HOW DRIVING AMBULANCES IN WW I INSPIRED HEMINGWAY

Hospital after mortar injury

How driving ambulances during World War I inspired Hemingway
By Michael Riedel March 19, 2017 

Several major artists and innovators of the 20th century served as volunteer ambulance drivers during World War I, shaping their experiences on the battlefield into groundbreaking works.

The carnage horrified poet E.E. Cummings, who drove an ambulance in France. He would go on to fracture his verse the way bodies were fractured in the trenches. He poured his anger at the senselessness of war into letters back to the United States — and found himself in a detention camp for subversives. He recounted his imprisonment in his novel “The Enormous Room.”

W. Somerset Maugham, who trained as a doctor, did not flinch from the horror. He picked up body parts and treated gaping wounds with cool detachment, the kind of detachment he would later use to dissect the emotional lives of his characters in novels such as “The Painted Veil.”

Somerset Maugham

At 16, Walt Disney was too young to enlist, so he volunteered for the Red Cross as an ambulance driver. He was sent to France and had little contact with the wounded. He spent most of his time drawing. “I found out that inside or outside of an ambulance is as good a place as any to draw,” he said.

While training to be a driver, Disney befriended Ray Kroc, another patriot who was too young to enlist and had chosen to be an ambulance driver instead. In the 1950s, Kroc would become one of the country’s best known businessmen when he turned McDonald’s into a fast-food empire.

But the deepest friendship to develop in the ambulance-driver ranks was between Ernest Hemingway and John Dos Passos. They shared not only an occupation but a desire to revolutionize American writing — that would last until the ideological battles of the 1930s tore it apart.

the young author

Their relationship is detailed in James McGrath Morris’ new book, “The Ambulance Drivers: Hemingway, Dos Passos, and a Friendship Made and Lost in War.”

John Dos Passos

“The world was shattered, and Hemingway and Dos Passos explicitly felt they would have to write about life in a different way,” Morris told The Post.

Dos Passos had poor eyesight that made him unfit for combat, so he joined the volunteer ambulance corps. He had to pick his way through corpse-filled trenches at Verdun, writing in his diary, “Horror is so piled on horror there can be no more.”

Hemingway tried to enlist in the army, but he, too, failed vision tests. He joined the Red Cross and was dispatched to an ambulance unit on the Italian front. He met Dos Passos over a dinner of rabbit stew and red wine at a hospital near Schio.

A mortar cut short Hemingway’s service. He spent the rest of the war in a hospital, where he fell in love with a nurse who inspired the character of Catherine Barkley in “A Farewell to Arms.”

Agnes and Hem

Dos Passos had a very different experience. “[He] carried buckets of body parts and suffered a mustard-gas attack. For him war was senseless and crushing and must be opposed,” Morris said.

After the war they both lived in Paris, spending hours in Left Bank cafes discussing art, books and their desire to revolutionize American literature.

The friendship showed signs of fraying, especially when Dos Passos urged Hemingway to join left-wing causes that Hemingway eschewed. But they continued to spend a lot of time together fishing — and drinking — in Cuba and the Florida Keys.

key west house

The break came during the Spanish Civil War. Dos Passos, while staunchly anti-fascist, began to sour on the left-wing government of Spain, whose main ally was the Soviet Union. Hemingway supported the government in its battle against General Franco and the ­fascists.

When a friend was killed in the war, Dos Passos suspected (with good reason) that the communists had murdered him. Hemingway told him, “Don’t ask questions,” Morris writes.

In 1964, decades after the Spanish Civil War and three years after his own death, Hemingway exacted revenge on Dos Passos with the posthumous publishing of his memoir, “A Moveable Feast.” He depicted Dos Passos as a parasite who lived off rich friends.

As Morris writes, “War forged their friendship, but in the end ­another war took it from them.”

Young man with all of it ahead

Hemingway and the Russians

With all of the talk about politicians and Russian connections, there has also been in the news recently much discussion of Hemingway’s Russian connections. It’s interesting to me since this information has been around, open, and in all biographies, yet seems to be presented as a new finding. I’m an amateur student of Hemingway and this is what I’ve known:

On Pilar
  1. From 1942 through the end of the war, Hemingway conducted a furtive group, which he in Hemingway self-mocking fashion, called the Crook Factory. It was established with the permission American diplomat Robert Joyce. In essence, Hemingway and buddies observed local happenings that might be tied to German subversion, submarines, surveillance. It was observed by Spruill Braiden, also a diplomat, that Hemingway had a knack for “charismatic convincing, an astonishing ability to recruit to the cause local folks you might understatedly call mixed company, i.e. bartenders, wharf rats, down-at-heel pelota players and former bullfighters, Basque priests, assorted exiled counts and dukes, several Spanish loyalists.”His wife at the time, Martha Gellhorn, wanted him to be more importantly and directly reporting on the war. She saw the “Crook Factory” as an opportunity for Hemingway to go out on his boat and get drunk with his pals. However, this is not exactly news.

