Mary Welch Wife # 4

As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand. Ernest Heminway

Mary’s book about Papa

 

Mary Welch was the only one of Hemingway’s wives who was not from the St. Louis area. She was from Minnesota, was a journalist in her own right, had been married twice and was married to Noel Monks when she met Ernest Hemingway in London.  Ernest was still married to Martha but things were not good.  Martha often referred to him as “the pig.”

 

Mary was not tall, about 5’2, stocky, brown hair, and blue eyes. Her features were sharp and she was smart.  As usual, the relationship started out well and full of laughs and fun.  Hem still could be biting and sarcastically caustic when all was not going well.  Mary took it all.

GRRRR!

 

Hem took her to the finca in Cuba, a bit awkwardly since it had been his place with Martha.  Gigi was cool to her initially. He loved Martha. Patrick also loved Martha and found it hard to adjust to another new love. However, he liked seeing his father have some order in his life and Mary was nice.  Jack, charming and adaptable, found Mary easy company and could fit in well with her without compromising his loyalties to Pauline and Martha as well as to his own mother, Hadley.

Hem with boys and cat

 

Hem filed for divorce against Martha on grounds of desertion and the divorce went through on December 21, 1945.  The sting of her rejection stayed with him always.  Martha read about the divorce in the newspaper, although she didn’t care. She was anxious for the divorce to begin and be done.  No alimony, no financial orders.

 

Mary had doubts about marrying Hem.  He was . . . not easy.  And yet . . . he could be wonderful.  Hem, sensing her drift away, sent flowers and love note. They married in Cuba on March 14, 1946.  Fights ensued as did a pregnancy at Mary’s age 38, advanced age for 1946.  She longed for a daughter for Hem. An ectopic pregnancy with crisis and quick, brave action by Hem ended with Mary surviving, and owing that survival to Hem.

Mary in older age
dog and baby

 

 

Mary was with him in Ketchum and suffered through Papa’s health declines, his paranoia, his slump and success with The Old Man and the Sea, his rejection, his calling her a scavenger and that she had the face of Torquemada. She suffered through the whole Adriana infatuation. Both however reported an excellent sex life and Hem had earlier complained of Pauline and Martha in that department.

Contentment

 

At times, Hem’s drinking increased, then he’d stop for a while on doctor’s orders. Mary was bewildered and badly hurt. However, she wanted to continue to be Mrs. Hemingway for mostly good reasons. She loved his children; she loved him; she loved the position; she was dependent on him financially. Still, she was protective to the end of Hem and his legend.

 

As Papa became more mentally unstable, Mary did her best. At the end, Hemingway was released from the Mayo Clinic against Mary’s wishes.  The day after his release, Hem got up early, got his favorite gun, and shot himself in the head.  Mary reported it as an accident while cleaning a gun.  It clearly wasn’t.  She nurtured the Hemingway legacy as long as she lived and set up the Hemingway collection in the Kennedy Library.  She did her best under trying circumstances with little complaint and with dignity.

Ketchum, Idaho

Wife # 3: Martha Gellhorn (Giveaway prize soon! Details at end of post.)

Only one marriage I regret. I remember after I got that marriage license I went across from the license bureau to a bar for a drink. The bartender said, ‘What will you have, sir?’ And I said, ‘A glass of hemlock.’ Ernest Hemingway

One afternoon in late December as he prepared to leave the cool sawdust interior of Sloppy Joe’s, a trio of tourists walked in.  One was a young woman with beautiful hair—tawny gold, loosely brushing her shoulders. She wore a plain black cotton sundress whose simplicity called attention in a well-bred way to her long, shapely legs. Bernice Kurt, The Hemingway women. Page 28.

Martha

 

Martha was lovely, smart, and determined. Born on November 8, 1908, her parents were well educated, a physician and a worker for social causes. Just as Pauline was determined to get Hem from Hadley, Martha knew she needed Hem as her mate. Martha was from St. Louis, just as Hadley and Pauline were.  Coincidence but an interesting one. Martha attended Bryn Mawr but left at the end of her junior year. She wanted to be a foreign correspondent and did work in Europe for several years. She returned to the US, became a life-long friend of Eleanor Roosevelt’s. Money was tight but Martha persevered. She wrote a well-received book called the Trouble I’ve Seen, about four age groups who were caught in the cycle of unemployment.

