Literary Excerpts

Every Way You Looked, There Were Mountains

by Team Fathom

Pamplona streets. Photo courtesy of Joan Grifols. 

Hemingway was an undeniable king of travel. From New York, to Paris, to the Middle East, to Spain, his writing reflects the most picturesque scenes, interesting crowds, and riotous events. Though nothing short of classically verbose, his descriptions make us wonder how places like these could possibly exist. The Sun Also Rises takes us to the magical countryside of Spain and even further to the exciting bull fights of Pamplona.

"After a while we came out of the mountains, and there were trees along both sides of the road, and a stream and ripe fields of grain, and the road went on, very white and straight ahead and then lifted to a little rise, and off on the left was a hill with an old castle, with buildings close around it and a field of grain going right up to the walls and shifting in the wind. I was up in front with the driver and I turned around. Robert Cohn was asleep, but Bill looked and nodded his head. Then we crossed a wide plain, and there was a big river off on the right shining in the sun from between the line of trees, and away off you could see the plateau of Pamplona rising out of the plain, and the walls of the city, and the great brown cathedral, and the broken skyline of the other churches. In the back of the plateau were the mountains, and every way you looked there were other mountains, and ahead the road stretched out white across the plain going toward Pamplona. 

We came into the town on the other site of the plateau, the road slanting up steeply and dustily with shade-trees on both sides, and then leveling out through the new part of town they are building up outside the old walls. We passed the bull-rung high and white and concrete-looking in the sun, and then came into the big square by a side street and stopped in front of the Hotel Montoya."

This entry is excerpted from The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway.


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Now in Spain: Running of the Bulls
The Dying Art of the Bullfight

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