Snippets: John Dos Passos and Spain

Today’s web searches have been inspired by a short article by John Dos Passos’ grandson J.D.P. Coggin in El País on a new documentary, Duelo al sol [Duel in the sun], on his grandfather’s activities during the Spanish Civil War, i.e. Dos Passos’ reporting from the War and his search for the background to his friend’s José Robles’ death in 1937. Coggin’s blog offers information in English on the documentary, directed by Sonia Tercero Ramiro,  produced by TVE [Spanish national public TV], and to be released in the fall of 2014.

Searching for “Dos Passos” and “Spain” one quickly gets to the study The Breaking Point: Hemingway, Dos Passos and the Murder of José Robles (2005) by Stephen Koch, reviewed e.g. in The New Yorker (2005) and The Telegraph (2006).

And one encounters the recent “novel-study” (?) Hotel Florida: Truth, Love, and Death in the Spanish Civil War, by Amanda Vaill (homepage), covering partly the same ground, though with Dos Passos clearly in a secondary role. It has been reviewed, e.g. in The Telegraph, The Wall Street JournalThe Guardian – by Paul Preston, not too enthusiastic about Vaill’s rendering of the Civil War -, on NPR, and also in The New York Times (paywall).

As to Dos Passos’ own writing, some of his experiences of his first stay in Spain in 1916 can be found in Rosinante to the Road Again (1922), free for online reading or download on Project Gutenberg.


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