Hem was nine years older than Martha but seemed older. He was a world acclaimed novelist. Compared to Pauline, she was flashy and accomplished. As for her early impressions of Hem, she wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt, “an odd bird, very lovable and full of fire and a marvelous story teller. So I sit about and have just read the mss of his new book and been very smart about it.” Kurt, page 291.

Martha And Hem

 

The relationship progressed as they bonded over the Spanish Revolution. Hem was on the fence as to allegiance, in true newsman fashion.  Martha was for the Rebels.  Both cared deeply about the cause and about Spain. Martha was brave and despite bombings of buildings regularly, both continued their work without complaint. Per Martha, “I think it was the only time in his life when he was not the most important thing there was. He really cared about the Republic and he cared about that war. I believe I never would’ve gotten hooked otherwise.”

As Martha secured her position in Hem’s life, Pauline suffered the loss. With several health issues afflicting her, it became clear that Hem was leaving and there was nothing she could do about it. Hem wrote a letter to Pauline’s mother in 1939 trying to explain the estrangement.  Her family had been generous and accepting and it was painful. It also was painful for the boys. “When you were with my father, it was the Crusades. He was Richard the Lion-hearted, and my mother was the woman you left behind in the castle with the chastity belt.” One benefit though was that Patrick and Gigi (Gregory) started to spend summers and vacations with hem which created memories that were irreplaceable. Their half-brother Jack (John/Bumby) had been enjoying those times with his father since the Hadley divorce.

Hem, Martha, boys

 

Martha developed a good relationship with the boys. She was loving to all three and they enjoyed her. She had a friendly relationship with Hadley as well.

Hem wrote much of For Whom the Bell Tolls while with Martha. He dedicated it to her. It was selling well and there were bids for the movie rights. He did pay Pauline alimony which he resented as she “didn’t need it.”

Frustration

Martha found that her husband drank too much, didn’t bathe enough, and embellished his stories. Still she made an effort to be a good hostess, partner, mother, and appreciator of his cats.

As time passed and Martha pursued assignments in China and Europe, Hem felt rejected and their love declined. Hem began to rant and rail against Martha and to heap abuse on her. When they finally divorced, Martha was sad but relieved. No alimony for Martha. She went on to write and establish a successful career in her own right. She married in 1954 and divorced in 1963, living the balance of her life in London. She committed suicide at age 89 with a drug overdose after suffering from cancer and blind.

In a couple weeks, I’ll be giving away three copies of the Hemingway cookbook.  It is actually pretty great.  There are not only recipes of Hemingway meals but stories and anecdotes related to the novels, stories, and Hem’s life. I really like the cook book. (Details to follow on how to win).

Also, I’d love to have guest posters. The first to guest post gets one of the cook books. You laugh, but it’s really great. You can write about anything. Review Gellhorn and Hemingway. Talk about his impact on you. Tell us what you hate. did you like Midnight in Paris? Please share!

Girl with long legs
Portrait of Martha Gellhorn

Part II: Pauline Pfeiffer, Wife # 2

Fanning in Key West’s heat

“She shot very well this good, this rich bitch, this kindly caretaker and destroyer of his talent. Nonsense. He had destroyed his talent himself. Why should he blame this woman because she kept him well? He had destroyed his talent by not using it, by betrayals of himself and what he believed in, by drinking so much that he blunted the edge of his perceptions, by laziness, by sloth, and by snobbery, by pride and by prejudice, by hook and by crook.”


Ernest Hemingway,The Snows of Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro
..

 

Pauline Pfeiffer was Hem’s second wife. She was petite, lively, chic, and in love. Since equality in a relationship was not his thing, Pauline seemed to know intuitively that she would have to defer an awful lot of the time to his dreams and wishes. That deference came naturally to Hadley, less naturally to Pauline, and not at all to Martha. (More of Martha next week.)

Once Hadley allowed the divorce to take place, Hem seemed less eager to seal the deal with Pauline although he ultimately adjusted and set a date.  He wrote to Isabelle Godolphin that “I’m cockeyed about Pauline and going to get married in May . . . I felt like hell before, but now everything is very very good and everyone is feeling swell.”

