A bit surreal. Kim says she is like Hemingway as he kept a strict record of his weight daily (Hemingway wrote it on the door jam) and she too (gasp!) does the same! There is even a video of her tour with sister Kourtney into the Finca Vigia. Okay, it’s Sunday so I’m going on the light side today.
I missed the Democratic convention last night but my friend, Barbara, alerted me to VP Joe Biden’s citing of Hemingway (Quote from A Farewell to Arms) when talking about the challenges and love in his own life. Just an excerpt in reference to the tragic death of his son Beau.
“Thank you. His wife and his two kids are here tonight. As Ernest Hemingway once wrote, “The world breaks everyone, and afterwards, many are strong in the broken places.”
I’ve been made strong at the broken places by my love with Jill, by my heart and son Hunter and the love of my life, my Ashley. By all of you, and I mean this sincerely, those who have been through this, you know I mean what I say — by all of you, your love and prayers and support. But you know what, we talk about, we think about the countless thousands of other people who suffered so much more than we have, with so much less support. So much less reason to go on. But they get up every morning, every day. They put one foot in front of the other, they keep going. That is the unbreakable spirit of the people of America. That is who we are. That is who we are. Don’t forget it.”
Stafford’s Perry Hotel in Petoskey is hosting the second annual Ernest Hemingway Birthday Celebration.
Hemingway fans will celebrate the beloved Northern Michigan author’s birthday at Stafford’s Perry Hotel in Petoskey during the second annual Ernest Hemingway Birthday Celebration Thursday, July 21.
The evening starts at 6 p.m. and will feature an exclusive screening of the first rough cut of the new television documentary Young Hemingway: Finding His Muse in Northern Michigan by writer-producer George Colburn.
Local singer, Robin Lee Berry, will perform the documentary’s theme song which offers readings from Hemingway’s private letters featured in the documentary. Brian Kozminski, who portrays Hemingway in the documentary’s fishing scenes, will offer commentary on the Northern Michigan fishing scene that captivated Ernest Hemingway.
“Hemingway’s presence is a unique part of Northern Michigan’s history and we are excited to be celebrating him at the Perry Hotel for the secondyear in a row,” says Becky Babcock, marketing director for Stafford’s Hospitality. “His connection to the Perry Hotel makes this the perfect venue for the event, and we look forward to carrying it on as a tradition in the years to come.”
Guests will dine with Hemingway historians and enjoy a five-course Hemingway inspired dinner. The menu (see below) is tantalizing.
Tickets for the Hemingway Birthday Celebration cost $50 per person. A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Young Hemingway Documentary Project.
This MyNorth Media video features Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife—a novel about Ernest Hemingway’s first wife—reading a postcard Hemingway wrote from a hospital bed in Italy.
My friend, George, cued me into this podcast. I just listened to it and loved it. Hotchner talks about his times with Hemingway, Hadley, bullfights, and the essence of Hemingway. It’s just wonderful. It’s about a half hour and if you are interested in Hemingway and someone who knew him well for 13 years to the very end, here you go! Enjoy! And Thank you, George!
I don’t commemorate Hemingway’s Death for obvious reasons. I have a party on his birthday later this month. However, I will reprint an article below that I enjoyed written at the time of his death by Sidney Feingold for the Daily News. It was published the day after his death on July 3, 1961. It’s long but please read what you wish.
Ernest Miller Hemingway gloried in toughness. He shrugged off brushes with death as being part of life. He counted his many wounds proudly. He lived it up boisterously and sneered at those who did not.
And he wrote about it all, earning a bankful of the world’s prizes for literature.
That he died by the gun was fitting. A man who had dared death to seek him out in three wars and on countless safaris in the wilds of Africa was not meant to die in bed or of old age.
Nobel Winner in ’54
Hemingway knew hospitals as baseball players know rival stadiums. He looked at them with the same competitive eye of winning.
Many considered him the greatest living American novelist and short-story writer. Hemingway – who did not exactly dispute their judgement – did indeed have the Pulitzer Prize for fiction (1953) and the Nobel Prize for literature (1954) to support their view.
Hemingway probably did more to influence the world’s literature than any other modern American writer. He worked hard at it. He would rewrite a page half a hundred times or more to get exactly what he wanted.
1 | 3New York Daily News published this on July 1, 1961.(New York Daily News)
He considered writing a job and a tough one and once noted: “Nobody but fools ever thought it was an easy trade.”
What he wrote about he knew. He was a master of writing the way people thought and talked and acted. He recognized that a braggart might also be a legitimate hero. Bullfighting was one of his favorite sports and he was considered an expert. He was pretty much an expert on danger, drinking and women, too.
Women, however, were probably the least dangerous of Hemingway’s pursuits, though he did get married four times and survived three divorces.