    Happier days, Hem and Martha
  1. Hemingway was left-leaning. In the Spanish Civil War, he wrote and contributed financially to the opposition to Franco, which just happened to be the leftists and Russians, who were fighting against Franco.

    Hem and Martha
  1. Prior to 1935, Hemingway was not particularly politically active or vocal. He was moved to the left when in the aftermath of a hurricane in Florida (he was still in Key West in 1935), he saw World War I vets living nearby and doing construction under Roosevelt’s New Deal. Very bad conditions became worse when the hurricane hit. He observed that “heroes were dead and left half-naked to float in the Atlantic.” He felt the government should be doing more for its people.

    on the Pilar

For some reason, the recent writings have put some sinister cast on Hemingway’s activism. In terms of the times, the Russians were our allies in World War II, and there was nothing sinister about it, although Hemingway did get on the FBI watch list as a result. He was not a fan of Fidel Castro, although he did hope for the best and tried to keep a low profile so that he could remain in Cuba unmolested. Ultimately, that turned out to be impossible.

In August 1944, Hemingway was in Paris during the liberation and his ego made him unpopular at times with some. He did join the tank line heading toward Paris in Rambouillet and was present at the liberation of Paris. Although he went to France as a war correspondent for Colliers, he didn’t have to put himself in any danger but he did. There have been criticisms that he took too much control at times, and/or that he had a disproportionate amount of liquor available to him. Andy Rooney, who was also in France covering the allied efforts as a foreign correspondent for Stars and Stripes, a military newspaper, disliked him. He called him a “jerk.” Hemingway was like that. Either his bigger than life presentations inspired you and was fun or it turned you off and you were wary.

Paris liberation

Still, I’m not quite sure why Hemingway is now portrayed as some sort of collaborator in a bad way. At that time, you were for or against the Nazis, and he was against them. So please read about it and decide for yourself.

Hem on beach

 

HUNTER THOMPSON AND HEM’S STOLEN ANTLERS

 

Hunter Stockton Thompson (18 July 193720 February 2005) was an American journalist and author famous for his flamboyant writing style, known as Gonzo Journalism, which blurred the distinctions between writer and subject, fiction and non-fiction. At the age of 67, suffering a bout of health problems, Thompson died at his home in Woody Creek, Colorado, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

A good cigar
A good cigar
Hunter Thompson
Younger Hunter Thompson

Who knew?  More than 50 years ago Hunter Thompson was visiting Hemingway’s Ketchum, Idaho home and pilfered a set of trophy elk antlers.  In mid-August 2016, his widow, Anita Thompson, gave the antlers back stating that Hunter had always been embarrassed that he had taken them.

“He wished he hadn’t,” she said.  “He was young, it was 1964, and he got caught up in the moment.  He talked about it several times, about taking a road trip and returning them.”

The Ketchum, Idaho community library has been a repository for things that Hemingway used and that were from his Ketchum, Idaho residence.  The antlers were returned to the Idaho community library and ultimately shipped to Hemingway’s grandson in New York City.  For years, the antlers hung in the garage of Hunter Thompson’s home outside Aspen, Colorado.

Hem writing a by-line from Idaho
Hem writing a by-line from Idaho

The taking of the antlers has been local lore for a number of years and apparently now the antlers have found a final home within the Hemingway family.

Trivia to be sure, but kind of funny/sad too.

 

Love,

Christine

 

Happy Birthday, July 21, 1899, Ernest Miller Hemingway

Hemingway Birthday Celebration at Stafford’s Perry Hotel

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 second year 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.

Hemingway Menu

Appetizers
Stafford’s chilled cherry soup shooter, goat cheese crisp, wild mushroom ragout, hunter sausage finger sandwich, pickled onion, mustard, soft roll, kippered rainbow trout, cucumber, dill, radish, cornichon

Spring Harvest Salad
Watercress, frisee, gold beets, shaved asparagus, orange supremes, roma tomato petals, Castelvetrano olives, white balsamic vinaigrette

Michigan Lake Perch à la Meunière
Brown butter, parsley, crispy potato, heirloom tomato relish, aioli

Grilled Beef Filet
Michigan morel, apple wood bacon and leek compote, bordelaise, glazed carrots, English peas, saffron potato

Orange Almond Financier
Blueberry, lemon curd, chocolate truffle

To purchase tickets to the Hemingway Birthday Celebration and make advanced reservations, call The Perry Hotel at 231.347.4000.