Love crazy

Hem even became a Catholic for Pauline, who was a true believer. As for Hadley, she went back to New York, dated various men, and had a cordial meeting with Max Perkins, Hem’s editor.  Max had arranged for the direct deposit of royalties from The Sun Also Rises to Hadley’s account. She received them for her life.

Pauline and Hem were married on May 10, 1927 in Paris. In fairly short order, Hadley’s bitterness faded and she became quite friendly with Pauline due to their shared interest in Bumby’s welfare, as well as Ernest’s welfare.  Pauline did her best to keep up with Hem, letting him be him, going to Africa, and

Key West

finally settling in Key West, a place that Dos Passos drew Hem to, noting its climate, its fishing, and its undiscovered beauty.

 Hem needed little more persuading. He and Pauline found a house on Whitehead Street. Jack aka Bumby had a nice relationship with Pauline, who treated him like one of her own boys.  She did in fact have two sons with Hem: Patrick and Gregory.  Hem by all accounts loved all of his sons and they adored Papa. Being with him was enchanting and he had an air of excitement. Hem said that while not partial to kids, he rather liked these three.

As years passed Pauline and Ernest became cooler to each other.  Hem spent time with Jane Mason, wife of Grant Mason, and an affair seems clear. Jane was a flashy, blonde, risk-taker, and not emotionally stable. She later jumped from a balcony. Whether Jane did so purposely or accidentally, is not clear but most believe it was a suicide attempt. Jane survived. Hemingway, per Bernice Kert, author of a wonderful and fascinating book about all of Hemingway’s women (and aptly called The Hemingway Women) avoided emotionally unstable woman.  This seems true as Hadley, Pauline, Martha and Mary were all strong, intelligent, stable women. Even his closest women friends such as Marlene Dietrich were women with good heads on their shoulders.

Kert in her book, page 262, cites a story about Hem and Dietrich meeting.  She notes that on his way back to NY from Paris on the Ile de France, Dietrich recalled, “I entered the dining salon to attend a dinner party.  The men rose to offer me a chair, but I saw at once that I would make the thirteenth at the table. I excused myself on grounds of superstition, when my way was blocked by a large man who said he gladly would be the fourteenth.  The man was Hemingway.”   This is what Pauline was up against.

Ultimately, Hem left Pauline for a younger flashier model: Martha Gellhorn. He doesn’t seem to have had the sentimental look back at Pauline that he had at Hadley although he does praise her spirit in going to Africa with him, even though it meant leaving their sons for a significant period of time.

Pointedly, A Farewell to Armswas is dedicated to Uncle Gus, Pauline’s uncle, not to Pauline.

When he left, a great deal of Hem was left in Key West as he moved on to his next home in Cuba with Martha and on to write one of the greatest novels ever written: For Whom the Bell Tolls.

For Whom the Bell Tolls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did Hemingway Have a Favorite Wife? Part 1: Hadley

Did Hemingway have a favorite wife?  Of course he did.  (But the others are interesting women, too.)

 

This will be a five-parter.   If you’re a Hemingway buff, you’ll know without asking who the fifth part will be about. If you’re a more casual observer, you’ll learn it here.

 

Hemingway actually had four wives:  Hadley Richardson, Pauline Pfeiffer, Martha Gellhorn, and Mary Walsh. Of the four, three were from the St. Louis area.  Only Mary was from elsewhere—Minnesota actually. Hadley was the great love of his life, in my opinion. Surely in retrospect, based on A Moveable Feast, she was.

Hadley and Hem were married on September 3, 1921 in Horton Bay, Michigan, and they spent their honeymoon at the family summer cottage, which featured significantly in Hemingway’s early short stories.  Hemingway’s biographer, Jeffrey Meyers, noted in his biography that, “with Hadley, Hemingway achieved everything he had hoped for with Agnes:  the love of a beautiful woman, a comfortable income, a life inEurope.” (Agnes as in Agnes Von Kurowsky, his nurse in Italy who was the prototype for Catherine Barkley) He called her Tatie or Hash.

