Posted in Short Stories

Ernest Hemingway: The Mother of a Queen

Deal Me In 2020 – Week 47

I told him what I thought of him right there on the Gran Via, in front of three friends, but he speaks to me now when I meet him as though we were friends.

In Ernest Hemingway’s “The Mother of a Queen”, Paco is a gay prize fighter (hence the title) who has an issue with money. His mother was buried in a temporary grave and now the payment is due to make it a permanent one (I didn’t know this was a thing). Roger, his manager or partner (or maybe both) offers to take care of it but Paco doesn’t want him to – but yet he doesn’t either. This burial situation came about because of a previous manager who was also a romantic partner.

As morbid as it sounds, I found the story interesting in that it’s a snippet of a situation. As with many Hemingway stories, we know a bunch of stuff happens before the story and a bunch of stuff happens after the story. In spite of knowing Paco’s sexuality, the ambiguity of his and Roger’s relationship makes for an interesting question.

But this story is no “Snows of Kilimanjaro”.

And also, no, by today’s standards, this is not a politically correct story, but the more I read Hemingway, I’m not convinced he was all that politically correct by the standards of his own time.

This story is included in The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway. I read it when I selected the Nine of Hearts for Week 47 of my Deal Me In 2020 short story project. Check out my Deal Me In 2020 list here. Deal Me In is hosted by Jay at Bibliophilopolis.

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