his interactions with artists and activists in Europe at that pivotal moment in history.

The conflict in Spain divided the territory between the Francoist Nationalists supported by the Fascist regimes of Mussolini and Hitler, and the legitimate democratic Second Republic, backed by international volunteer forces. While Madrid suffered airstrikes under Franco’s command, Hemingway wrote his only play, “The Fifth Column” and worked as a screenwriter alongside John Dos Passos and the Dutch filmmaker Joris Ivens on the film “The Spanish Earth.”

In 1938, Hemingway was present for the longest-lasting battle of the Civil War, which took place along the Ebro river between Barcelona and Valencia. Hemingway, along with several other British and American journalists, was among the last correspondents to leave the battlefield and cross the river heading north. They witnessed the final defeat of the legitimate regime.

This conversation seeks to explore the events that Ernest Hemingway witnessed during his time in Spain as a war correspondent and the influence of these moments in history on his writing career, as well as analyze some of his related works, such as For Whom The Bell Tolls, which is not just a biography of Orwell in Spain, but an attempt to view the Spanish Civil War through the lens of the author.

Mark Planellas Witzsch is active in several areas in the cultural field and taught philosophy of art and avant-gardes of the twentieth century at university, focusing on universally well-known Catalan artists such as Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró. Catalonia being a part of Spain that has historically defended democracy and the ideals of the republic, the vast majority of its artists were committed to those Civil values and reflected it in their art. This led Mark Planellas to dive into some related topics, such as propaganda in the twentieth century, thus publishing books on the subject, such as “Jaume Miravitlles. El somriure de Catalunya”, which explains the history of the first modern propaganda ministry ever created, in the context of the Spanish Civil War.

This conversation is not suitable for children under age 16

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
100%
(2)
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K
K.T.
Fascinating and unique class
A
A.