While the Hemingways had little money as they headed to Paris, Hadley’s modest trust fund sustained them. They had a small apartment, as well as a rented studio for Hemingway’s work, plus an abundance of expatriot and European friends, most of whom were writers.  Gertrude Stein’s salon was nearby and she was a mentor, although ultimately there was a falling out. 

 

The great drama of their marriage occurred in December, 1922, when Hadley was traveling alone to Geneva to meet Hemingway there (he was covering a peace conference), and Hadley lost a suitcase filled with Hemingway’s manuscripts.  One can only speculate about what impact this ultimately had on his writing.  At the time, he was devastated.  As any writer knows, you can never recreate the first cut. However, scholars opine regularly about whether the loss enabled him to start from scratch and do a better job or whether it was an irreplaceable loss. Clearly, he did okay despite . . .

Pamplona

Still, Hadley was there at the beginning before he was the famous Ernest Hemingway. She was there during the ever-productive Paris years, which proved to be a touchstone gift that kept on giving. She funded his ability to write in Paris, enabling him to eventually at warp speed finish the first draft of The Sun Also Rises in six weeks 

 To Hadley’s dismay and hurt, she never figured significantly as a character in any of Hemingway’s books, which did tend to be based on actual people in his life.  The new fictional memoir, The Paris Wife, paints Hadley as wounded that she was written out of The Sun Also Rises while starring Lady Brett Ashley, who’s based whole hog on Lady Duff Twysden.  

Hadley settled into married life as a wife and mother, but trouble was near. She and Hem met the charming Pfeiffer sisters.  Although initially Hemingway thought Jinny was the more attractive, it was the petite Pauline, a writer for Paris Vogue, who ultimately captured his attention.  As Pauline played the role of loyal, jokey pal to both Ernest and Hadley, she set her cap for Hem and he fell hard.

Now it was Hadley’s turn to be devastated. Still, Hadley graciously accepted Hemingway’s offers of the royalties fromThe Sun Also Rises as child support and alimony.  At the time, she had no way of knowing whether those would amount to anything.  Of course, the rest is history.  Hadley and Hemingway divorced in January of 1927.  The Sun Also Rises was published shortly before the final formal divorce.  Hemingway married Pauline Pfeiffer in May of 1927.  When The Sun Also Rises was made into a film, profits from the film also went to Hadley.  

Hadley and Hemingway remained friendly throughout their lives.She and Hem didn’t socialize, but they were in touch regarding their son, Jack, who was known in the family as Bumby).

Hadley stayed on in France until 1934.  Paul Mowrer was a foreign journalist for the Chicago Daily News.  She’d known him since the spring of 1927.  Mowrer was no light weight himself, having received the Pulitzer Prize as a foreign correspondent in 1929.  Hadley and Paul married inLondonin 1933.  The Mowrers ultimately moved to a suburb ofChicago.

After the divorce from Hemingway, Hadley saw Ernest once again.  She and Paul Mowrer ran into him while vacationing inWyoming.  Hadley died on January 22, 1979 inLakeland,Florida.  She is the grandmother of Mariel and Margaux Hemingway, who are the children of Jack/Bumby.

Did Hem have a favorite wife? Hell, yes. Her name was Hadley.

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/mar/10/hadley-freeman-richardson-ernest-hemingway

 

Hemingway and the Movies

Hemingway’s big novels have all been made into movies, some several times. He

Saturday Night at the Movies

claims to have hated to go to see his books as cinema. Aside from enjoying the paycheck that came with the adaptations, (he was paid $ 80,000 for A Farewell to Arms in 1932, which was an enormous sum in those day and $ 150,000 for the rights to The Old Man and the Sea in 1958) he was disturbed to see the ending of A Farewell to Arms altered in the first movie version.  Death is apparently unacceptable and well, a downer, we know, but that was the true ending. David O. Selznick did better in the 1955 version but Hem was still not thrilled. The entire production of The Old Man and the Sea was a frightening tug of war among all involved.

The Snows of Kilimanjaro

Hollywood only made the kind of pictures that people wanted to see and the public had bad taste”, Hem opined.

Still, over fifteen of his short stories and novels were adapted for movies, and Hemingway became a Hollywood star leading to a major gripe he had with Hollywood: that it had no respect for his need for privacy and he became a product available for  marketing or, put less benignly, image exploitation. He did not like that one bit.

