Some Hemingway Trivia

  1. Until Hemingway was four, his mother dressed him up like a girl to match his sister who was about year younger than he was. His hair was kept long as well.the family

    young Ernie fishing
    young Ernie fishing

 

  1. He hated the name “Ernest.”

 

  1. In World War I, he was denied entering the military due to very poor eyesight. He was only 17 at the time. He convinced the military to let him in as an ambulance driver.

 

  1. Hemingway once said of Fitzgerald that, “Scott thought that the rich are different from “you and me.” Hemingway felt they just had more money.

 

  1. Hemingway had a favorite hamburger recipe that has about 10 ingredients. I tried it once and didn’t find it worth all of those ingredients, which include garlic, green onion, India relish, capers, sage, Spice Island’s Beau Mond Seasoning, Spice Island’s Mairen Powder, one egg beaten, dry red or white wine, one tablespoon of cooking oil. He also had a notation noting soy sauce and tomato could be added at the end.

 

  1. Hemingway often wrote standing up. He liked it, but after the plane crashes in 1954, it hurt his back less to stand.

    Standing and Writing
    Hem Standing

 

  1. Hemingway was married four times and was married to his fourth wife at the time of his death, Mary Welsh Hemingway. Hadley, his first wife, remained a good friend and preferred to be referred to as Mrs. Paul Mowrer as opposed to Hadley Hemingway. Martha Gellhorn, his third wife, never liked being referred to as his third wife and required that interviews not mention him.

    Hem and Hadley
    Hem and Hadley

 

  1. Hemingway survived exposure to anthrax, malaria, skin cancer, and pneumonia. He lived with diabetes, two plane crashes, a ruptured kidney, hepatitis, a ruptured spleen, a fracture skull, a crushed vertebrae. As we all know, it was his own hand that ultimately did him in.

 

  1. For five years his wife Mary insisted that his death was accidental as opposed to a suicide.

    Mary and Hem
    Mary and Hem

 

  1. Hemingway felt strongly that it was bad luck to talk about how he wrote and the writing process.

 

  1. Hemingway initially began to wear a beard due to a skin condition that made it painful to shave daily.

 

Hem relaxed--with the beard
Hem relaxed–with the beard

Give Away: Hemingway Cookbook

Okay! THE COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY! The first comment on the next blog post will be  the winner of the Hemingway cookbook. If you are that one, I’ll announce that here and ask that you provide your email address and I’ll get your mailing address when I email you. Seriously, the cookbook is hard to get .  It has anecdotes and great stuff in it! The trout is fantastic.

Thank you for reading. Love, Christine

Hem relaxed--with the beard
Hem relaxed–with the beard

May I ask for your help with my Kindle Scout Nomination?

The below book is the one I hopped over to work on my book called Hemingway’s Daughter. I love it though and it is featured on Kindle scout. If you  are able, could you please nominate it. Then Hemingway’s Daughter will come out sooner. THANK YOU!

Soon to be out
Soon to be out

Hello my friends and readers:

My second book, The Rage of Plum Blossoms, is being submitted to Kindle Scout for possible selection for publication by their private publisher. You don’t have to have read it as it is not yet published (5000 words are displayed though) but it does need your support to be noticed by the Kindle Scout team.  A quick summation:

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. 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. And then there’s the daughter Jordan forgot to mention.

May I trouble you to nominate my book for review by the Kindle board for consideration? I would appreciate it greatly.

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/3W06FFVKSJ4LG

With warmest and sincerest thanks,  Christine

TO be published soon too
TO be published soon too

David Brooks of the NY Times: Thoughts on Hemingway’s Cuba

 

David Brooks recently visited Cuba and Hemingway’s home, the Finca Vigia, and wrote a post about it. He commented on how

David Brooks, Columnist for the New York Times
David Brooks, Columnist for the New York Times

healthy a place Hemingway’s home in Cuba seemed. It was bright, beautifully situated, and filled with tons of reading material.Hemingway was an avid reader of newspapers and all sorts of books and got through most of his daily newspapers and other reading. There also was a baseball diamond nearby where he used to pitch to the local kids.

