Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Hem and Scott

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Rue Gertrude Stein, Paris
Rue Gertrude Stein, Paris

I just finished a book about the life of Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald called “Z.”  It was interesting.  Zelda’s hatred for Hemingway came across loud and clear.  I know that it’s historically true.  However, there’s a claim that Hemingway came on to her, which didn’t strike me as true based on all that I’ve read and Hem’s feelings toward/against her. And there’s another portion in which she wonders if her husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Hemingway were closet homosexuals who had an attraction to each other.  I don’t know that much about F. Scott Fitzgerald, but there’s not anything in the volumes that I’ve read about Hemingway and his past that would even slightly suggest that. I’ve read all of the hypotheses that Hemingway went ultra-macho to compensate for homosexual feelings. I don’t see that but everyone can have an opinion. Those comments aside, I found that I had sympathy for Zelda’s plight and her frustration in her life with F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Zelda and Scott
Zelda and Scott

I also couldn’t help comparing Fitzgerald, of course, to Hemingway.  When Hemingway met Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald was the star, having come off of  a great success with The Beautiful and Damned. His short stories were successfully being sold and some were going to Hollywood.  F. Scott Fitzgerald was generous with his time and advice to Hemingway and they remained really close friends for a long time before something of quiet falling out occurred, probably due to normal as opposed to cut-throat literary rivalry and partly due to Hemingway’s disgust with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s drinking and Zelda.  Whatever else you can say about Hemingway and his later serious problems with the bottle, for much of his career, he was disciplined when it came to writing.  He often stopped drinking for some significant periods of time while writing and he didn’t drink during the day while he was getting his words down on paper.  Fitzgerald began to drink daily from morning on and for many years, didn’t even try to write. Once Hemingway began to abuse alcohol, it was not good. 

Hem and Fitzgerald shared the editor Max Perkins at Scribners. After their falling out, they used Max to find out about each other. There was attachment between them. Hemingway was so competitive that he had trouble being friends with writing rivals. he was both confidant and insecure. 

Heim in Midnight in Paris
Hem in Midnight in Paris

I also gathered from “Z” that the ragefulness between Zelda and Fitzgerald went on for years and they both treated each other badly.  It was a sort of recreational warfare.  That behavior certainly didn’t occur between Hemingway and Hadley.  I think there was some bitterness in his fighting with Pauline (second wife) in the end, but not the low blows Zelda and Scott hurled.  Hemingway generally felt guilty at the end of a relationship and didn’t rant and rave at his soon to be ex-wife.

The Sun Also Rises
The Sun Also Rises

His relationship with Martha (third wife) was an exception because it did become volatile.  Certainly there was anger and insults with Mary (fourth wife) and they might have divorced had Hem lived longer.  With the exception of Martha, Hem’s other three wives didn’t try to compete with him and perhaps that was what he was looking for in a woman. All gave up a great deal of independence to be with him. He tended to prefer stable, smart, but non-challenging women–and Martha was not any part of the latter. Further, he was married four times, whereas Fitzgerald and Zelda were only married once, although affairs did occur in the marriage.

Hemingway and Gellhorn
Hemingway and Gellhorn

I liked the book and I felt for Zelda, which I didn’t expect.  It was interesting to read another perspective on the jazz age, and the whole lost generation crowd in Paris, including the Murphys, Gertrude Stein, John Dos Passos, Ford Madox Ford, Picasso.

You might try it.  It’s an easy read and Hemingway features prominently.

Paris 1927
Paris 1927


Fitz and Hem:

Presentations coming up through The Hemingway Society

For those who are members, the Hemingway Society has some wonderful Webinars coming up. Some are academic; some very timely; some just plain interesting and illuminating. Hope all are having a good summer. Best, Christine

A Publication of the Hemingway Society | July 13, 2021THE HEMINGWAY SOCIETY IS PLEASED TO BEGIN OUR2021 WEBINAR SERIESDear Hemingway Friends, The Hemingway Society’s webinar series–A Dangerous Summer–begins this week with our discussion of The Sun Also Rises on Friday and a joint session with the Fitzgerald Society on the Academic Publishing Marketplace on Wednesday!Dig deep into Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises.  Whether you are preparing to teach the novel or just want to revisit it with fellow aficionados, this session will review the publication history, reception, and major critical approaches that have shaped the way we understand this important work. The discussion is moderated by Juliet Conway and features Susan Farrell, Jeffrey Herlihy-Mera, and KatieWarczak. This webinar is Friday, July 16 at 1pm EDT.Register for The Sun Also Rises! 
And before the first Dangerous Summer session, join us for a joint webinar with the Fitzgerald Society on the Academic Publishing Marketplace.  Fitzgerald Review managing editor Kirk Curnutt and Hemingway Review editor Suzanne del Gizzo as they explore the dos and don’ts of writing, submitting, and revising. We’ll be joined by special guests, including Lee Zimmerman, editor of Twentieth-Century Literature; Lynda Zwinger of Arizona Quarterly; Aurora Bell, acquisitions editor at the University of South Carolina Press; and James W. Long, acquisitions editor at Louisiana State University Press.The webinar is Wednesday, July 14, 2021, at 1 pm EDT. For registration, you can click to: REGISTER HERE 