Frustration!

A few of the novels/short stories that were made into film were:

A Farewell to Arms (1932): Gary Cooper, Helen Hayes ( The ending was changed so that Catherine lived.  More recent adaptation called In Love and War with Sandra Bullock and Chris O’Donnell.

For Whom the Bell Tolls(1943): Gary Cooper, Ingrid Bergman

Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman as Robert and Maria

 

To Have and Have Not (1944): Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall

The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952): Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Susan Hayward.  Ending changed so that Gregory Peck lives.

The Sun Also Rises (1957): Ava Gardner, Tyrone Power, Errol Flynn.

The Old Man and the Sea(1958): Spencer Tracy. Anthony Quinn and Tracy had lobbied hard for the role and Tracy won out. Hemingway thought he was too portly for the role of the gaunt Santiago. This movie was two years in development and another two years in production. It was beset with troubles upon troubles despite being a one character story. Hemingway’s contempt for Hollywood was well known but he reacted badly to the first screenplay by Paul Osborn which eliminated all flashbacks and narration and added whole new scenes.  Hemingway insisted that Osborn be replaced by Peter Viertel, who had adapted the Sun Also Rises to the screen.  Hemingway was named technical advisor. The movie ultimately garnered respect and Academy Award nominations but not before Spencer Tracy almost walked off the set, started drinking during the filming, and tore up a bar with Hemingway.

Spencer Tracy as Santiago

 

Ultimately, Hemingway was cynical about Hollywood and his literature. He once said “that the best way for a writer to deal with Hollywood was to meet the producers at the California state line, throw them your book, they throw you the money. Then you jump into your car and drive like hell back the way you came.” Oliver. A Hemingway Retrospective.

All was not a loss however. He met Marlene Dietrich, Ava Gardner, Gary Cooper, Howard Hawkes, and Ingrid Bergman, who all became close friends, especially Gary Cooper.

Next post, I’m going to suggest who could play these roles in modern versions. I have ideas and am interested in yours!

I love a good movie!

 

 

 

 

Answers to Trivia Test

Real aficionados will find this so easy but casual readers . . .  not so much. Answers below!

trivia contest ready
Mary’s book

1)        Which Hemingway novel(s) were made into movies (Check all applicable)

  1. The Sun Also Rises   YES
  2. Old Man and the Sea  YES
  3. For Whom the Bell Tolls  YES
  4. A Farewell to Arms   YES

2)        Number of wives

  1. Three
  2. Four   X
  3. Five
  4. Two

Bonus point for first names  (Hadley, Pauline, Martha, Mary)

3)        What was Hemingway’s nickname for the Nobel Prize for Literature?  THE IGNOBLE PRIZE

4)        What animals populated his Cuban home?  CATS

5)        As a writer, was the Hemingway the type to:

  1. get it down right the first time with few revisions or
  2. did he revise extensively  YES

6)        Famous couples in his books

  1. Jake and ?  (BRETT)
  2. Robert Jordan and ?  (MARIA)
  3. Frederic and ?  (CATHERINE)
  4. the Colonel and ? (RENATA)

7)        What was Hemingway’s personal nickname from the time he was 27?  PAPA

8)        Which book was Hemingway’s memoir and love story to the city of Paris? A MOVEABLE FEAST

9)        In what state was Hemingway born?  ILLINOIS

10)    In what state did Hemingway die?  IDAHO

11)    Where do Hemingway’s original papers and most of his memorabilia reside? THE KENNEDY LIBRARY

12)    To whom did Hemingway say “Never mistake movement for action.” MARLENE DIETRICH

13)    Who was Hemingway’s closest Hollywood friend, starred in one of his movies, and who “made it to the barn” (their slang for ‘died’) before Hem, much to Hemingway’s grief.  GARY COOPER

14)    Who said that Hemingway needs a new woman for each new book?  F. SCOTT FITZGERALD

Marlene

So You Think You Know Hemingway? Take My Trivia Test!

ready for Hemingway Party July 21 with Trivia Test

 Real aficionados will find this so easy but casual readers . . .  not so much. Answers next week. 