However despite this sun-filled life, Hemingway nevertheless was not a healthy man toward the end of his life. Drinking had taken its toll and although Brooks cites Hemingway’s brother, Leicester, as stating that he counted17 scotch and sodas a day as his brother’s intake, Leicester –at least based on all of my reading–spent little time with Hemingway so I’m not sure how he would know. If anyone reading this knows more of this issue than I do, please comment. Despite Hemingway’s drinking and poor habits, on a wall in the Finca was Hemingway’s record of weight, which he was obsessed with.Leicester Hemingway

 

Brooks noted that Hemingway could be lively and funny, and be the life of the party in a good way, but he also could be argumentative and depressed. If you follow this blog, you’ll know the extent.

Old Havana
Old Havana

The article is very interesting. Quoting a bit of David Brooks’ article:

 

“When you see how he did it, (Me: meaning how he accomplished his writing) three things leap out. First is the most mundane—the daily discipline of the job. In the house, there is a small bed where he laid out his notes and a narrow shelf where he stood, stared at a blank wall and churned out his daily word count.

“Second, there seemed to have been moments of self-forgetting… if you just try to serve the work—focusing on each concrete task and doing it the way it’s supposed to be done—then you’ll end up obliquely serving the community more.” (I think Brooks is saying there is a loss of self-consciousness in writing when you get to that point.)

“Finally, there was the act of cutting out. When Hemingway was successful, he cut out his mannerisms and self-pity. Then in middle age, out of softness, laziness and self-approval, he indulged himself, but even then, even amid all the corruption, he had flashes when he could distinguish his own bluster from the good, true notes.

“There is something heroic that happened in this house. Hemingway was a man who embraced every self-indulgence that can afflict a successful person. But at moments he shed all that he had earned and received and rediscovered the hardworking, clear-seeing and unadorned man he used to be.”

EH 4449P Ernest Hemingway reading books with his dog Negrita at Finca Vigia in Cuba. Please credit "Ernest Hemingway Collection/John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston"
EH 4449P
Ernest Hemingway reading books with his dog Negrita at Finca Vigia in Cuba. Please credit “Ernest Hemingway Collection/John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston”

 

 

 

 

A Better review

This will be my last post about the movie reviews. We can all see it and come to our own conclusions.

p_00470-h_2016

4 out of 5 stars

Cuba is on my bucket list. I’m a big fan of Ernest Hemingway. And, the newly-released movie Papa: Hemingway in Cuba looked very intriguing. So, I pulled myself together and traveled Northeast, out of Baltimore, to the AMC Theatre, located in the White Marsh Mall.

At the outset, the film, a drama, could have used some selective cutting. Still, I’m giving it a high recommendation, particularly to literary buffs and Hemingway aficionados.

The plot is told from the point of view of a Miami, Florida-based journalist, Denne Bart Petitclerc. He also wrote a successful non-fiction book with the same title as the movie.

MV5BMjA5OTMzNTY4Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTc5ODkzODE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_I found the back story on Petitclerc, for movie purposes, a little too long. I thought: Who cares about his writing career and/or his then girlfriend at a Miami tabloid? The screenwriter should have handled all of that in a cut-to-the-chase fashion. It was more than enough to know Hemingway was a cultural icon to Petitclerc, and that he latter evolved into a father figure for him.

Petitclerc’s role (Ed Myers in the movie) is played by Giovanni Ribisi. At times, he was a little too stiff. However, Ribisi, though no Johnny Depp, was still good enough overall to get the job done in a credible manner.

The central figure is, of course, Ernest “Papa” Hemingway. He’s 59 years old at the time. I think Adrian Sparks was just right as the bigger than life author with the mega, but ultra-sensitive, ego. He carried the film. First, Sparks looked the part and, secondly, he had the acting range to show some of the nuanced sides of the failing Papa. The story was set in Havana, Cuba, in the late 50s.

