What’s Percolating in the Hemingway World?

Mariel

Mariel

I subscribe to a number of RSS feeds and google alerts that keep me posted on all things Hemingway. So here are a few random developments.

1) Mariel Hemingway is producing a movie of Hemingway’s last book, A Moveable Feast, finished after his death and published initially in 1964. (Hemingway died in 1961).

2) Andy Garcia is wrapping up his movie about Hemingway and his boat captain, Gregorio Fuentes.

3) Coming out in the Fall is a possible Oscar contender called GENIUS, about

Max perkins

Max perkins

Hemingway’s editor Maxwell Perkins (played by Colin Firth) and Tom Wolfe (played by Michael Fassbinder).  Dominic West plays Hemingway.  All Brits playing Americans.cadillacinhavana

4) The Cuban government is working on how much access to permit to the Finca Vigia. Right now, the public can peer through windows but cannot go in.

5)Thomasville is having a Hemingway Outdoor furniture collection.

6) A man named Robert Wheeler spent a winter four years ago in Paris, retracing Hemingway’s time there in the early 1920s. He took a camera. And now he’s publishing a book, due out April 7. I can’t wait to se2014-06-16 07.07.40e it.

Furniture from the Thomasville Hemingway collection

Furniture from the Thomasville Hemingway collection

7) Before announcing the winner of the 2015 PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction, Beacon Press director Helene Atwan, administrator of the prize, made note of a major gift from the Hemingway family. The cash prize attached to the award was doubled this year to $20,000. Patrick, Hemingway’s remaining son, was on hand to assist in distributing the awards which took place at the JFK Library, home of he Hemingway Collection.

Patrick Hemingway 2013

Patrick Hemingway 2013, JFK LIBE

Paris 1927

Paris 1927

Hemingway and Paris, on the trail

Ernest Hemingway’s Paris springs to life via cafes, brasseries, more

Have fun reading about one writer/fan and his visit to Paris tracing Hemingway’s steps. When I went last year, I did a lot of that but this fellow did it better and more systematically.  It always makes me sad to read Hemingway’s words that Paris never was the same again but as he also noted, it changes as we change.

Paris, Hem, Duff, Hadley

Paris, Hem, Duff, Hadley

Left bank

Left bank

Where he wrote in Paris

Where he wrote in Paris

Boat The Moveable Feast

Boat The Moveable Feast

Paris 1927

Paris 1927

Hemingway and Formula 1

Ernest Hemingway once said that there only existed three sports: mountaineering, bull fighting and motorsport. The rest, he said, were just games.

Without the fear of death, the sport to Hemingway was not such a challenge. Read more as well as about the decline of Formula 1.

Cover of LIFE

Cover of LIFE

Hem, Mary, and AE Hotchner at bullfight

Hem, Mary, and AE Hotchner at bullfight

 

Mary Welsh Hemingway, Hemingway’s Widow

Hem and Mary in happy days

Hem and Mary in happy days

Minn. native Mary Hemingway, wife of Ernest, memorialized in Bemidji

Mary and Hem

Mary and Hem

Mary was Hemingway’s fourth wife and his widow.  She took a fair amount of abuse. I was never certain if she truly loved him that much or if she loved being Mrs. Ernest Hemingway that much.  She survived his infatuation with Adriana Ivancich, his bad behavior and heavy drinking that was the precursor to that bad behavior and she helped as ill health hit both of them, but particularly Hemingway.

Hemingway seemed to like all sorts of women but the kind that he married was level headed and smart.  He never left Pauline for Jane Kendall Mason, beautiful though she was, as she was emotionally unstable.  Hadley, Pauline, Martha, and Mary were all stable, intelligent women.  All but Hadley were journalists in their own right.  All but Martha were very deferential to Hemingway and perhaps that’s why he always said that was the one marriage he regretted.on the porch

Mary

Mary

Anyway, Mary is being honored in her hometown in MN.  All of the other three wives strangely were from St. Louis.

Married to a writer

Married to a writer

Mary's book about Papa

Mary’s book about Papa

Lovely bride

Lovely bride

Geniuses at Work: Hem and Fitzgerald funny letters

In the early 1920s, F. Scott Fitzgerald sent Ernest Hemingway the first draft of the novel that would go on to become his magnum opus, ‘The Great Gatsby.’ What followed was one of the most incredible correspondences in the history of American literature. If you’ve never seen these letters before, you’ve got to check them out right now! They offer some remarkable insight into one of the greatest novels of all time.

You may be baffled, as you read letter one, by Hemingway’s arrogance. READ ON. Really fun and funny by two writers at the top of their powers and who at least at that point, genuinely liked and admired the other’s skills and persona.

Happy

Happy

hem and scott

 

Possible New Filming Location in Cuba

Hemingway's livingroom

Vigia Finca, Cuba. Hemingway’s Living Room, 60 feet long.

One Stateside filmmaker who recently took advantage of Cuba’s retro look is Bob Yari, who spent a month shooting his Ernest Hemingway biopic “Papa” entirely on location in and near Havana in March and April of 2014.

Cuban Jazz

Cuban Jazz

Pug

I’m a Cuban Pug

The old man and the sea

written in Cuba about Cuba

Close up

A Pensive Hemingway

Now that Cuba has opened a bit, more opportunities for on location filming is possible. The new biopic about Hem’s declining years was just filmed and it sounds like the producer was able to use the actual Cuban locations. However, more of this should be possible in the future.

