What’s this Blog about? For those just joining in.

the Sun Also Rises
the Sun Also Rises
Hem writing
Hem writing

This is a place to talk Hemingway and any topics related to him and his life.  That gives us a lot of material: writing, Paris, divorce, relationships, Key West, Cuba, Idaho, fishing, boats, bulls, boxing, cats, horses, dogs, the Midwest, movies, other writers.  Anything else?  Oh right, drinking, awards, depression, friends, cruelty, generosity.  Heard enough? Well, there’s still politics, women, religion, Fidel Castro, Gary Cooper, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Africa. Done yet?  Uh, no. we’ve still got mothers, hair, sexual ambiguity, sons, daughters, actresses, sex, suicide, death, clothes, honor, hygiene, the IRS, psychiatrists.

And what would Papa say about a blog?  Hmm, well, if I wanted to pull a page from Woody Allen, I’d say that he’d say: No subject is terrible if the story is true, if the prose is clean and honest, and if it affirms courage and grace under pressure. He was a journalist first and foremost and he kept up with the times so I think he’d be amused.

So what qualifies me to write this blog?  Not too much that’s going to impress you. All I can say is that I love him, just as he was, flawed and fabulous, mean-spirited bully and most gracious of men, driven wordsmith and drunken raconteur, bigot and egalitarian, all of it.  I’m no scholar. I’ll leave that to Timeless Hemingway, www.timelesshemingway.com, which does a superb job and is an unparalleled resource. However, I’ve read them all many times: the books, the short stories, the analyses, the biographies, the women, even the Hemingway cookbook which I actually cook from (the trout is delicious). I’m just an obsessed fan, uncluttered by the need to be neutral.  I hope to learn from you too.The old man and the sea

Finally, I find him fascinating, complex, and yes, manly but I think he actually “got” quite a bit about women contrary to popular myth. That’s a topic for another day. Also a topic for another day is why the mask above on the oh so lovely woman. Also a topic for another day is what do we call him in this blog?  Ernest, Ernesto, Wemedge, Nesto, Ernie, Oinbones,Papa, Tatie, Hem, Hemingstein, Hems, or just plain Hemingway? We’ll see. Perhaps we’ll put it to a vote. I have a Hemingway party on his birthday every year (July 21) and I’ll take a poll there too and let you know the results.

Of course, none of my friends “get” it and think Hemingway was that guy who wrote in short sentences and wanted to fight with everyone and run with the bulls.  They are partially right and mostly wrong.  But hey, you can’t throw away old friends just because they don’t really read or have an informed opinion about Hemingway–or can you?

These posts will be short and fun (I hope) and will be up every Friday by midnight. I hope it’s enjoyable for Hemingway people as well as for casual observers. I’ve looked at the other blogs about Hemingway. Most are terrific but there still is room for a lighter take and for the unending discussion about why we continue to read him fifty years after his death. And if you have to ask . . .

Check me out when you have a chance. It’s going to be one hell of a ride.

 

rists.

HEMINGWAY AND MY WRITER’S CONFERENCE

Younger Hem
Younger Hem

Midnight in Paris 2

I went to my writer’s pitch conference with my new Hemingway-themed book and honestly, the reception was good.  As is to be expected, suggestions were made but the feedback was positive.  Two editors and an agent asked to see the first 50 pages.  I’m in the process of doing final edits.  My instincts were to send immediately before they forgot me.  However, we were warned not to rush right out to send what we have before we know it’s as perfect as we can make it.

Dealing with the business end of writing led me to think more about whether the Hemingway market was saturated. The Paris Wife came out in November 2012. Midnight In Paris, which had a prominent Hemingway character, came out in 2011. Mrs. Hemingway just came out in 2014.  A movie about Hemingway and the captain of his boat The Pilar is due to come out next year.  It’s called Hemingway and Fuentes and as I recall Andy Garcia is creating and funding the movie in part.  A movie about Maxwell Perkins, (called Genius) Hemingway’s editor at Scriber’s, and his tempestuous relationship with Tom Wolfe (Michael Fassbender) is in the works with Colin Firth as Maxwell Perkins (this is to be released 2015).  Although Hemingway and Fitzgerald, prominent Maxwell Perkins’ clients, are not the main focus, I’m sure that they will be mentioned honorably—or dishonorably—but they will be mentioned.

I did some thinking about whether or not my book was just

Hem in Tweed
Hem in Tweed

Gellhorn and Hemingwayanother add-on to a market that was sick of hearing about Hemingway.  It’s funny how you need to catch the wave.  If no one is talking about Hemingway, then the concern is that no one is interested.  If everyone is talking about him, the concern is that there is too much about it.  You have to just hit that sweet spot between interest and not saturation.

I had determined to write this book whether or not the market was saturated because I was fascinated by the concept and began writing it, and I finished.  However, I have concluded albeit self-servingly, that the market is far from saturated particularly if you have a fresh angle.  Hemingway as a personality—perhaps even more than as an author—intrigues.  Whether it’s his drinking, his war exploits or inflated war exploits, his books, his women, his survival of two back-to-back plane crashes, his drunken rants, his dignity, his generosity, his self-destructive behavior—all of it resonates, at least in part, for everyone.