And don’t forget to register for our other Dangerous Summer events!
July 23rd @ 1 pm – Hemingway’s Short StoriesModerated by Ellen Andrews KnodtPanelists: John Beall, Susan Beegel, Donald Daiker, and Ross TangedalJoin us as a small group of scholars candidly discuss some of Hemingway’s short stories. Whether you are preparing to teach Hemingway stories or just want to hear what fellow aficionados have to say about them, this discussion will focus on how we and our students read the short stories now, posing questions such as what elements of the stories interest students and what stories or aspects of Hemingway stories are most problematic now?  Register for The Short Stories!
 July 30th @ 1 pm – Hemingway and Race Moderated by Marc DudleyPanelists:  Gary Holcomb, Ian Marshall, Quentin Miller, and Peggy Wright-Cleveland How might the Black Lives Matter movement affect the way we read, teach, and write about Hemingway? Will it? If so, in what ways? Hemingway and Race is a large and complicated topic. Hemingway wrote about Native peoples and had a long relationship with the Latin world. This panel will focus primarily on Hemingway’s interactions with black people, his portrayals of black characters, and his awareness of and relationship to social movements related to race. Register for Hemingway and Race!
 August 6th @ 1 pm – Hemingway and SexModerated by Suzanne del GizzoPanelists: Carl Eby, Debra Moddelmog, Lisa TylerHow does the #MeToo movement affect the way we read, teach, and write about Hemingway? Gender and sexuality have been defining topics in Hemingway scholarship for nearly forty years now, but #MeToo adds new levels of complexity to that already rich discussion, inviting us to think about the dynamics of sex, seduction, and sexual violence in Hemingway’s work. Register for Hemingway and Sex!
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The Last Interview (Hemingway, Nora Ephron, and Philip K. Dick). This is not to be missed. Sorry you have to copy link into your browser but you will be rewarded. Listening to Maureen Corrigan is rewarding as well. Best, Christine

These are interesting relatively short vignettes/interviews in which the writers noted talk about life issues and writing. The Hemingway interviews print out to about 112 pages. The below link is an NPR link about the interviews and how alike the three writers featured were in their approaches to writing.

nora ephron

Here is a quote from the article:  “Despite their differences, in their respective interviews, Hemingway, Dick and Ephron are in harmonious agreement about the writing life: namely that it’s composed of one part inspiration and daily buckets of perspiration. Sure, you don’t expect even the most narcissistic artist to go on and on about his or her own genius in an interview, but the degree to which Hemingway, Dick and Ephron — separated by time period and individual temperament — keep hammering home the same message about writing is striking.”

I just finished reading the Hemingway interviews. All were interesting and I particularly like the one by George Plimpton. When Plimpton asked why Hemingway rewrote the end of A Farewell to Arms 39 times, Hemingway said, “To get the words right.” One point that came through repeatedly was how shy Hemingway was when sober and how unwilling he was to talk about his writing “process” or theory.  He felt that to try to analyze his “style” or “technique” might destroy it and he assiduously did not want to talk about those issues.  In fact, he didn’t really want to be interviewed at all but was polite. At times he rambled but these interviews were during periods when Hemingway was suffering bouts of poor health.  Hem is described as seeming old and lonely.

I think you will enjoy them.  Two were done in the late ’50s.  One was done in 1960, which is a year before his death.  Best,  Christine


Hemingway: Always Relevant and Always Being Re-evaluated.

(Marcos Paulo Prado/Unsplash)HEALTH

How These Three Types of Writing Can Improve Self-Awareness And Mental Health


Ernest Hemingway famously said that writers should “write hard and clear about what hurts”. Although Hemingway may not have known it at the time, research has now shown that writing about “what hurts” can help improve our mental health.

having a meal with Ingrid Bergman

There are more than 200 studies that show the positive effect of writing on mental health. But while the psychological benefits are consistent for many people, researchers don’t completely agree on why or how writing helps.

