Monday, November 10, 2008

Boxing In Paris


Cirque d' Hiver



Hemingway loved to box, it was part of his essence, essential to the core of his personality. (That is Hem in the top photo.)
He was a good amateur boxer, even if he embellished his prowess, as he did with most things masculine.
In the preface to "A Movable Feast", Hemingway tells about the boxing at the Stade Anastasie, and the "great twenty-round fights at the Cirque d' Hiver." He was fond of most sports and outdoor activity, but boxing was one of the things - like bullfighting, that was at the top of the list.
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30 comments:

cafe selavy said...

This post made me think of the great movie "Wrestling Ernest Hemingway" with Richard Harris and Robert Duval for some reason. Does anyone have a story?

Nikon said...

Beleive it or not I never saw that movie! Thanks for the visit.

Eel Wind said...

he did? my...

He..did? boxing man...hehe :)

Nikon said...

Hi Elwin! Good to see you. Yes, boxing was a lifelong hobby for hemingway.

cafe selavy said...

Hemingway got into trouble with his boxing bravado later on in his life. John Huston tells a story in his biography of going down to see Hemingway in Cuba. Huston, a Hemingwayesque man in some ways, also boxed and was much younger. Something happened and Hemingway asked John if he wanted to box. When he went to get the gloves, Mary pleaded with John not to do it, told him that Papa was sick and would get hurt. When Hemingway came back with the gloves, Huston graciously demurred.

Another story. At dinner with Marciano, Hemingway was a little drunk and kept punching Marciano in the ribs, each time a bit harder. Finally, Marciano had enough and he through a quick right that stopped an inch shy of Hemingway's nose. All parties agree that Hemingway visibly shrunk and was apologetic the rest of the night. At the moment, I cannot remember which biography this is in.

But that didn't happen in Paris where Hemingway did box for money. Look for the account of Hemingway's boxing match where F. Scott Fitzgerald was the time keeper and let the round go on a minute too long. Hemingway was steaming mad. I think the boxing scene in "The Moderns" is a tribute to that.

Kate said...

Had to smile at the comment re. Hemingway and FScott. Such a wily fellow. Love the photos; you manage to find so many treasures to post for our viewing pleasure.

Nikon said...

Hello Kate, thanks for the visit!
Bill, I remember that story of Fitzgerald letting the round go on too long, but I'm not sure if it's from Carlos Baker or Reynolds?

Moi said...

a colorful personailty!!!! That top photo made me laugh out loud......

Nikon said...

Hello Moi, thanks for stopping by & enjoying that shot :)

Marc said...

He also did write a lot about boxing. Fifty Grand (for example)is a great boxing story..

Nikon said...

Hi Marc, thanks for that info! I appreciate it & thanks for all of your visits!!

The Summer Kitchen Interiors said...

Yes, we enjoyed that photo also!! We never knew....boxing eh?
Always something to learn from your posts!!

GMG said...

Hi Paul! Sorry for the long delay in coming here, but the last two weeks were too hectic!
Papa's love for boxing was well known; but finding a picture pretending to box was amazing. Where did you get the treasury? ;)
It's incredible, but I've never entered the Cirque d'Hiver... one day! ;))
Meanwhile Blogtrotter is back to Greece in November 2007! Hope you enjoy and have a great week!

Nikon said...

Hi Gil, thanks for the visit!
I think that photo was from the Hemingway collection at the JFK Library in Boston.

TammyPatrice said...

I love boxing too. It is such a nostalgic sport. I grew up watching it with my father. He was a golden glove winner in the early 30's. I will post an old photo I have of him in his boxing gloves at some point on my blog.

Who is the painter of the boxing ring. I was just looking at one very similar at a the home of antique dealer friend of mine. Seeing the painting made me long for the 1940's - a time I missed. I almost bought it on the spot.

Nikon said...

Hi, I had the title of the painting written down but I can't find it now.
I'll look again tomorrow when my eyes have had a rest :)
I would have liked to have been around in the '40s, too. The movies of the '30s & '40s are my favorites.
Simpler times.

The Red Velvet Shoe said...

Hmmmm, not sure if I like that first photo of "the man", I guess I like the portraits more. Obvious he was a very angry man (as Mary could attest to) and sought his outlet for that anger in contact sport of various kinds. . .cock fighting, the running of the bulls, boxing. . .typical and re~iterated in sports today. . .on any given Sunday you will find men watching football and their "women" wishing for something other than. . .I personally would prefer to spend the time running from bulls in Spain and ending the day with a big pitcher of Sangira & lots of carnes!
Great post none~the~less!

Eel Wind said...

no new update yet? :)

KayEllen said...

Wow I never knew that Paul!
Interesting info!!!
You should write a book about all of these great facts you share with us in blogland...about Hemingway
In your spare time:)

Happy thanksgiving early!

Kay

Nikon said...

Michelle, I think that the top photo was pure humor on Hem's part, poking fun at the poses that earlier boxers used as a stance in the ring. He had a great sense of humor.
He was also busy cultivating an image of himself - for the publicity - and being a macho man was part of his image.
For all of the big game hunting, fishing, and the bullfighting, he was, irony of ironies, an animal lover. His houses in Key West & Cuba were overrun with stray cats that still are allowed to roam on the property of the historic sites that those houses have become.
As for Mary, she is a person that many Hemingway scholars are not very sympathetic towards.
I think everyone who has read a little about him knows that he was in love with Hadley, and his biggest mistake was leaving her.

Nikon said...

Hi Elwin & Kay Ellen (Happy B-Day).

Nikon said...

Michelle, here is a photo of John L. Sullivan - it is the pose that Hemingway is copying in the pic on my post.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_L._Sullivan

The Red Velvet Shoe said...

Dear Nikon,

Oooh, I feel like I've been disciplined by Papa himself! I just meant that I "prefer" the portrait photos of him, I think he looks a little silly here which your insight has confirmed.

Due to the fact Hadley was the love of his life would make Mary's life rather miserable, I'm sure. While I am not a scholar, I have been in love. . .I'm certain she knew she was a stand in.

I had heard about the cats (from one of your posts and my sister's visit to his home in Key West). Game hunting and enjoying a lap cat are two polar opposites, I'm sure he enjoyed both immensely.

Michelle

ps~Thank you for placing The Red Velvet Shoe in your Link List. . .

TammyPatrice said...

You are too kind for looking for the artist. Thank you for trying and thank you for bringing it my attention and sharing the work

new look women's clothing said...

Thank you for the post. Hemingway love for boxing is well known. I Love the photos.

Nikon said...

Thanks for stopping by!

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Tim Kane said...

It wasn't Marciano. It was Jack Dempsey.