Began on Newspaper
Hemingway, a burly, barrel-chested, shaggy man with a good head of hair and a stubbly beard – both turning white – began as a newspaperman and his later work showed it. Scores of writers emulated his concise, short, expressive prose style. He used cuss words when he thought that was the best way to express himself.
Few critics criticized his style, though many assailed the hard-living philosophy he wore through his novels,
The critics looked for significance in Hemingway and they all found it – sometimes to his amusement.
Matter of Interpretation
They found all manner of meanings, for example, in one of his more recent novels, “The Old Man and the Sea (which followed by a Pulitzer Prize the next year and the Nobel Prize the year after).
It was a simply told story of victory and defeat, the tale of an aged fisherman’s long, agonizing struggle to land the gigantic marlin that would cap his long, hard life. He catches it, but sharks nibble away on the fish before he can bring it to shore. Finally, there is just skeleton left.
Critics had a field day delving into the deeper meanings of the story, but Hemingway would not admit there was any symbolism involved. Since the critics were having so much fun explaining it all, he said, why interfere?
Hunted With Dad
Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, one of six children of an Oak Park, Ill., physician. Much of his boyhood was spent in Michigan. There he took to the outdoor life, including long hunting trips with his father. Hunting was to remain his steadfast love.
His father, Dr, Clarence Hemingway, committed suicide with a shotgun. Like the author, he had hypertension and incipient diabetes.
In high school, Hemingway played football and boxed. After graduation, he joined the Kansas City Star as a cub reporter, but soon after sailed to Italy to become an ambulance driver at the front in World War I.
He got two decorations, an aluminum kneecap, 247 wounds (by his own count) from mortar bursts, and a wealth of material for the novels which were to bring him world fame.
He shrugged off the medals, saying he got one for being an American and the other by accident. But from his experience he was to write what he himself considered one of the best war scenes ever described – the Italian retreat from Caporetto, which appeared in his classic novel of war and love, “A Farewell to Arms.”
Gertrude Stein Influence
He bounced around Europe after the war and was one of the young American writer influenced by the late Gertrude Stein, who was then holding court in Paris and displaying an astounding new technique at poetry to bemused world.
Hemingway’s first major published work was a short story collection, “In Our Time,” 1924.
Two years later, his first major novel, “The Sun Also Rises” – the story of an emasculated war veteran’s hopeless love – began his push into the literary world.
The pattern of much of his later writing – a bruising, brawling, drinking, dangerous life; deep and often frustrated love, a hero who bears the scars of war – was emerging.
Writer is Established
“Men Without Women,” also a collection of short stories, came out the next year.
In 1929, “A Farewell to Arms” was published and there was no doubt left that here was a major young American writer.
By that time, he had already married twice, first to Hadley Richardson (in 1921) and next to Pauline Pfieffer (in 1927). Both marriages ended in divorce, as did his third, in 1940, to writer Martha Gellhorn.
When he wasn’t writing, he tried fighting bulls in Spain and boxers in the ring. Even at advanced middle age, he reveled in his hard body (6 feet, 200 pounds) and liked to punch his friends in the stomach and be punched in return, to show everyone that he was still in shape.
He wrote “Death in the Afternoon,” a saga of bullfighters and the bull ring, in 1932; “Winner Take Nothing,” a collection of short stories, in 1933; “The Green Hills of Africa,” in 1935, and “To Have and Have Not,” a novel of smuggling and death in the Florida Keys, in 1937.
Hemingway had buzzed around covering minor wars in the Near East as a correspondent. When a real big one, the Spanish Civil War, came along, he was off like a shot to report it for the North American Newspaper Alliance.
Spain a Special Love
He loved Spain, had lived in it on and off for a dozen years and felt at home there. He was pro-Loyalist (as his novel, “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” published in 1940, demonstrated) and raised money to buy ambulances for the troops fighting Franco’s forces.
Among other Hemingway works relating to the Spanish conflict was “The Fifth Column.”
It was his only play and wasn’t much of a success, though it made the term “fifth column” a household word. He meant that the rebels had four columns advancing on Madrid and a fifth column of rebel sympathizers inside the city attacking the defenders.
Hemingway came close to death again in Spain. Three shells hit his hotel room, but he was unhurt.
Then Another War
Then World War II came along and again it was war correspondent Ernest Hemingway at the front, dressed in GI togs and carrying a handy flask or bottle to share with the troops. This time he was covering for Collier’s magazine.
A wartime blackout in London almost resulted in his death in 1944, when he was badly banged up in a traffic accident. But a short time later with 53 stitches in his head and protesting doctors in his wake, Hemingway was off for the Normandy beachhead in an attack transport.
Joins Free French
This time, mere reporting was not enough. He joined a fighting unit of the Free French, became a captain and helped capture six Germans. He later switched to correspondence again, this time for the U.S. 1st Army.
