US writer and war correspondent Ernest Hemingway in Spain during the Civil War, 1938/Robert Capa
March 14, 2013, 12:00pm / 76
Robert Capa (L) met Ernest Hemingway (R) during the Spanish Civil War and immediately, as he said later, “adopted Hemingway as a father”. Hemingway enjoyed the role of mentor and they became good friends.
In one of his most famous assignments, Capa landed with the first wave of American troops on Omaha Beach in Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Wading into the frigid water behind amphibious tanks, and dodging machine gun and rifle bullets, Capa shot 36 exposures before his hands were shaking so badly that he could not insert another roll into the camera. The images were striking. The blurred edges, the stark grimness, the sudden, dense disorder, told something of the reality of the soldiers’ experiences. In an ironic twist of fate, a Life darkroom attendant damaged all but eleven of Capa’s negatives.
Ernest Hemingway, a veteran himself, accompanied American troops as they stormed to shore on Omaha Beach — however as a civilian correspondent he was not allowed to land as Capa had. Weeks later he returned to Normandy, attaching himself to the 22nd Regiment.
Hemingway — one of a coterie of Capa’s friends that also included Irwin Shaw, John Steinbeck and John Huston — wrote For Whom The Bell Tolls based on Capa’s experiences during the Spanish civil war and the movie version starred Ingrid Bergman, with whom Capa had an affair. The currents of that relationship were then the inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller class Rear Window.
December 28, 2010, 8:34pm / 35