The build up to Pamplona begins…. with the 2016 Edition of the Official Guide

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In five days the feria of San Fermín officially begins and so the third and latest edition of the Fiesta: How To Survive The Bulls Of Pamplona with a foreword from the Mayor is released from Mephisto Press.

It’s various authors are slowly drifting back to the city where they will once again enter the streets of the most famous and largest bull-run in the world.

In France, Alexander Fiske-Harrison, the editor of Fiesta (and also author of the award-winning Into The Arena), was a finalist in Le Prix Hemingway 2016 with his short story ‘Les Invincibles’, which will be published along fourteen other finalists by French publisher Au Diable Vauvert in September under the titled Uriel: Et autres nouvelles du prix Hemingway 2016.

Le Prix Hemingway

Joining him will be his co-authors, John Hemingway, grandson of Ernest, legendary American bull-runner Joe Distler and legendary war photographer Jim Hollander from EPA, along with the contributing Basque and Spanish greats of the encierro Julen Madina, Miguel Ángel Eguíluz, Jokin Zuasti and Josechu Lopez.

Josechu Lopez running as close as you can get

Josechu Lopez running as close as you can get

The preface of the 2016 Edition is enclosed below.

Lucy Gould, Dep. Ed.

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Preface to the 2016 Edition by the Editor

The Dangerous Summer was the title of the book version of Hemingway’s last piece of writing from 1959 on the rivalry between the two great matadors of the period, Antonio Ordóñez and his brother-in-law Luis Miguel Dominguín. It is also my title for what happened last year.

Papa and Don Antonio in 1959, me and his grandson 50 years later (Photos: Associated Press & Nicolás Haro)

Papa and Don Antonio in 1959, me and his grandson 50 years later (Photos: Associated Press & Nicolás Haro)

Pamplona is not the only bull-run in Spain, the official figures for last year show there were 16,383 such events. And fifteen people died in them. I personally ran in five towns – Pamplona, then Tafalla, which is like Pamplona was in the old days before the tourists came, then Falces, which is along a goat-path down the side of a mountain with a sheer drop on one side, then San Sebastían de los Reyes which is in a suburb of Madrid (I took the Metro to it) and then Cuéllar, the most ancient Spanish bull-run next to the ruins of a castle in old Castille.

There had already been twelve deaths that year in small town events, so we were all cagey –  I was with my rodeo champion friend Larry Belcher – but when the bull came up the street with half its head slick with blood we knew something was awry. I kept a safe difference from it, but still managed to break my ribs there. That was my final run of 2015. (I wrote about it for the Daily Telegraph here.)

The bull's left horn is covered with the blood of a man it has just killed. I am circled, backing away down the street.

The bull’s left horn is covered with the blood of a man it has just killed. I am circled, backing away down the street.

This is a dangerous game indeed.  However, as dangerous as bull-running is, those who do it are a brotherhood. And remember, no one is getting out of life alive. Which is why I dedicate this edition of the book to our dear fallen comrade Noel Chandler. Many of us – myself included – were at his funeral in Madrid with his many, many friends, and even more of us will be at his memorial mass in the Chapel of San Fermín the day before the feria begins. I wrote an obituary piece on this Prince of Pamplona here.

Alexander Fiske-Harrison

London, June 30th, 2016

Out now on Amazon (US) – click here – for Amazon UK, click here, for Amazon Australia, click here, for Amazon Canada, click here and similarly for Spain, France, Germany, Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, Italy, Japan, India

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