Sunday, December 1, 2019

Bacchanalia: A Pamplona Story

Five years have passed since my last post on this blog. My apologies, but they were five years in which I dedicated myself to fiction and journalism. I wrote for hunting and fishing magazines, worked on a collection of short stories and just recently I published a new novel, “Bacchanalia: A Pamplona Story.” It takes place during the Fiesta de San Fermin and as probably anyone who has been to Pamplona knows this town and its fiesta were in a very real sense put on the world map with the publication of my grandfather’s book “The Sun Also Rises.” His novel was a huge success in the United States, describing as it did a group of jaded and decadent American and English ex-pats who spend most of their time at the fiesta drinking, talking, flirting, dancing and watching bullfights.

That was almost a hundred years ago and the town and its destiny were changed forever, although its spirit in many ways has remained the same. The large contingent of Anglo-American ex-pats still spends most of its time at the fiesta drinking, talking, flirting, dancing, watching and, of course, running with the bulls. They are not a part of a Lost Generation as Ernest Hemingway was and certainly not as jaded as the characters he wrote about in his novel. Instead they live like the rest of us in the modern world with all its distractions, pleasures, conveniences and absurdities. They are drowning in that sea of ridiculous choices that all of us are forced to make every day and come to the fiesta in search of something that has healing powers, something that has remained true to itself and that will not change and which has ancient roots. What they find is the Roman Bacchanalia in a post-modern guise. There is an excess of everything during the fiesta and for nine days and nights they forget about the outside world and live their lives to the fullest.

“Bacchanalia: A Pamplona Story” is, in short, a modern take on this ancient festival. It is a portrait of what goes on there as seen through the eyes of its Italian-American protagonist, Frank Ardito.

So prepare yourself and get a copy of the novel on (ebook or paperback) at this link:
and then come to the fiesta in July of 2020. Because as they say in Pamplona, Ya falta menos (every day is one day less until the next San Fermin).

Copyright 2019, John Hemingway