One theory suggests that bottling up emotions can lead to psychological distress. It stands to reason, then, that writing might increase mental health because it offers a safe, confidential, and free way to disclose emotions that were previously bottled up.

However, recent studies have begun to show how an increase in self-awareness, rather than simply disclosing emotions, could be the key to these improvements in mental health.


In essence, self-awareness is being able to turn your attention inward towards the self. By turning our attention inward, we can become more aware of our traits, behavior, feelings, beliefs, values, and motivations.

Research suggests that becoming more self-aware can be beneficial in a variety of ways. It can increase our confidence and encourage us to be more accepting of others. It can lead to higher job satisfaction and push us to become more effective leaders. It can also help us to exercise more self-control and make better decisions aligned with our long-term goals.

PBS Event tomorrow: Please see below for way to view. Must register. Best, Christine

Wednesday, June 16, 2021Penn State News

Behrend faculty to participate in PBS Hemingway event (Penn State)

Ernest Hemingway holding a cat.

Two Penn State Behrend faculty members will be featured in an online screening and panel discussion about “Hemingway,” the new PBS film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, on June 17.IMAGE: PBSJune 15, 2021

ERIE, Pa. — Two Penn State Behrend faculty members will be featured in an online screening and panel discussion about “Hemingway,” the new PBS film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, on June 17. They will explore Ernest Hemingway’s literary influence, which gave shape to the “Lost Generation,” and the larger-than-life public persona that trapped the writer in a caricature of empty-bottle masculinity.

The program will be livestreamed by WQLN Media, beginning at 7 p.m. To register, visit wqln.org/hemingway.

“Hemingway,” a three-part documentary, is both a celebration of the author’s writing, which earned Hemingway the Nobel Prize, and a reassessment of his turbulent public life, which ended in suicide in 1961.

“Hemingway is still seen as having this defining gendered voice,” said Janet Neigh, associate professor of English and chair of the English program at Behrend. She will participate in the panel discussion, as will Tom Noyes, a professor of creative writing and English and chair of the creative writing program.

“The masculinity in Hemingway’s writing and his life became his brand,” Neigh said, “but his influence in the modernist movement, when authors were reinventing the possibilities of literature, also is significant. Hemingway, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot and others were breaking from the literary traditions of the 19th century, but they also were trying to process and represent what they saw as a very real crisis of meaning.”

For Hemingway, that centered on his experience in Italy during World War I, when he drove an ambulance for the American Red Cross. He was injured by a mortar blast, and again by machine-gun fire. His six-month convalescence in a Milan hospital inspired his 1929 novel, “A Farewell to Arms.”

“The trauma of World War I in many ways left people speechless,” Neigh said. “The language of the time lost much of its meaning. Hemingway responded to that by paring down his language. He streamlined it, and he developed a voice with more energy and immediacy than we had seen in the previous tradition, which was built on flowing, almost endless, descriptive sentences.”

Hemingway structured his writing like an iceberg: He believed the deeper meaning of a story should be implicit and kept just out of view. He relied on dialogue to drive the narrative forward, particularly in his short stories, trusting the reader to intuit the underlining themes.

“He perfected that economic style — spare, declarative sentences that suggested something heftier underneath,” Noyes said.

Hemingway’s lean, deceptively simple voice created a new genre, which led to Raymond Chandler, James Salter and Cormac McCarthy. That tradition continues: The June 17 panel discussion will include the winners of a WQLN-sponsored Hemingway writing contest. Noyes judged the fiction entries. Neigh judged the poems.

Reading the entries, Noyes found himself drawn again to Hemingway’s short stories. His favorites are collected in “In Our Time,” which was published a year before “The Sun Also Rises.” Eight of the stories feature the character Nick Adams as he faces various rites of passage.

“Hemingway was still honing his style,” Noyes said. “He wasn’t ‘Hemingway’ yet. There’s fishing and boxing and horse racing, but there’s also insight into how men’s lives are diminished if they reject femininity and are unable or unwilling to negotiate the gender divide.”

The stories that followed tested men on the battlefront, at the bullfights and far out on the ocean, alone, as they fought to bring in a fish as big as the boat. Those narratives distilled Hemingway’s vision of manhood. Off the page, however, they became a trap, typecasting Hemingway as a hard-drinking, lion-shooting, wife-betraying, macho Papa.

“Because of the themes in his writing, readers supposed they knew the kind of person Hemingway was,” Noyes said. “He saw opportunity in that, and he decided to wear it as a costume. Over time, it became a brand, and eventually, it became the man he was.”

Favorite Lines: What are yours? It never gets old or irrelevant and there are so many. Here just a few.

