With Six-Toed Cat – Ernest Hemingway – Changed The World

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway

 

Nobel Prize

Ernest Hemingway won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. But his influence, his change-the-world-ability was showing long before that.

Hemingway was raised in Oak Park, Illinois. After high school he reported for a few months for The Kansas City Star, before leaving for the Italian front to enlist with the World War I ambulance drivers.

In 1918, he was seriously wounded and returned home. His wartime experiences formed the basis for his novel A Farewell to Arms.

In 1921, he married Hadley Richardson, the first of his four wives. The couple moved to Paris, where he worked as a foreign correspondent and fell under the influence of the modernist writers and artists of the 1920s “Lost Generation” expatriate community. The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway’s first novel, was published in 1926.st Hemingway won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. But his influence, his change-the-world-ability was showing long before that.

Hemingway was raised in Oak Park, Illinois. After high school he reported for a few months for The Kansas City Star, before leaving for the Italian front to enlist with the World War I ambulance drivers.

In 1918, he was seriously wounded and returned home. His wartime experiences formed the basis for his novel A Farewell to Arms.

In 1921, he married Hadley Richardson, the first of his four wives. The couple moved to Paris, where he worked as a foreign correspondent and fell under the influence of the modernist writers and artists of the 1920s “Lost Generation” expatriate community. The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway’s first novel, was published in 1926.

Legacy

Hemingway’s legacy to American literature, and therefore world literature, is his style: writers who came after him emulated it or avoided it. After his reputation was established with the publication of The Sun Also Rises, he became the spokesperson for the post-World War I generation, having established a style to follow.

His books were burned in Berlin in 1933, “as being a monument of modern decadence”. His parents disavowed his literature as “filth”. Reynolds asserts hiss legacy is that “he left stories and novels so starkly moving that some have become part of our cultural heritage”.

In a 2004 speech at the John F. Kennedy Library, Russell Banks declared that he, like many male writers of his generation, was influenced by Hemingway’s writing philosophy, style, and public image.

Timo Müller argues that Hemingway “has the highest recognition value of all writers worldwide”. On the other hand, in 2012, novelist John Irving rejected most of Hemingway’s work “except for a few short stories”, saying that the “write-what-you-know dictum has no place in imaginative literature”.

Hemingway in Ambulance Drivers Uniform

Hemingway in
Ambulance Drivers
Uniform

Irving also objected to the “offensive tough-guy posturing – all those stiff-upper-lip, don’t-say-much men” and contrasted Hemingway’s approach to that of Herman Melville, citing the latter’s advice: “Woe to him who seeks to please rather than appall.”

Restaurants and Bars and Furniture

His influence is evident with the many restaurants named “Hemingway”; and the number of bars called “Harry’s” (a nod to the bar in Across the River and Into the Trees). A line of Hemingway furniture, promoted by Hemingway’s son Jack (Bumby), has pieces such as the “Kilimanjaro” bedside table, and a “Catherine” slip-covered sofa. Montblanc offers a Hemingway fountain pen, and a line of Hemingway safari clothes has been created.

Foundations, Museums and Wrestling

In 1965 Mary Hemingway (another wife) established the Hemingway Foundation and in the 1970s she donated her husband’s papers to the John F. Kennedy Library. In 1980 a group of Hemingway scholars gathered to assess the donated papers, subsequently forming the Hemingway Society, “committed to supporting and fostering Hemingway scholarship”.

Ray Bradbury wrote The Kilimanjaro Device, in which Hemingway is transported to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. The 1993 film Wrestling Ernest Hemingway, about the friendship of two retired men in a seaside town in Florida, is named after a story one of the characters tells about having wrestled Hemingway in the 1930s.

Works

The Torrents of Spring (1926)
The Sun Also Rises (1926)
A Farewell to Arms (1929)
To Have and Have Not (1937)
For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940)
Across the River and into the Trees (1950)
The Old Man and the Sea (1952)
Islands in the Stream (1970, posthumous)
The Garden of Eden (1986, posthumous)
True at First Light (1999, posthumous)

“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.”
A Farewell to Arms

Suicide

July 2, 1961, Hemingway “quite deliberately” shot himself with his favorite shotgun. He unlocked the basement storeroom where his guns were kept, went upstairs to the front entrance foyer of the Hemingway’s Ketchum home, and “pushed two shells into the twelve-gauge Boss shotgun …put the

Ernest and Pauline

Ernest and Pauline

end of the barrel into his mouth, pulled the trigger and blew out his brains”.

His wife Mary called the Sun Valley Hospital, and Dr. Scott Earle arrived at the house within “fifteen minutes”. Despite his finding that Hemingway “had died of a self-inflicted wound to the head”, the story told to the press was that the death had been “accidental”.

It seems to me that Ernest Hemingway was so despondent over his health and other life circumstances, that he completed suicide to relieve the “never-ending” pain. We will never know if this is an accurate interpretation of the situation.

His Writings and Personality Changed the World

You do not need to write the consummate novel. You do not need to get out of this world through suicide.

Hemingway and Col. Lanham

Hemingway and
Col. Lanham

(Please don’t carry through with it even if you have thoughts of it. Seek help.) But you do have an obligation, I believe, to make this a better place.

Ernest Hemingway did by his words and deeds. Perhaps more than in any other occupation you can see that a writer, by himself or herself, can change the world. Do something as you, one person, can change the world too.

Source: Wikipedia.org (Please donate to this fine resource.)

Comments and questions are welcomed. Please use the “Reply” section below. Or you can reach me at drbob4u@gmail.com

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