More Ernest Hemingway

#2016 #Emmet_County #Petoskey #Events #History #Vacation #Travel_Ideas

Restoring the Finca Vigia outside Havana : Work to Begin

#HemingwayFincavigia

#Hemingwaycuba

Havana, Cuba (CNN)Ernest Hemingway’s home near Havana is expected to soon receive an infusion of badly needed building supplies from the United States.

 

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.

Finca Vigia
Finca Vigia

Hemingway and the Green Hills of Africa

#Hemingwaysafrica

Everything in the Hemingway world seems to be percolating and changing and evolving, especially new versions of his classics.

Hem
Hem

 

Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro

Hemingway wrote the Green Hills of Africa in 1935. He and his second wife Pauline had just taken a hunting safari on the Serengeti Plains leaving Jack, Gregory and Patrick at home. Hemingway then chronicled the adventure, adding fiction to the non-fiction.

 

A new edition has come out. It’s been authorized by the Hemingway estate and has a new introduction by his grandson Sean. His son Patrick also shares some personal memories. One new feature that will be historically interesting is that a diary of the trip was kept by Pauline and her observations will be quite interesting to read. That diary will be part of the re-issue.

 

Serengeti
Serengeti

One of Pauline’s observations is that the chronology of some events was changed by Hemingway and she traces his short story The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber to an incident that occurred on that trip.

 

So! The Sun Also Rises has been reissued (one version shows the book as originally envisioned with changes Scott Fitzgerald suggested and which Hemingway implemented); A Moveable Feast has been reissued; and A Farewell to Arms has also been reissued.

 

Green hills of Africa
Green hills of Africa

I read The Green Hills of Africa only once. Being an animal lover, I found the hunting and the carcasses of animals very disturbing. I realize that we have to take all of this in the context of the times when the concept of conservation was truly unexplored. As his grandson Sean noted, portions of Green Hills might be uncomfortable for the modern readers. It’s somewhat telling that Hemingway notes that he fears the consequences of western countries expanding into an undeveloped region. “A continent ages quickly once we come. The natives live in harmony with it. But the foreigner destroys, cuts the trees, drains the water supply so that the water supply is altered. The earth gets tired of being exploited.”Keen eye

 

This reminded me of the epithet of The Sun Also Rises about the earth enduring and enduring.

Papa and Jack/Bumby
Papa and Jack/Bumby

 

In any event, it should be an intriguing read with some insight into the evolution of Hemingway’s thought processes plus Pauline’s observations.

 

 

How well do you know Hemingway?

Hem on beach
Hem on beach
Key West
Key West

#Hemingwaytrivia

Hemingway and Key West have influenced one another in many surprising ways. See for yourself: Take the How Well Do You Know Hemingway? quiz.

So I think I know almost everything about Hemingway. I got 7 of ten correct and I think I know everything. However, I misread one question or I would have had 8!

It’s fun. Give it a go if you think you know Hem. Love, Christine

Thinking
Thinking

Film about Hemingway and his boat Captain, Gregorio Fuentes

Hemingway’s boat played an integral role in his story, and now its sister ship is in South Florida and ready to make her film debut.

 

EH 8124P Ernest Hemingway fishing, Key West, 1928. Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.
EH 8124P Ernest Hemingway fishing, Key West, 1928.
Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

 

The Hemingway Cats in Key West

Hem, boys, and cat
Hem, boys, and cats

#Hemingwaycats.

So, what could be controversial about some multi-toed cats living peacefully in Key West?  Well a lot apparently.  For four years the Hemingway Museum has been in litigation with the town which wanted the cats caged saying they exceeded limits and thus constituted an animal exhibit and needed to be licensed and caged.  Hmm. That seems a stretch. I am happy to report that the Hemingway Museum won the case and an exception/exemption was noted by the Key West City Commission, which voted to exempt the Hemingway cats from federal rules, calling them “animals of historic, social and tourism significance.” They are, said city officials, “an integral part of the history and ambiance of the Hemingway House.” Well, who didn’t know that?  Full article below.

Polydactyl cats have extra toes on one or more paws. They are often called Hemingway cats.

Cat in the Rain
Cats in the Rain
Hem drinks with cat
Hem drinks with cat

 

Veterans get help from Hemingway Source

Writing Retreat for Military Veterans at Hemingway-Pfeiffer Gets Underway July 24-26

For an intensive weekend, Vets can write and gain access to their creative side at the homestead of Pauline Pfeiffer, Hemingway’s second wife. her Uncle Gus was a generous patron to Hemingway in his earlier years and in fact, Hem dedicated A Farewell to Arms to Gus Pfeiffer.  What a great idea for giving back and enriching the community. Read more.

Pauline when working for Paris Vogue
Pauline when working for Paris Vogue