ERNEST HEMINGWAY, CAMÕES, AND PADRE ANTONIO VIEIRA
José Jorge Letria’s account of his visit to Finca Vigía, Ernest Hemingway’s home (now a museum) in San Francisco de Paula, Cuba (Jornal de Letras, Nov. 20, 1996), sent me back to my notes on the American writer’s books about Portugal and things Portuguese.
Besides the occasional handbook or guidebook, Hemingway owned, at one time or another, Roy Campbell’s Portugal (1957), Arsénio Cordeiro’s Espadartes de Sesimbra (1959), Antonio Ferro’s Salazar: Portugal and Her Leader (1939), Salazar’s own Doctrine and Action: Internal and Foreign Policy of the New Portugal, 1928-1939 (1939), Louis Papy’s and Marie Thérèse Gadala’s Le Portugal (1935), José Amador de Los Rios’s Historia social, política y religiosa de los judíos de España y Portugal (1943), and Celestino Soares’s California and the Portuguese: How the Portuguese Helped to Build Up California (1939).
Hemingway’s library also included books by Camões and Father Antonio Vieira. In Key West, Florida, in the 1930s, Hemingway had Camões’s La Lusiade, Poesías castellanas, and Obras completas, titles that appear on the list Hemingway compiled in December 1955. The second of these Camonean titles appears to be Poesias Castellanas y Autos, edited by Marques Braga (Lisbon: Imprensa Nacional, 1929); and the third, Obras Completas, edited by J. V. Barreto Feio and J. Gomes Monteiro, in 3 volumes, published in Hamburg and in Lisbon in 1834. The first Camões title may refer to a later edition of one of two eighteenth-century French translations bearing the title La Lusiade: either L. A. Duperron de Castera’s version (Paris, 1735) or Vaquette d’Hermilly and J. F. de La Harpe’s (Paris, 1776).
The same 1955 Inventory lists “Vieira, Antonio. Sermao e Carta (1800),” a title that I have not been able to trace with any certainty. The closest I have come to identifying is that it could be Sermao e Carta de P. António Vieira, edited by Joaquim Ferreira and published in Porto in 1941, a book that I have not seen. Possibly, though unlikely, Hemingway is referring to Sermão de S.to António aos Peixes e Carta a D. Afonso VI (20 de Abril de 1657), edited by Rodrigues Lapa (Lisbon, 1940).
The presence of works by Camões and Father Antonio Vieira in Hemingway’s library encourages speculation as to possible connections between Hemingway’s fiction and the Portuguese classics. After all, the author of A Farewell to Arms might have noticed that Os Lusíadas opens “with a fine audacity,” as Aubrey Bell said in 1923: “the words As armas e os barões: arms and the men I sing,” comparing the men with “Virgil’s Arma virumque.” And in Hemingway’s own sea epic, The Old Man and the Sea (1952), the old fisherman Santiago (Father Antonio Vieira mentions St. Iago in his sermon to the fishes) talks at length to the fish he has hooked but cannot yet land, speaking solemnly about their shared brotherhood. When Santiago dreams about Africa and remembers his arm wrestling with the giant “Negro,” moreover, is it too much of a stretch to recall the dangers encountered by the Portuguese mariners in the dangerous waters of southern African and their adventures with the giant Spirit of the Cape of Storms Camões allegorized as Adamastor? Incidentally, Hemingway would have run across another reference to Camões (though the Portuguese poet goes unnamed) in The Compleat Angler when Isaak Walton alludes to the “Spanish” poet who wrote about the River Babylon. Since Portugal was under Spanish rule from 1580 to 1640, during much of Walton’s lifetime, the English writer might also have considered Camões to be Spanish. Incidentally, Walton also quotes from the writings of the fabulist historian Fernão Mendes Pinto.
 José Jorge Letria, “Hemingway em Cuba: La Vigia era uma festa,” Jornal de Letras (Nov. 20, 1996), 16: 41.
 James D. Brasch and Joseph Sigman, Hemingway’s Library: A Composite Record (New York & London: Garland, 1981), passim.
 Michael S. Reynolds, Hemingway’s Reading 1910-1940: An Inventory (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1981), p. 106. Reynolds’ reference reads La Lusiada. See also Brasch and Sigman, Library, 61.
 Reynolds, Reading, 196.
Serafim Leite, S.J., Historia da Companhia de Jesus no Brasil (Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Nacional do Livro, 1949), 9: 234.
 Antonio Vieira, “Sermão de Santo António Pregado na cidade de São Luís do Maranhão, no Ano de 1654,” Sermões, Vol. III of Obras Completas do Padre António Vieira, pref. and revision by Rev. Padre Gonçalo Alves, Tomos VII, VIII e IX (Porto: Lello & Irmão, 1959), pp. 245-280.
 Aubrey F. G. Bell, Luis de Camões (Hispanic Notes & Monographs, Portuguese Series IV) (Oxford: Oxford University Press / Humphrey Milford, 1923), p. 89.
 For Walton’s profound influence on Hemingway, see George Monteiro, “By the Book: ‘Big Two-Hearted River’ and Izaak Walton,” in Ernest Hemingway: The Oak Park Legacy, ed. James Nagel (Tuscaloosa and London: University of Alabama Press, 1996), pp. 145-61.
George Monteiro is a lifelong student and teacher of nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature, contributing to the scholarship on numerous writers, including Edgar Allan Poe, Henry Adams, Henry James, Emily Dickinson, Edith Wharton, Stephen Crane, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Robert Frost, T. S. Eliot and Bob Dylan. His latest book is Elizabeth Bishop in Brazil and After: A Poetic Career Transformed (McFarland, 2012).