The right-wing dictator General Fulgenico Batista was then hanging onto his power by a thread. There was one bloody scene in the capital city, that revealed exactly what it was like to live under a fading-Fascist regime. Hemingway’s sympathies, a la the Spanish Civil War, were decidedly with the emerging rebel forces.

The film was shot in Havana, and environs. Hemingway’s estate, Finca La Vigia, a beautiful space located 15 miles from Havana, is now a museum. It was utilized for much of the filming.

The movie captured the essence of the complex figure that was “Papa” in his declining years. A roaring drunk, often mean, who was in decline both intellectually and physically. Suicide, which took his father’s life, was never far from his mind. You see enough of Papa’s “dark side” to know that he was a deeply troubled soul.

Papa’s long-suffering wife No. 3, Mary Welsh Hemingway, was played superbly by the British actress Joely Richardson. She was a bitchy, nagging wife, when called for. Mary also came off as a “hottie” in some of the swimming pool scenes. In one party at the estate, she also took on skillfully the persona of a Marlene Dietrich.

Some of the insults that the sharp-tongued Mary delivered to Papa, in the company of his closest cronies at the estate, were enough to drive a sensitive dude, like the novelist, to self-destruct and/or pull out his gun and shoot her! Mary liked her booze, too.

Shaun Toub is the poet Evan Shipman, in the film, one of Papa’s genuine friends. Toub, an Iranian, is one darn good actor. He gives a compelling performance in a supporting role.

The Mafia plays a bit part in this movie, along with the FBI, and its long dead director, the much-feared J. Edgar Hoover. The musical score was nothing to shout home about, but the cinematography gets two thumbs up. I was hoping also to see my blue and white ’57 Chevy Bel Air make a cameo appearance on the streets of Havana, but no luck on that one.

The scenes between Papa and Myers were often moving when the famed novelist was the focus. This was particularly true, near the end of the film. Lots of good one-liners, too, in this flick

– See more at: http://baltimorepostexaminer.com/papa-hemingway-cuba-moving-film-great-one-liners/2016/05/05#sthash.Kv4q9SPJ.dpufn conclusions. Note: The reviewer has it wrong that Mary was wife # 3. She was # 4.

Huffington Post’s Review: Again, not great

Movie Review – Jackie K Cooper
“Papa: Hemingway In Cuba” (Yari Film Group)

“Papa: Hemingway In Cuba” is a movie about Ernest Hemingway’s life during the mid 1950’s. At this time Hemingway was at the height of his career as an award winning novelist, but his mental demons were beginning to get the best of him. A newspaper reporter writes him a fan letter and is rewarded with an invitation to go fishing with Hemingway in Cuban waters. It sounds bizarre but it is said to be based on truth.

Ed Myers (Giovanni Ribisi) was working for a newspaper in Miami when he composed a fan letter to Hemingway. He composed it but he didn’t have the nerve to send it. His girlfriend Debbie (Minka Kelly) sent it for him, and Hemingway (Adrian Sparks) responded. He invited Ed to Cuba to fish and Myers went. The fishing trip and the letter were enough to bond the two men, and after this one expedition Ed received many more invites to visit Hemingway and his wife Mary (Joely Richardson) in Cuba.

Myers was an orphan and Papa Hemingway and Mary “adopted” him and became his family. Because of his close association with Papa and Mary, Ed was able to see Papa’s problems with writer’s block and also with the demons that haunted him from his past. Papa and Mary had a love/hate relationship which often ended up with Ed in the middle of their tirades against each other.

There is a lot of plot here and it is all interesting, however it is not particularly entertaining. This is because of the acting on display. Papa is the dominant figure in the story and tho Sparks is able to display a physical similarity to the man he never captures his soul or spirit. We hear the rants and moans but we never understand them. Plus these scenes appear just to be over emoting and not acting.

