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Hemingway Adventure

Belgrade, Montana

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Michael Palin - Hemingway AdventureLike the hunters up at Big Sky, Hemingway had an odd respect for the animals whose lives he brought to an end with such regularity.

The more favoured of his victims ended up sharing his house with him. The walls of the Finca Vigia in Havana bristle with all manner of proud beasts. Buffalo, oryx and kudu in the bedroom, Grant’s gazelle in the living-room, pronghorn in the dining-room, hartebeest in the hallway. In the library a leopard stares glassily up from the floor, snarl frozen on its handsome jaws, in the guest room two lion skulls occupy the shelf above Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead, a writing desk in the tower room rests firmly on a flattened lion. Hemingway, by nature a reluctant spender, must have made an exception for taxidermists.

Stuffed heads and mounted skins seem to belong to the past, and I’m wondering if the modern hunter has the same inclination to hang his catches up on the wall. There is a taxidermist in a quiet suburb of Bozeman who I hope will be able to supply a few answers.

He lives and works from a house in a respectable development of modern, prairie-style houses called Outlaw Drive, which is off a road of equally respectable houses known as Wild Bunch Drive. To confuse matters even more, the suburb is called Belgrade.
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  • Series: Hemingway Adventure
  • Chapter: Belgrade, Montana
  • Country/sea: USA
  • Place: Belgrade, Montana
  • Book page no: 240

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