So I’ll continue working on my book.  I’ll post a first chapter on my personal website in the next several months: www.christinewhitehead.com.  I will let all readers on this site know when I’ve done that. I’ve leapfrogged this book (The Hemingway book) over my second book because I feel it has more potential.  But who knows?  So, stay posted and I’ll let you know what happens with my Hemingway book as it journeys toward publication.Frustration

Hope you are all having a wonderful fall.  Here in New England it’s been cool—the summer was cool too—but very beautiful.  This October in New England is almost heaven.

Don't even ask
Don’t even ask

 

Love,

Christine

NEW BIOPIC

Apparently a new movie is being made about Hem and Gregory Fuentes, who is the model in part of the fisherman in the Old Man and the Sea.

Anthony Hopkins was to play Hem.  Jon Voight has replaced him.  Should be interesting.

Filming starts this summer in the Dominican Republic

 

http://www.hollywood.com/news/brief/56758079/sir-anthony-hopkins-exits-andy-garcia-s-ernest-hemingway-movie

 

Chicago: Home of Hemingway (sort of)

Younger Hem
Younger Hem
The real deal
The real deal

The Chicago Historical  Museum is having a competition for the theme of its next exhibits.  One of the four finalists is Chicago area authors.  Others are Chicago’s neighborhoods, prohibition, and architecture. All are worthy topics but the author theme includes Hemingway who grew up in a suburb of Chicago, Oak Park.

 

 

Fun article. http://chicagoist.com/2013/12/10/chicago_history_museum_crowdsourced.php

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

The Girls
The Girls

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/27/evan-robertson_n_4325295.html?utm_hp_ref=arts

Aside from being thankful for Hemingway, I wish all a great holiday. The above link is really clever: Literary posters with quotes. Hemingway’s is: WRITE DRUNK. EDIT SOBER.  (He actually did not write when drunk, or at least not often.)

Happy Holiday season. Christine and friends

Lovely bride
Lovely bride
Pony on Aran Island
Pony on Aran Island
Reading Hemingway makes me happy
Reading Hemingway makes me thankful

 

“All is Lost” the new Robert Redford movie (is this the old man and the sea?)

 

Sometimes it feels like you can’t move an inch without hitting something very Hemingway related.  From the recent book about Hadley (The Parisian Wife) to Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald’s life story (Z) to a show in the Berkshire’s about Hemingway and Fitzgerald and their last encounter, and Woody Allen’s delightful Midnight in Paris, it seems that Hemingway remains relevant and his ripples are felt regularly, especially in the arts.

Zelda and Scott
Zelda and Scott

The latest entry to this group is the new Robert Redford film, All is Lost.  Called by several critics “Robert Redford’s greatest performance,” he has two words of dialogue in the whole film.  While stranded on his boat, which has been disabled in the middle of the Indian Ocean, he  has a struggle with a huge marlin, not unlike Hemingway’s Santiago, and ultimately is hoping just to survive.  While the modern character moans “God,” it’s followed by the universally understaood, albeit uncouth, word of despair, “f***!”

The Old Man and the Sea
The Old Man and the Sea

Instead, Hemingway’s dialogue from Santiago is: “I am not religious” he says aloud, alone in his skiff holding the line, hands bleeding, muscles aching, as he battles the great fish.  “But I will say ten Our Fathers and Ten Hail Marys that I should catch this fish.  And I promise to make a pilgrimage to the Virgin of Cobre if I catch him.”

As I wrote somewhere earlier in this blog, many Hemingway readers are not fans of fishing, bull fighting, war, or hunting.  In fact, many of us don’t like those topics at all.  However, we are fans of man’s humanity, of man’s and women’s will to live, of surviving despite defeat with head jerked high, and of  love that is worth all sacrifice.  Those were Hemingway’s themes and topics.  It’s what keeps many of us coming back to him.

Catherine and Frederic
Catherine and Frederic

In a three-page short story, he can move a reader to tears. In The Snows of Kilimanjaro, a long short story, we all understood Harry’s life and what had happened and how he had lost himself.  Harry, built loosely on Hemingway himself, had always feared death and now that’s he ‘s faced with it, he steps back and almost analyzes it from the outside.  He’s frankly too exhausted and weak with fever to fight it and he accepts it as it’s due, as it lurks outside of his tent, a hideous hyena with bad breath, waiting.  What he regrets is that he won’t have time to write the other stories that are in his head and the loss of so many of the things that he loved doing, the loss of love, the hurt to those that were loyal to him.  Who can’t relate to that on each of our own personal levels?

Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro

That’s why Hemingway never gets old and we overlook some of the things that don’t resonate with us because most of it does. A bullfight is a life struggle; hunting can be a battle to survive; and love can be the greatest loss and triumph of your life.

 

Maria and Robert in For whom the Bell Tolls
Maria and Robert in For whom the Bell Tolls
Reading Hemingway makes me happy
Reading Hemingway makes me happy
Happiness
Happiness
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