The U.S. gave him a Bronze Star.
Shortly after the war ended, he met and married his fourth and last wife, writer Mary Welsh, a trim little blonde who loved adventure as much as he did. She called him “Papa” and he called her “Miss Mary.” They were devoted.
Miss Mary was with him, too, when their small chartered plane crashed in 1954 in one of the wildest spots in Uganda.
Hemingway’s injuries included a burned arm and his wife had some broken ribs, but he said later: “I wouldn’t have missed a minute of it.”
On other safaris, death came close when a wounded rhinoceros charged him and, still, again, when he developed a bad case of blood poisoning.
But he loved Africa too much to let anything like that daunt him. One of his best short stories, “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” had an African setting.
So had “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber.” That was expanded into a movie as was another of his top short stories, “The Killers.” “A Farewell to Arms,” “To Have and Have Not,” “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “The Sun Also Rises,” and “The Old Man and the Sea” also were made into movies.
As soon as their Uganda plane crash hurts healed, Hemingway and his wife were off fishing for the big ones off the dangerous coral reefs of Kenya.
Cuba was another favorite fishing spot for the author. He made his home on a farm in Cuba about 10 miles from Havana. When he wasn’t fishing, he was batting out copy at his desk.
Between 1940, when “For Whom the Bell Tolls” came out, and 1950, when “Across the River and Into the Trees” – one of his less successful books – was published, no major Hemingway work emerged and critics were telling each other that Hemingway was drying up.
Then came “The Old Man and the Sea.” Critics hail it.
Sorry about my last post. I wrote the post on Aaron Hotchner and Ernest Hemingway and pulled some photos and forgot to include the blog post! Brilliant! So here we go!
Aaron Edward Hotchner and Ernest Hemingway had a special relationship. They met in 1948 when Aaron was dispatched to Cuba on assignment by Cosmopolitan magazine to get an article from Hemingway about “the future of literature.” The magazine was putting out an issue about the future of everything: architecture, cars, movies, culture. So the thinking went, why not have the lion of literature—Ernest Hemingway—give an interview on the future of literature?
Aaron—at the time only 28 years old to Papa’s 49—wrote a note to Hemingway saying that he’d been sent down on “this ridiculous mission, but do not want to disturb you, and if you could simply send me a few words of refusal, it would be enormously helpful to ‘the future of Hotchner’.” Instead Hemingway rang him up the next day. The conversation as noted in Aaron Hotchner’s Papa Hemingway went this way.
“This Hotchner?” Papa asked.
“Yes,” Aaron said.
“Dr. Hemingway here. Got your note. Can’t let you abort your mission, or you’ll lose face with the Hearst organization, which is about like getting bounced from a leper colony. You want to have a drink around 5:00? There’s a bar called El Floridita. Just tell the taxi.”
That was the beginning. Aaron was a slim, handsome fellow and Hemingway was 6 feet tall and in 1948 weighed in at close to 200 lbs. He didn’t have the beard yet as a permanent fixture. For whatever reason, Hotchner and Hemingway became really fast friends. Aaron produced a number of Hemingway’s stories on television; he worked with him in editing articles in particular when Hemingway was having trouble editing an extremely long bullfighting article for Life; and he enjoyed many outings with Hemingway both in Europe and in America. My reading suggests that he was an extremely loyal friend up to the bitter end and including the bitter end.
Hotchner went on to become a famous author in his own right as well as a buddy and good friend of Paul Newman. Together they were involved in various ventures and charitable ventures.
Aaron is now over 90 years old. I wrote to him recently in Westport where I believe he lives, but I didn’t hear back. I totally understand that. I’m sure he’s inundated, particularly from Hemingway fans wanting to know the real scoop.
Aaron recently released some of the letters between him and Hemingway and, as noted above, he wrote a memoire of that period of time entitled Papa Hemingway. He was close to Mary Hemingway as well until after Hemingway’s death when she felt that she did not want the fact that Hemingway committed suicide made public. She did not want his book Papa Hemingway published at all and considered it an act of huge disloyalty and thus a breach in the friendship happened and remained.
Mr. Hotchner was one of Hemingway’s inner circle and I believe—just my opinion from what I have read—that Hemingway was honest with him and he saw the good, the bad, the ugly, and the grand. I highly recommend reading books by Hotchner about Hemingway.