1.)      There’s no one thing that’s true, it’s all true.  For Whom the Bell Tolls.

For whom the bell tolls in Polish
For whom the bell tolls in Polish

2.)      If we win here, we will win everywhere.  The world is a fine place and worth the fighting for and I hate very much to leave it.  For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Maria and Robert in For whom the Bell Tolls
Maria and Robert in For whom the Bell Tolls


3.)      But did thee feel the earth move?  For Whom the Bell Tolls.

4.)      Do know how an ugly woman feels?  Do you know what it is to be ugly all your life and inside to feel that you are beautiful?  Pilar in For Whom the Bell Tolls.

5.)      He was violating the second rule of the two rules for getting on well with people that speak Spanish; give the men tobacco and leave the women alone.  For Whom the Bell Tolls

6.)      Thou wilt go, rabbit.  But I go with thee.  As long as there is one of us, there is both of us.  For Whom the Bell Tolls.

7.)      Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.  A Moveable Feast.

8)      You expected to be sad in the fall.  Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold wintery light.  A Moveable Feast.

Love is the answer
Love is the answer


Hem gone digital and audio. This is a reprint of a post I wrote a few years ago but still relevant and good to know. Best, Christine


MP3 CD; 15 Discs. Simon & Schuster Audio. $399.99.

I just ordered my set.  The New York Times review of the audible feast by Paul Hendrickson of the set was very positive.  Various actors, many well known, such as Stacy Keach, William Hurt, and Donald Sutherland, are reading all of Hem’s works.  Stacy Keach reads “Big Two-Hearted River.” As Mr. Hendrickson writes:

Take that wavery masterpiece, “Big Two-Hearted River,” ostensibly just a long “fish story,” which a barely known 25-year-old sat down and wrote in two parts at a marble table at the Closerie des Lilas in Paris in August 1924 — almost as if he were practicing literary modernism without ever having heard of the term. As read here, the story is wonderful. Keach’s voice takes on a spooky darkness that is somehow simultaneously light and hopeful. The tale is about a damaged young man named Nick, home from the war, alone on a camping trip in the woods of northern Michigan, trying to get his mind back by repeating loved, learned rituals of boyhood: unpacking his tent, smoothing the sandy ground he would sleep on, using an ax to “slit off” the “bright” pine slabs for the tent pegs, hanging the cheesecloth to keep out the mosquitoes, bubbling the beans and spaghetti in the little pan atop the wire grill over his fire. And then, the next morning, after the sun is up, heading for the river with his fly rod and captured hoppers. The word “war” never appears.

But now with Keach, his voice sometimes in a whisper, I seemed to be hearing that word, or the implications of that word, in almost every line. “It could not all be burned,” the author wrote. “He felt all the old feeling.” And, yes, “It was all back of him.” And, yes, “The river was there.” Such an elegant, elemental Hemingway sentence.

The review itself by Henrickson is quite lovely and I enjoyed it immensely.  It made me want to order my set immediately which I did.  He also notes that some of the readers picked up on Hem’s own intonation when self-consciously called upon to read his own works or give a speech.  A few posts back, I included a link to his acceptance speech of the Nobel Prize.  Listen to that and to his enunciation.  Hendrickson describes it well.




5 Stars – Congratulations on your 5-star review

Reviewed By Maria Beltran for Readers’ Favorite

Hemingway’s Daughter by Christine Whitehead is a work of fiction inspired by the concept that multi-awarded American author Ernest Hemingway had a daughter. Meet Finn Hemingway, only daughter of the maverick American writer from his first wife, Elizabeth Hadley Richardson. Divided into five chapters named after Hemingway’s books, it offers an intimate look at his life and time through the eyes of Finn Hemingway.

Hemingway’s Daughter is a remarkable work of fiction that is so real one may actually start to believe that Ernest Hemingway really had a daughter. All the characters in the novel, except Finn Hemingway, are real people. But what is most amazing is how this book unravels the man behind the legend because, as Ernest Hemingway interacts with his daughter Finn, you will discover a man who is mostly funny, surprisingly modest, and undeniably a loving father. It is refreshing to imagine that Ernest Hemingway was not only an exceptional writer, but was also very human after all.


5 Stars – Congratulations on your 5-star review

Reviewed By Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers’ Favorite

Sometimes having famous parents can be more of a curse than a blessing. Of course, you might have everything you dreamed of owning: the best horse, the best schools, and the opportunity of pursuing the best career choice available. But sometimes things don’t go as planned. Finn Hemingway was the daughter of the famous American author, Ernest Hemingway, his only daughter (fictionally of course as Hemingway never had a daughter).