The same can be said of Richardson. She is never believable as Mary. She seems unable to make a decision as to her personality, and relationship with Hemingway. Was she a loving wife, a jealous shrew, or Hemingway’s chief tormentor? Richardson can turn on the tears but they seem to be crocodile ones.

The main flaw in the film, however, is Ribisi. He has made his career playing slightly quirky characters. In this film he is required to be the leading man and he just isn’t capable of doing that. Ed Myers is an ordinary man with a talent for reporting. He has a beautiful girlfriend and enough charm to worm himself into Hemingway’s good graces. A hundred other young actors could have pulled this role off with ease, but not Ribisi. It just isn’t in his wheelhouse.

The film is rated R for profanity, violence and brief nudity.

Hemingway is the preeminent writer of the twentieth century, so for some any insight into his life will provide sufficient reason to see this movie. But for those looking for a story with depth, and strong acting on display, this movie does not fill the bill.

I scored “Papa: Hemingway In Cuba” a novel 5 out of 10.

Jackie K Cooper
www.jackiekcooper.com

Review of New Movie: Papa Hemingway in Cuba–Not too good

I am sorry to report that one of the early reviews of the new movie with Adrian Sparks as Hemingway and Giovanni Ribisi as Ed Meyers, a young journalist, was pretty sour. Beyond loving the Cuban scenery, the description of the movie as wooden is an “ouch” moment. Instead of flashing back to some of Hemingway’s allure and greatness, it sticks with his last two years, admittedly not his glory days. I would guess, given that time frame, that there is much drunkenness and fights with wife # 4, Mary. So disappointing. Below is the full review. Best, Christine

 

Review

Papa Hemingway in Cuba

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By DAN LYBARGER Special to the Democrat-Gazette

This article was published April 29, 2016 at 1:53 a.m.

Ernest Hemingway (Adrian Sparks) can’t summon his muse in Bob Yari’s Papa Hemingway in Cuba, the first Hollywood feature filmed on the island since Castro’s revolution.

 Papa Hemingway in Cuba

68 Cast: Giovanni Ribisi, Adrian Sparks, Joely Richardson, Minka Kelly, Shaun Toub, James Remar, Mariel Hemingway

Director: Bob Yari

Rating: R, for language, sexuality, some violence and nudity

Running time: 109 minutes

Papa Hemingway in Cuba is reportedly the first Hollywood film to be shot on the island since 1959. The Almighty has blessed Cuba with captivating scenery, which belies over a century of human turmoil there. It’s too bad the people who stand in front of this scenery in this film aren’t that interesting.

In real life they might have been, but neither screenwriter Denne Bart Petitclerc, who actually knew the title character, nor director Bob Yari (better known as a producer of Crash and The Illusionist) has anything worthwhile to say about Ernest Hemingway or his time there.

Petitclerc has been dead for 10 years, and it’s easy to see why his script sat on the shelf until recently. If he had any unique insights into the Nobel Prize winner and his writing, none have made it into the final cut of this film.

As played by Adrian Sparks, Hemingway is a famous but drunken has-been. When he’s not fishing, he’s prone to bouts of paranoia and yelling matches with his wife, Mary (Joely Richardson). The writer hangs out with veterans of the Spanish Civil War and appears to have ties to the Cuban Revolution. He’s unable at this point in his 59 years to turn a blank sheet of paper into something magical.

Most of this stuff could be gleaned from a high school literature class or from listening to a barroom blowhard unable to discern truth from fiction. Without having samples from Hemingway’s clipped but often powerful prose, viewers are simply given the impression that he was an obnoxiously pompous bore who liked swimming naked. Petitclerc gives Sparks and Richardson plenty of excuses to yell at each other, but one quickly wonders why anyone ever sought these two out.