I am delighted to announce that my second novel, The Rage of Plum Blossoms, just won the Kindle Scout selection for publication by Kindle Press. Thank you to all of those who voted, thereby helping call attention of the Kindle Scouts to the book. I truly can’t thank you enough for your interest and kind attention. Look for it on Kindle and Amazon in October (we estimate). love, Christine
Attorney Quinn Jones is in over her head. Her husband, Jordan Chang, Annapolis grad and superstar businessman, has been found dead outside their Greenwich Village brownstone. He’s wearing clothes that aren’t his, and was last seen at a place he never went while consorting with people he shouldn’t—and he’s vastly richer than he ought to be. Since NYPD has labeled Jordan’s death a suicide, Quinn is on her own to uncover the truth. Courtrooms, Quinn knows. Chanel No. 5, horses, frizzy hair, and martial arts, she knows. Murder, she doesn’t know but she’s learning fast in order to stay alive. With a few clues to work with, including a photo of Jordan with a stunning unknown Asian woman and a copy of a 1986 check payable to Jordan for twelve million dollars, Quinn stalks the back streets of Chinatown, haunted by the need to know what happened that day and why.
Professor Ashley Oliphant of Nebraska is researching a narrow niche in Hemingway’s history. She’s writing a book entitled Hemingway and Bimini: The Birth of Sport Fishing at “The End of the World.” Her book will be about Hemingway’s brief time (about 3 years) visiting 1930’s Bimini, which is an island off of Miami. At the time, big game fishing was just starting to catch on and Bimini was considered one of the best fishing grounds in the world.
Ms. Oliphant, a longtime Hemingway fan, noted that little has been written about this period in Hemingway’s life, so she undertook the task herself. I did not know that for a period of time, Hemingway was the International Game Fishing Association’s Vice President at its inception.
Oliphant just made her first visit to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston which, as most of you know, is the home of the Hemingway collection and some of the best representations of his writing, memorabilia, and letters. Ms. Oliphant spent three days in the library searching for any previously undiscovered letters or photograph that might shed light on Hemingway’s time in Bimini. She is an English professor at the Pfeiffer University (as in “Pauline”) and a Lincoln County resident.
Professor Oliphant also has spent time with the founder of Humane Voters of Lincoln County—a non-partisan political organization aiming to get animal-friendly candidates elected to the Board of Commissioners. If my path ever crosses with hers, it’s likely we would be great friends since we both love Hemingway and animals. We also both hate bullfighting and are realistic about the dark side of Hemingway, as much as we admire aspects of him and his work.
So, be on the lookout for this new book: Hemingway in Bimini: The Birth of Sport Fishing at “Tthe End of the World.”
In a post in November, 2015, I noted that the Hemingway exhibit was on display at the Morgan Library in New York City. It has moved to Boston’s Kennedy Museum, where it will be until December 31st.
As those of you who read this blog know, the largest exhibit on Hemingway’s writings, notes, memorabilia and displays is at the JFK Museum in Boston. After Hemingway’s death, his widow, Mary, was permitted to return to their home in Cuba to gather up belongings and Hemingway possessions. Fortunately, she took drafts of manuscripts, letters, notes and all that she could. John Kennedy had been a fan of Hemingway and, after Hemingway’s death and then President Kennedy’s death, Mary and Jackie Kennedy met and agreed that the planned JFK Library would be the repository of the largest collection of Hemingway writings and memorabilia.
I was able to get to the Morgan Exhibit but only briefly while I was in NY at a writer’s conference. I’ll be heading to Boston this summer to view the exhibit in a more leisurely fashion.
I’m particularly interested in the drafts of various endings to A Farewell to Arms. Hemingway apparently penned forty-seven possible endings. Eight of those are on display at the new exhibit. I must admit to wishing that Catherine had survived along with the baby, but that’s not the ending Hemingway chose to go with.
Patrick Hemingway, the only surviving child of Hemingway, was on hand on the opening day of the exhibit in Boston. He presently makes his home in Bozeman, Montana.
Interesting trivia: John Kennedy wrote to Hemingway asking permission to use the phrase “Grace under pressure” in the opening of his own profiles in courage. Hemingway agreed. Hemingway was, however, too ill to accept President Kennedy’s invitation in January of 1961 to attend the inauguration. During that year, he killed himself.
As we all know, President Obama made an historic visit to Cuba recently as the U.S. and Cuba began to normalize relations. Patrick Hemingway, grandson of writer Ernest Hemingway (Hemingway also had s a son named Patrick, his last surviving child. This is Gregory’s son, Patrick), believes that his grandfather who lived on a farm called The Finca Vigia for 20 years, would have supported the recent change in relations between Cuba and the United States “He is considered, not only a cultural icon here, but one of Cuba’s own,” he said of his grandfather.
When talking with Cubans about the recent visit of President Obama, most Cubans agree with Patrick Hemingway when he noted that he felt Cuba had a bright future. They also viewed the President’s visit as a symbolic statement of commitment to the evolution of that relationship. Nothing adds to the picture that Cuba is moving toward a more open society and rejoining the world than the performance of the Rolling Stones on Friday, March 25th in Havana. While the Pope asked for a postponement as it was Good Friday, the show did go on as originally planned.