Mary’s book

1)        Which Hemingway novel(s) were made into movies (Check all applicable)

  1. The Sun Also Rises
  2. Old Man and the Sea
  3. For Whom the Bell Tolls
  4. A Farewell to Arms

2)        Number of wives

  1. Three
  2. Four
  3. Five
  4. Two

Bonus point for first names

3)        What was Hemingway’s nickname for the Nobel Prize for Literature?

4)        What animals populated his Cuban home?

5)        As a writer, was the Hemingway the type to:

  1. get it down right the first time with few revisions or
  2. did he revise extensively

6)        Famous couples in his books

Famous Couple
  1. Jake and ?
  2. Robert Jordan and ?
  3. Frederic and ?
  4. the Colonel and ?

7)        What was Hemingway’s personal nickname from the time he was 27?

8)        Which book was Hemingway’s memoir and love story to the city of Paris?

9)        In what state was Hemingway born?

10)    In what state did Hemingway die?

11)    Where do Hemingway’s original papers and most of his memorabilia reside?

12)    To whom did Hemingway say “Never mistake movement for action.”

13)    Who was Hemingway’s closest Hollywood friend, starred in one of his movies, and who “made it to the barn” (their slang for ‘died’) before Hem, much to Hemingway’s grief.

14)    Who said that Hemingway needs a new woman for each new book?

Marlene

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hem and the Revised A Moveable Feast

You love both and you lie and hate it. It destroys you and every day is more dangerous and you work harder and when you come out from your work you know what is happening is impossible, but you live day to day as in a war. Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast 

Deception Hurts
A Moveable Feast

It’s a story as old as the ages.  Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl, girl loses boy to other girl. It always seemed to me that Hem loved Hadley best. It could just be that Hem and Hadley were together at the beginning, before he was THE Ernest Hemingway.  She loved him when he was just Wemedge, Tatie, and Ernie. She willingly used her modest trust to fund their life in Paris, a truly fruitful time for Hemingway in terms of creativity, useful alliances and friendships, and ambiance. While Hem had been in love before, most notably with Agnes Von Kurowsky, the nurse in Italy (more of her in some other post perhaps), Hadley and Hem seemed connected at the hip in the early years. Even when Hem was not thrilled by the announcement of a baby being on the way, he by all reports adored Jack aka Bumby and was a good father to all three of his boys. His longing for a daughter remained always unfulfilled.  But I digress. ( Feel free to guest post, by the way.)

Hem, Hadley, and Jack

 

Pauline has been portrayed as a Mata Hari sort of figure in most biographies including the originally edited version of A Moveable Feast.  Mary, Hem’s fourth wife, edited the first version and chose the title, which is a tour de force.  The first version was published in 1964 just three years after Papa’s death in July 1961 and Mary was known for protecting the Hemingway legacy fiercely—not that that’s a bad thing. It is clear that her view of the past colored the decisions as to which incidents were included in the book and which were not.  However, that being said, she also must have had some insight into how Papa experienced those events as they had a long marriage and Papa was a reconteur. I presume Mary heard a lot about the Paris years.

Gertrude Stein, Godmother to Bumby

The new version of A Moveable Feast , published by Hemingway’s regular publisher, Scribner’s, was edited by Sean Hemingway, son of Patrick Hemingway, one of  Hem’s son with Pauline. It is more generous to Pauline. The new version allegedly presents material in a truer, less edited form and relies on a typed manuscript that is said to have been the last draft that Hem worked on, with his original handwritten notations followed more truly. One famous passage about Hemingway’s pain at still loving loyal Hadley but being in love with Pauline with whom he has just had a tryst reads:

When I saw my wife again standing by the tracks as the train came in by the piled logs at the station, I wished I had died before I ever loved anyone but her. She was smiling, the sun on her lovely face tanned by the snow and sun, beautifully built, her hair red gold in the sun, grown out all winter awkwardly and beautifully, and Mr. Bumby standing with her, blond and chunky and with winter cheeks looking like a good Vorarlberg boy.

Hemingway did not include this episode in his final manuscript but rather in other notes and it was Mary who included it at the book’s end where it packs a punch.

For those interested in legal “stuff”—and I am—Hem had little in the way of money when he and Hadley divorced. It was 1926 and The Sun Also Rises was about to be published. Hem wrote the first draft in eight weeks and all of his cronies were in it except Hadley–which hurt her. After the divorce hit, Hem wrote to Hadley offering her the royalties for life as alimony and child support for Bumby. At that point, no one knew if the book would flop and earn nothing or . . .  be what it ended up being. As it turned out, it was the gift that kept giving.  Hadley, ever gracious, accepted with no recriminations. She had faith in him but it also was just not her way to push and accuse. (Hadley went on to have a long, happy marriage but no more children. Margaux and Mariel Hemingway were her grandaughters, Jack’s chidlren. She died in 1979;  Pauline passed in 1951 and that’s definitely another post.) The Paris years provided writing material to Hem forever in different iterations.

Hem dedicated The Sun Also Rises to Hadley and John Hadley Nicanor in a final gesture of respect and love, regret and loss. (This book is for Hadley and John Hadley Nicanor.) The “Nicanor” was the name of a Spanish matador Nicanor Villalta y Serris, whom Hem had taken a shine to the year of Jack’s birth.

Hem moved on to a wealthier woman in Pauline who could fund his writing although I never saw Hem as an opportunist in that way.  Money was part of Pauline’s package and mystique but he loved her and wanted her not because of that. It just came with her.

There will be more about Hem and his divorces and wives in the future, but the first seems to have been sweeter than the rest, to quote Joan Osborne.

For more on the reediting: : http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/A-New-Taste-of-Hemingways-Moveable-Feast.html#ixzz29CWEvWSF

So what’s with the Woman in the Mask on this Site?

What I could have used for header

A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not. Ernest Hemingway

Who knows what’s real?

“According to those who knew him well, Hemingway was a sensitive, often shy man whose enthusiasm for life was balanced by his ability to listen intently. . ..  That was not the Hemingway of the news stories.  The media wanted and encouraged a brawnier Hemingway, a two-fisted man whose life was fraught with dangers.  The author, a newspaper man by training, was complicit in this creation of a public persona, a Hemingway that was not without factual basis, but also not the whole man.  Critics, especially, but the public as well, Hemingway hinted in his 1933 letter to [Maxwell] Perkins, were eager ‘automatically’ to ‘label’ Hemingway’s characters as himself, which helped establish the Hemingway persona, a media-created Hemingway that would shadow–and overshadow–the man writer.”  (Michael Reynolds, “Hemingway in Our Times.”  The New York Times, July 11, 1999)

The mask, in fact, seems indicative of a great portion of Hemingway’s life and his characters.  We all think of Hemingway as the great hunter, aficionado of bull fighting, guns, and fishing, everything that is macho and, to some extent, in modern culture, these are interests bordering on offensive to many.  I think Hemingway would admit readily that his image took over who he was although the image was part of him, too and he mined it regularly.

A collection of letters recently presented to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, generously established by his widow Mary, has been cited in several articles recently for their disclosure of a much more tender side of Hemingway.  In particular, one letter recounted his grief at the death of one of his cats.  In February 1953, Hemingway wrote to an Italian friend about the death of his beloved cat, Uncle Willie.  The cat was found with its two right legs broken and Hemingway needed to shoot it to put it out of its misery.  The same day, a tourist arrived at his door.  “I still had the rifle and explained to them that they had come at a bad time and to please understand and go away,” Hemingway wrote from Cuba.  “But the rich Cadillac psycho said, ‘We have come at a most interesting time just in time to see the great Hemingway cry because he has to kill a cat.”

The fifteen new letters in and of themselves have an interesting history.  The letters were written to Gianfranca Ivancich, a long-time Italian friend of Hemingway’s and the brother of Adriana Ivancich, who is believed to be Hemingway’s late-in-life muse, particularly for Across the River and into the Trees.  The letters have never been published and claim to reveal a gentle side to the writer.  The John F. Kennedy Library purchased the letters from Ivancich whom he met in Italy in a hotel bar in Venice in 1949.