Christine M. Whitehead’s novel, Hemingway’s Daughter, is an enchanting story of a young girl growing up in a difficult era: the Depression years and World War II. Creating a character that never existed and plotting her next to a famous historical figure like Ernest Hemingway presents an almost Great Gatsby aura. Each chapter is cleverly introduced with a quote from one of Hemingway’s great works, a powerful foreshadowing of what the chapter will pursue. The characters are well developed and the story is believable as readers will start researching on their own to see if Hemingway actually did have a daughter. The structure of the plot follows the protagonist’s three dreams, the most important dream to become “a female Clarence Darrow, righting wrongs, helping people.” The reader will instantly feel compassion for the protagonist as she struggles to achieve her dreams and live her life free of the Hemingway aura. A brilliantly poignant story.     


5 Stars – Congratulations on your 5-star review

Reviewed By Foluso Falaye for Readers’ Favorite

An unrivaled mix of fiction and reality! I absolutely loved Hemingway’s Daughter and the way major societal issues are woven into the story: relationship issues, substance abuse, sexism, war, statutory rape, financial problems, stardom, loss, mental disorder, and more. You know when you read a story and start to remember your similar experiences? I felt that way several times while reading this book. The characters felt so real that it’s hard to believe they are fictional. Though the story progresses at a slow pace, it is deeply engrossing; I was completely absorbed in the book, its characters, and the historical period it is set in. Christine M. Whitehead’s endearing and charming story about a daughter’s love for her father and her bittersweet experience with her career and love life is recommended for special, cozy moments. 


Review Rating:

5 Stars – Congratulations on your 5-star reviEW

Reviewed By Shrabastee Chakraborty for Readers’ Favorite

Despite having three sons, Ernest Hemingway, one of the greatest novelists ever, always craved a daughter. What if Hemingway had had a daughter? What if that daughter was a strong-willed woman who strived to make her mark in the law business, a male-dominated profession at that time?. The novel sheds light on the illustrious character of Hemingway as well, redefining his rigorous writing process and his books.

Hemingway’s Daughter is a beautiful book, merging a memoir and a coming-of-age story. While the central character never existed in reality, you couldn’t have guessed it from the book. Christine M. Whitehead seamlessly incorporated Finley into Hemingway’s life while strictly maintaining the timeline of the actual events. She described the unique chemistry between them – the daughter vying for her father’s undivided attention yet learning to accept his ultimate devotion to his works. Finley Hemingway did not want to be overshadowed and did not want to bask in the reflected glory, either. She fought to pave a path for herself in a field that did not accept women. Despite having a skewed and unflattering view of love, gleaned from her father’s four marriages, she learned to define it on her own terms. This is a gem of a book. I would recommend this heartwarming read to anyone who wishes to read realistic fiction.


5 Stars – Congratulations on your 5-star review

Reviewed By Jose Cornelio for Readers’ Favorite

This is a well-written and compelling novel with a fascinating premise that explores the question: What if Hemingway had a daughter? The author does an impeccable job in writing about the father-daughter relationship and how the way fathers treat their daughters reflects in the way daughters see and appreciate men. Finn Hemmingway is a compelling, sophisticated, and elaborately developed character who reflects the psychological conundrum of many young women born into famous families. Her emotions are written with ingenuity, especially what she unwittingly falls in love with the boyfriend of the one person in school that torments her and when her dreams of becoming a litigator are frustrated at every turn.

The writing in Hemingway’s Daughter is gorgeous and the point of view, skillfully written in the first-person narrative voice, is absorbing. Christine M. Whitehead has the uncanny gift of unveiling the complex inner worlds of the characters and prompting readers to ask important questions about life, love, parenting, and womanhood. The novel is deftly written, balanced, and entertaining in an intriguing sort of way.


Reviewed By Edith Wairimu for Readers’ Favorite 5 Stars

Hemingway’s Daughter by Christine M. Whitehead is a creative and fascinating historical fiction novel that imagines the life of a daughter born to Hadley and Ernest Hemingway. Born in 1925, Finley “Finn” Hemingway grows up sharing her father with the world. As each of his marriages disintegrates and his popularity grows, Finn questions his commitment toward her and her brothers.

Christine M. Whitehead develops a believable and interesting main character in Hemingway’s Daughter. Finn is perceptive, sometimes even courageous enough to confront her father. The novel is also well-researched and Finn’s life moves parallel to her father’s. The entwining of real events and fictional ones also adds realism to the novel. Masterly storytelling and compelling characters make Hemingway’s Daughter by Christine M. Whitehead a standout young adult novel.