A Hemingway Takeoff: Guest Blogger Will Tincher

A fellow Hemingway fan, Will TIncher, has written a work of about 66,000 words exploring a fictional setting that follows Hemingway as an old man on a road trip with his aspiring baseball player neighbor, just before the actual death of Hemingway. He reconstructed possible conversations from all of Hemingway’s works and tried to show the sum of the man at the end of an incredible life. The text also offers a parallel narrative of the young ball player’s future experiences in the Vietnam War. Take a look!

Working at the Finca

Working at the Finca

Will TIncher’s Excerpt

Mr. Hemingway’s Favorite Drink and Drinking

A MOVEABLE FEAST

A MOVEABLE FEAST

The End of Something

The End of Something

Ernest Hemingway is often apocryphally attributed with the phrase, “Write drunk, edit sober.”

No, his favorite drink was neither a mojito nor a bloody Mary but a dry, very cold Martini! He also, contrary to other claims, did not invent the Bloody Mary (the claim being that it was named after his fourth wife, Mary), during what was to be the equivalent of a period of drinking celibacy with the claim being that he used the tomato base to disguise the vodka. Good story but not true.

A whole book has been written about authors who drink called The Trip to Echo Springs by Olivia Laing. While we all joke about Hemingway “drank here” and that he drank everywhere, it is clearly a serious topic that has decimated the writing population or enhanced their creativity depending on your point of view. While I usually ask, “Why do writers drink so much,” someone once asked me “Why do drinkers write so much?”

Hemingway drank a lot but it didn’t start out that way.  He drank socially although significantly.  He did not drink while working.  On one occasion when asked by a journalist if he drank while writing his novels and short stories, he said,

Drinking and working with cat

“Jeezus Christ! Have you ever heard of anyone who drank while he worked? You’re thinking of Faulkner. He does sometimes – and I can tell right in the middle of a page when he’s had his first one. Besides, who in hell would mix more than one martini at a time?”

William Faulkner

William Faulkner

Drinking began early, probably at age 17 and then more drinking while in Italy during the war. Then, once he moved to Paris with Hadley, “the cafes, bars and bal musets became rallying points, look around the table and you might see the brightest minds of the Lost Generation—F. Scott Fitzgerald insanely drunk on champagne, Ezra Pound sipping absinthe, Gertrude Stein enjoying a fine red, James Joyce savoring scotch and Ford Maddox Ford sending back a brandy for the fourth time. They drank up liquor, they drank up life, they drank up each other.” Quote from Hooching with Hemingway by Frank Rich.

Scott Fitzgerald

Scott Fitzgerald

 

Scott and Zelda from Midnight in Paris

Scott and Zelda from Midnight in Paris

Hem was highly critical of Scott Fitzgerald’s drinking in their salad days, claiming it sapped Scott’s creativity, in addition to Zelda doing the same. He was annoyed by Fitzgerald’s alcoholism and occasionally criticized his writing in public. Hem and Zelda hated each other and there was never a détente in those feelings. Hem clearly did not see himself falling deeper into the alcoholic lifestyle as the years passed.

By the time Hem left Paris, his drinking habits had changed.  “Where before he’d been a classic binge drinker, he now kept a steady bottle-killing pace. The transition had taken place just months earlier, after Hadley had lost a trunk containing most of his early work, literally years of labor. Crushed, Hemingway turned to alcohol as a means of drowning his bitter rage—when the anger came, he would slip down to the cafe and drink brandy and carouse with friends until happiness seeped back in. Quote from Hooching with Hemingway by Frank Rich

 

Hem also had fun with it.  When Jigee Viertel revealed one evening that she had never had a drink of hard liquor, Hem was astounded. When she indicated a desire to try one, he suspended all that he was doing to consider whether Jigee— now in her mid-thirties— should end her tee totaling and if so, what the proper first drink was. Hem thought she should at least try a drink. He ran down options from a Bloody Mary, to a Manhattan to various gimlets. Finally he decided only a Scotch Sour would do.  Jigee broke into a smile at the first sip, and Hem said, “It’s a good omen.”  (A.E. Hotchner Papa Hemingway Page 60-61)

A Scotch sour and a breeze!

A Scotch sour and a breeze!

Hem brought his own booze to Spain or had it supplied; he kept it on his boat in great abundance.  While he went through periods of abstinence, it never lasted and it was his pacifier of choice.  My own reading leads me to think that initially, he became gregarious; on his own, he could be quite shy.  I have the impression that once a certain point was passed, he became overly verbose and cantankerous.  There is that thin line between wonderful raconteur and domineering ego-maniac who keeps going to the point of becoming a boor and a bore.. I don’t know if that was so in Hem’s case but I think it is what  happened particularly in the later years.

Drunken people crossing

Drunken people crossing

 

Sadly, alcoholism did play its role in Hem’s demise and decline. It appears to have ravaged other relatives after him too. Sad to consider other works that Hemingway may have written absent depression and alcoholism.

 

The below site talks about Hem’s drinking and some specifics.  Interesting article. Check it out.

http://www.foodrepublic.com/2012/10/30/7-things-you-didnt-know-about-ernest-hemingways-dr

http://austin.eater.com/archives/2013/04/10/modern-mixologist-tony-abouganim-on-hemingways-cocktails-brazilian-boozing-at-the-austin-food-wine-f.php