From The Last Arena blog: The Hemingway Prize 2022

I have just arrived back in Nîmes for the French literary award, Le Prix Hemingway 2022, for which I am shortlisted (once again.)

I thought I would put up the composite draft of the original English, the excellent translation by Monique Allier-Chay, and my edit of that translated back into English. It may, as a result, have a clumsiness at the beginning in English, but has all of the power I intended at the finish.

It was published by Les Avocats du Diable in French (Amazon UK here, US here, France here, Spain here, Germany here) my English version is below.

Alexander Fiske-Harrison

THE FLIGHT OF THE CONDOR

 

AT first the blood had poured between his fingers like dark water seen swirling around rocks. The pain had been almost unbearable, but he had known pain enough in life to know it was nothing more than a mist one moved through. Think about something else. Where were they? They should be here by now.

Finally, he could hear voices and he knew that was good, for although the bleeding had slowed to a trickle, he knew his thoughts were drifting as his will diminished.

¡Espera, torero! Estaremos ahí. Es peligroso, quédate quieto.

He noticed one of his hands had fallen away from the wound, and he looked at the limb. It felt cold, and he knew that was bad. He tried to move it back into place, but it merely rolled on the ground. The sand felt different, colder than the hand, although all sensation was going now. As was vision. He could hear, just.

A voice said something indistinguishable in German. Which was strange, he thought.

To read on please click here to go The Last Arena where it is published in full. 

My latest for Tortoise Media’s Slow Newscast: Lebedev, Lord of Siberia

If you‘be been hearing about Evgeny, Lord Lebedev all over the news today – from the BBC to The Sunday Times – his KGB-turned-oligarch father, and his own socialite-turned-press baron career, ending as a Peer of the Realm, with the Prime Minister personally overturning MI6’s veto on that happening, then online here is the Slow Newscast that broke the story, republished on all channels today, from Tortoise, the new media venture from James Harding, former editor of The Times.
As the journalist says 26 minutes and 15 seconds into the podcast: “For the past three months, I have heard very different things about Evgeny. Some say he’s serious, others frivolous. Some say clever, others not so much. Stylish and vulgar; melancholy and a party boy. In many ways, Evgeny’s a cipher. The closest I’ve come to understanding him is by talking to this man: Alexander Fiske-Harrison.”
Alexander Fiske-Harrison

My latest article in Condé Nast Traveller: Oxford

 

Why Oxford should be your next staycation spot

Oxford puts the classics in classic. Yet recent additions are moving the story on. Alexander Fiske-Harrison retraces his university days and discovers new exciting hangouts

I have a fondness for smaller cities. Compared to the great metropolises, they are more discrete, more human in their scale. They are also often built upon a single resource. One thinks of Salzburg, with its salt mines, or Seville, which hosted all the gold of the Americas. Oxford is the most human of all, though, as it is built on the very commodity which puts the sapiens into Homo sapiens. Here, they mined wisdom.

I remember my own sense of awe when I arrived as an undergraduate in the mid-1990s – first as a biology student under one of Kenya’s greatest ecologists, and then studying philosophy under a tutor whose own tutor could trace a direct line, tutor to tutor, back to Immanuel Kant himself. I remember how, in the warm autumn sun, the university buildings stood like vast stone-clad thrones for the human mind – their distinctive golden colour coming from the ancient coral reefs that fossilised to form the limestone deposits of nearby Headington.

To read more click here…

Le Prix Hemingway 2021

The Hemingway Prize, with my shortlisted contribution, in French in bookshops (and Amazon) now.
Le Prix Hemingway, avec ma contribution présélectionnée, en français en librairie (et Amazon) maintenant.
El Premio Hemingway, con mi contribución preseleccionada, en francés en las librerías (y Amazon) ahora.
Alexander Fiske-Harrison

Feria Has Returned To Seville

ABC de Sevilla, ABC of Seville, Puerta del Principe, Gate of the Prince, La Real Maestranza, The Royal Maestranza, Plaza de Toros, The Bull Ring, Feria, Feria de Abdul, April Fair, Feria de San Miguel, The Bullfight, La Corrida, Victorino Martín, Antonio Ferrera, El Cid, España, Spain, Matador, Torero, Bullfighter, Alexander Fiske-Harrison, Enrique Moreno de la Cova, Maria O’Neill, Maestrante

Seville

Shortlisted for Le Prix Hemingway: The Short Story Award of Au Diable Vauvert in France

As I said in my last post about my other nomination in the Financial Times-Oxford Literary Festival, it is always nice to be listed and good luck to us all.

It is particularly impressive for this one that they wrote the nomination in English, as well as French and Spanish, given that I was the only writer in the language on the list. (I note that when I was previously a finalist for Le Prix Hemingwa –  and published in the annual collection of short stories by Au Diable Vauvert half a decade ago – they did not. Perhaps it is a Brexit thing.) Continue reading “Shortlisted for Le Prix Hemingway: The Short Story Award of Au Diable Vauvert in France”

My latest article in The Telegraph: Once the ‘Monaco of the Alps’, this forgotten spa town is poised for a comeback

THE TELEGRAPH

TRAVEL

Once the ‘Monaco of the Alps’, this forgotten spa town is poised for a comeback

Bad Gastein, now eerily quiet, was a magnet for high society during the Austro-Hungarian Empire

When I first came to Bad Gastein, a year ago, I could not believe that I had not only never been here before, but had never even heard of it. The vagaries of its notability in history are almost as cyclical as the rise and fall of stock markets.

In February 2020, it seemed to me a classic bustling ski resort, with extraordinary, high-level skiing, comprising 200km of pistes, half of them red runs. Admittedly, the languages you heard in the après-ski establishments tended more towards the Germanic than the frequent smatterings of English or French one might hear in Zermatt or Val d’Isère.

However, what really struck me was the look of the town. Built into the steep mountain slopes, its vertiginous streets are lined with exquisite fin de siècle houses from the heyday of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Even the train station – 90 minutes to Salzburg, 3 hours to Munich – is an Art Deco gem, opened  by Emperor Franz Joseph himself in 1905, the first such station in the Eastern Alps.

For this was the Imperial resort. The Prussian Kaisers would come and meet their Habsburg Emperor cousins here to enjoy the waters and the walking, for both of which it had been famed since the 7th century. Of course, in those pre-skiing days, summer was the high season.

The original article at full length can be found for subscribers at The Telegraph online here, or outside their paywall at MSN online here. I enclose the important final paragraph below.

Indeed, in order to put itself back up among the first rank of such resorts, to outdo those who once outstripped Gastein like the younger but more glamorous – for now – Swiss resort of St Moritz and nearby Kitzbühel, they are even arranging the first ever Imperial Snow Polo Cup at Sport Gastein to open the winter season, with a host of royalty on the guest list; fixers from that world like Major Peter Hunter of Guards Polo Club from England and International Polo Events, and sponsorship being discussed between the incoming Hirmer Group’s Travel Charme Hotels, who are set to restore and reopen Gastein’s Bel Epoque Jewel in the Crown, the once world-famous Hotel Straubinger, and the Grande Dame of all Austrian hotels today, The Imperial in Vienna.  

Evening Standard: Fiske In The Spotlight

Good news from Fiske Plc today (February 19th), of which I am a director, in a nice little article in the newspaper of record for the capital, and the daily read on the way home to those who still work in ‘The City’ of London, the Evening Standard. Despite the good half-year results, my father Clive’s quote is as judicious as ever.
Alexander Fiske-Harrison

Small-cap spotlight

AIM-LISTED Fiske, which is one of the City’s few remaining independent stockbroking and investment managers, said its results for the six months to November 30 showed continued improvement after its operating loss narrowed to £21,000. Total revenues of £2.8 million were an 11% increase on a year earlier, with investment management fees up 14%. Chairman Clive Fiske Harrison said the company retained a “healthy degree of caution regarding the immediate outlook for markets“. Shares rose 5p to 70p.