“There is this very machismo image of him which is what everyone knows” said Susan Wrynn, the Curator of the Libraries of Ernest Hemingway Collection.  “These letters bring a great deal more of depth to his personality.  It’s charming.”  Hemingway in the letter goes on to note that while he has had to shoot people, it was never anyone “I loved for eleven years nor anyone that purred with two broken legs.”  It’s a sad tale but also shows a side of Hemingway that has had little exposure.

John Kennedy was a fan.  Although he never met Hemingway, in his Profiles in Courage, Kennedy cited Hemingway’s definition of courage:  grace under pressure.  Kennedy had invited Hemingway to attend his inaugural but that was in January 1961 and Hemingway was not up to it.  He respectfully sent his apologies.  He died in July 1961.  The library’s Hemingway Collection is the largest repository in the world of his manuscripts and letters with more than 2,500 letters written by him and 7,500 letters written to him.  When Wrynn went to Italy to pick up the letters, she had a six hour layover in Heathrow inLondon describes a very nervous experience guarding of the file folders that were in her carry-on.  It’s a bit reminiscent–and I’m sure this passed through her mind–of Hadley losing Hemingway’s early manuscripts on the train.

In any event, these letters arrived safely.

All this leads me back to masks.  Jake Barnes of The Sun Also Rises had the mask of being able to woo Brett when he couldn’t; Brett had the mask of the philanderer when she yearned for some sort of stability–or did she?  Robert Jordan was a warrior in For Whom the Bell Tolls but really all he wanted was to find a little quiet spot inMadrid with Maria.  The idea of the persona behind the mask is a recurrent one in Hemingway and is played out in his personal life.  Thus, I chose it for my header.

Me in my Joan Jett “mask” last Halloween

A Rose by Any Other Name Or The Importance of Being Ernest

A Farewell to Arms

Write drunk; edit sober.    Ernest Hemingway

Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet? Would The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo be the success it was by any other name? What if had been called Ah those Crazy Swedes, or A Winter in Hell? How about The DaVinci Code? What if had been called Beware of Albinos or The Professor and the Pope? Of course not. The actual titles have a cachet that sparkles. The covers didn’t hurt but that’s another post.

F. Scott Fitzgerald wanted to call The Great Gatsby, one of the following: Under the Red White And Blue or Trimalchio’s Banquet, Among the Ash Heaps, The High-Bouncing Lover, or Incident at West Egg, among others. Finally Zelda and Max Perkins, his editor, persuaded him of the ultimate title.
Sometimes it seems that marketing is all. It’s not of course. There has to be a great book under that superb title just like there has to be a great book under a pretty title and cover.

I’m working on my second novel. My first is called Tell Me When It Hurts. It’s about healing and second chances but I was shocked to find that casual perusers thought it was non-fiction and about divorce. (I’m a divorce lawyer). Yes, that would make a good title for a divorce how-to book, but it’s a novel. The title was intended to reference the different capacities that we all have to deal with life pain and the need at some point to say “enough!”

My second novel had a working title The Things That Stick which was changed to The Rage of Plum Blossoms. Editors in the know opined that The Things that Stick does not evoke a picture. I changed it to The Rage of Plum Blossoms to evoke a picture. We’ll see.

The point is that titles are important. Titles attract. The inside needs to be good but first someone has to pick it up. So take a look at my alternate titles and tell me yours.

Here are my alternate titles for Hem’s big four:

The Sun Also Rises:

 Just Saying

My Paris Friends

Jake and the Missing Part

The Girl with the Unfortunate Matador

Me and the Guys

For Whom the Bell Tolls:

Death in Spain

Robert and the Magnificent Bridge

A Bridge too far (Oops, taken)

Too Little Too Late

Love is All There is

The Old Man and the Sea:

   The Fish is Gone

What’s for Dinner?

Me and My big Fish: Not

A Funny Thing Happened on my way back to the Dock

A Farewell to Arms:

The Girl with the Nurse’s Uniform

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Catherine and the Rain

Say it isn’t so

Life’s a bitch and then you die

Okay, my titles are silly but it just goes to show that it’s not easy to find a title that is fresh, compelling, has gravitas commensurate with the subject matter and that seizes your interest before you crack a page. I still want to rethink the title of my first book.

So tell me your favorite alternate titles? They’ve got to be better than mine.

Family Boat and guess who named her.