Instead of examining the author’s complicated life or re-creating the tension that surrounded the fall of Batista’s Cuba, Petitclerc and Yari decide to rehash the old cliche about never meeting your idols. In this case, Petitclerc’s stand-in for himself, Ed Myers (Giovanni Ribisi), writes Hemingway a fan letter and then hides it because he’s not sure if the note is worthy of the great writer’s time. Ed’s girlfriend (Minka Kelly) saves the letter from the waste basket and sends it to Cuba.

Much of the material seems to have been cobbled together from something that might seem more at home on The Hallmark Channel or Lifetime. On second thought, those movies are delivered with more subtlety and craftsmanship. Many shots seem stiff and clumsy, as if the only prerequisite for a successful take was that the actors were standing and breathing.

The folks behind those quickly made offerings might know better than to cast a 42-year-old as a cub reporter. It’s odd to hear Sparks and Richardson call Ribisi “the kid.”

The Revolution, which has been depicted in great films like The Godfather: Part II, Steven Soderbergh’s Che and Mikhail Kalatozov’s I Am Cuba, is prime fodder for great drama, but when Ed has to tell Santo Trafficante (James Remar) to his face that he runs the mob in Cuba, it’s a sign that Petitclerc has no idea how to tell the audience who characters are without having to telegraph the fact.

At least we can see why Hemingway loved Cuba; whenever the stiff, profanity-laden dialogue ends and the people leave the landscape, nature reveals an island full of lush vegetation and gorgeous seascapes. It’s also great to see the distinctive architecture, like Havana’s Malecon seawall, and to hear the infectious music that comes from the island. If Yari were a more capable director (this is only his second effort in a 30-something-year career), he might have put the music more prominently in the mix to drown out Petitclerc’s drivel.

MovieStyle on 04/29/2016

Print Headline: Papa Hemingway in Cuba

 

Random Hemingway News

 News in the Hemingway World

                 1.            The 2016 winner of the Pen/Hemingway Award is a young woman name Ottessa Moshfegh. Ms Moshfegh was raised in Newton, MA is being honored for her first novel, “Eileen.” Patrick Hemingway, the son of Ernest Hemingway, presented the award on April 10th in Boston. A $25,000 prize was also awarded to the winner.

Patrick Hemingway 2013 at Hemingway Collection
Patrick Hemingway 2013 at Hemingway Collection

 

                2.            The Movie “Genius” is coming out with Colin Firth as Hemingway’s Editor Max Perkins. So far the feedback is mixed. The previewers were concerned that the movie lacked passion. If that is the case, I am sorry to hear it. The Perkins/Hemingway relationship is peripheral in the movie. The focus is on Max Perkins’  relationship with Tom Wolfe played by Jude Law. The movie is based on A. Scott Berg’s biography of Perkins.

 

Max Perkins
Max Perkins

                3.            Caterpillar, the maker of tractors and construction equipment, has donated $500,000 to preserve Hemingway’s home in Cuba. The donation was made for the restoration and preservation of documents and artifacts from the home of writer Ernest Hemingway. It will also be used for the construction of the workshop building which will house a laboratory with archived storage facilities near the Hemingway Museum in Havana. Today, the house turned museum preserves a collection of personal objects and documents including books, hunting trophies, guns, letters, photos, a typewriter on which   he tended to write standing up, and the yacht Lel Pilar on which he went fishing and sailed around the Caribbean.

The Finca
The Finca

 

Wife Number 3: Martha Gellhorn

Hemingway and Martha
Hemingway and Martha
Dancing
Dancing
Martha Gellhorn
Martha Gellhorn

About a year ago, I began doing posts on the wives and got sidetracked on other Hemingway issues. I posted on Hadley and Pauline, then diverted. Hemingway was married to Hadley Richardson for about seven years, i.e. 1921 to 1927. He was married to Pauline Pfeiffer from 1927 to 1940. He was married to Martha Gellhorn from 1940 to 1945. He met her in Key West when she was on vacation with her mother. Tall, attractive, ambitious, blond, smart, witty, and charming, he kept company with her first behind Pauline’s back, including when both were covering the Spanish Civil War. Martha admired his talent and bravery and he admired her looks, her talent and her courage. Hadley, Pauline, and Mary (wife no. 4) were deferential to Hemingway in the sense of wanting to please him. Martha was not. It was the one marriage he claims to have regretted and she certainly wanted nothing to do with him after the divorce.

 Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn in Sun Valley, Idaho, 1940. Photographer unknown in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn in Sun Valley, Idaho, 1940. Photographer unknown in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

 

While Hemingway was hard to be married to, he had a kind, sweet side as well. A biographer of Martha Gellhorn uncovered some letters recently that made clear that he was very supportive of her career and all that she accomplished and could accomplish. That being said, he was at times jealous that she would take off to go on assignments as opposed to staying with him in Cuba when he preferred to have her there.

 

Martha was a strong woman ahead of her time. She was also a good friend of Eleanor Roosevelt and was a first-rate journalist in her own right. She never had children of her own, but adopted two. When her health was to the point of not being recoverable, she killed herself in London at the age of 89

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Cuba is hot.
Cuba is hot.
Martha
Martha

 

Update: Review of London opening of The Fifth Column

This is a luke warm and unenthusiastic  review of Hemingway’s only play, but still, if you happen to be in London between now and April 15, perhaps worth a viewing.

The Fifth Column at Southwark Playhouse | Theatre review

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Hardly mentioned and scarcely recognised among Ernest Hemingway’s renowned works, The Fifth Column is an overlooked piece that fits the aims of Two’s Company, which is to present forgotten theatre of the World Wars period. While some critics may argue that there is reason this play is typically disregarded as part of Hemingway’s literary canon, the show at Southwark Playhouse still results in a worthwhile evening.

It is 1937, Madrid; the brutal Spanish Civil War shows no sign of relenting, and impeding Nationalists besiege the city, its inhabitants subjected to widespread hunger and bombardments. Lodged at the Hotel Florida is a pair of American war correspondents who discover in each other a passionate, untimely love. However, in a play that deals heavily in themes of counter-espionage and faltering trust, characters fall prey to duplicity, and the antagonist must face the unmanageable choice between upholding his political convictions or his longing for the fulfilment of love.

Simplified lighting and sound effects are enough to create the tension and intensity of bombardment but not to the extent that they detract from the primary action of the play. Set designer Alex Marker for the most part successfully recreates the hotel as well as other locales in a relatively small space, except for instances in which Simon Darwen, as the lead, must poise himself on an armchair or a bed, and his towering stature dwarfs the stage’s proportions. A scene with the most physical, combatant action involving a Nazi cohort is awkwardly staged due to a lack of space for necessary movement. In addition to Alix Dunmore’s unfortunate wig, the underwhelming choice of costumes for the female roles is not reminiscent of a 1930s period piece, but rather, last season’s clearance rack.

The play is generally supported by a strong cast, even if accents falter a bit in the beginning (they eventually stabilise during the course of the play). Darwen’s portrayal of Phillip Rawlings, a counter-intelligence operative posing as a journalist, is rather aggravating at first, but Darwen’s feat is making an unsavoury character actually likeable. Although Dunmore is a pleasure to watch on stage as Dorothy Bridges (the rather dim-witted beloved), she perhaps misses the nuances of the potentially complex role and instead delivers a superficial character whose every line is meant at face value. The vapid romance between the two results in various scenes with rather uncomfortable dialogue, but this is as much Hemingway’s fault in composition as it is Darwen and Dunmore’s in execution.

Hemingway’s only full-length play pales in comparison to the pioneering style of his other prose works. The Fifth Column is very much a relic of a specific time and place, and, rather than attempting to valourise it as a “forgotten gem” it is probably best viewed as a literary genius’s ineffective excursion into a different genre.

Verdict: