I have had two other posts on the letters so don’t want to over do it. Still, I can’t overemphasize the value in reading a bit about it to know Hemingway personally. This article summarizes why you should read some of them. They are funny, vulnerable, disclosing. Again, He specifically did not want them published. Those were his explicit instructions. Mary Hemingway, controller of his estate legally, went against that mandate. I don’t like that but I have to admit to loving his letters and what they reveal. Read and enjoy. Best, Christine
Across the River and Into the Woods was one of Hemingway’s poorly received books. It was written while Hemingway was infatuated with Adriana Ivancich who was the prototype for Renata. It still sold decently and at one point, there was talk of a movie with a very young Sophia Loren as Renata and Gary Cooper as the Colonel. I liked the book but did not find Renata to be an interesting character or sufficient to draw the intense attention of the Colonel who clearly was partially based on Hemingway himself. Should be interesting.
For readers of Ernest Hemingway, it can be tempting to mix the iconic writer’s fictional characters with the public persona of the writer himself. He never kept a journal and apparently integrated many of his personal experiences into his art.
More of Hemingway’s letters are being published and they are so revealing and fun. For example, Hemingway is known as being a bit of a bully to his wives yet some of the letters show great sensitivities to Martha Gellhorn and admiration and support for her career as a writer. Please take a look when you have time.
Now, who should play the great parts that Hem has provided for us? My selections in bold:
The Sun Also Rises: (1957)
- Tyrone Power (Jake Gyllenhall) as Jake Barnes
- Ava Gardner (Blake Lively) Brett Ashley
- Mel Ferrer (Matt Damon) as Robert Cohn
- Errol Flynn (Jude Law) as Mike Campbell
A Farewell to Arms: (1932)
- Helen Hayes (Angelina Jolie) as Catherine
- Gary Cooper (Clive Owen) as Frederic
A Farewell to Arms (1957)
- Jennifer Jones as Catherine (Hemingway dismayed that she was 40. Catherine was supposed to be in her twenties.)
- Rock Hudson as Frederic
A Farewell to Arms (In Love and War) (1996)
- Sandra Bullock as Catherine
- Chris O’Donnell as Frederic
For Whom the Bell Tolls: (1943)
- Ingrid Bergman (Rooney Mara) as Maria
- Gary Cooper (Ben Affleck) as Robert Jordan
The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952)
- Gregory Peck (Ed Harris) as Harry
- Susan Hayward (Sharon Stone) as Helen
- Ava Gardner (Kate Beckinsale) as Cynthia
The Old Man and the Sea ( 1958)
- Spencer Tracy ( Javier Bardem) as Santiago
SO HOW DID I DO?
Purple is not only highly coloured prose,” he wrote. “It is the world written up, intensified and made pleasurably palpable, not only to suggest the impetuous abundance of Creation, but also to add to it by showing – showing off – the expansive power of the mind itself … When the deep purple blooms, you are looking at a dimension, not a posy.”
This is an interesting article in praise of “purple prose,” the opposite of minimalist prose favored by Hemingway. It does not pan that prose but argues that there is a place for “more.” nice commentary. Best, Christine
Before it is too late, actual collaboration between the U.S. and Cuba is happening regarding the restoration of Hemingway’s beloved Cuban home. He lived there for about twenty years. As mentioned in previous posts, he and Mary left many papers and mementos when they were not allowed to return. Apparently, there remain many writings/notes of historical and literary interest even after Mary was permitted to remove some of them post-Hemingway’s death.
Anybody can tour the Spanish colonial estate in Key West, Florida, where Ernest Hemingway lived in the 1930s. Now a new contest is offering one lucky and talented writer a chance to work in the studio where Hemingway wrote.
Most of us can’t be a Hemingway even if surrounded by his aura and his home. Still, it has to inspiring. Enter the contest and maybe you can be the one to sit in his chair and banish any thought of writer’s block. Click above link for details.
It’s been a year since the U.S. and Cuba began normalizing relations. Tourism, business and cultural exchanges are booming. And there is another curious benefactor of those warmer ties — Ernest Hemingway, or at least, his legacy.
please read the above article about the on-going restoration efforts on the Finca and some of the finds made when access was allowed to various areas of the property. Now that Cuba is more open, we can hope for much preservation.
I have been enjoying the nostalgic and beautifully written short pieces in By-Line: Ernest Hemingway; especially Hemingway’s 1923 essay for the Toronto Star, “Christmas on the Roof of the World.” In this exuberant essay, which was written when Ernest was 24 years old, all of the wonder of Christmas and travel are expressed beginning with Christmas morning in Switzerland. Hemingway’s joy is undeniable as he describes Christmas day with Hadley and Chink:
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. The above is a link to an article in The Hemingway Project about early short stories written by Hemingway. Enjoy. Thank you for reading this Blog and being interested in Ernest Hemingway.
BERLIN • Genius, a star-studded biopic about fabled editor Max Perkins, who published some of America’s most famous writers, is among the five movies in the first slate of contenders announced last Friday for the Berlin International Film Festival next year.
Starring Colin Firth, Jude Law and Nicole Kidman, the film about the editor who launched the careers of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe will have its world premiere at the Berlinale, Europe’s first major cinema showcase of the year that runs from Feb 11 to 21.
I have eagerly awaited this movie since I heard about it. I love Colin Firth and Max Perkins deserves his own glory. The role of the editor was very different in the 20’s-50’s with huge nurturing of egos and careers. How Perkins managed his stable of temperamental geniuses is beyond imagination. It should get to the US in early 2016.