As time passes we already get to see glimpses, though, of his realistic views of the world, the state of other countries, his hatred for Mussolini (if only he really had been a bluff as Hemingway stated) and of course his fascination with bull-fighting. The weird part with the bull-fighting is that he admits its a tragedy, the bull always dies of course and sometimes even the matador but he still finds it incredibly exciting and loves to watch. Part 2: Here we see Hemingways long-standing love for Cuba and of course for fishing and hunting. We also see where he gets the inspiration for The Old Man and the Sea , I had always thought this was something Hemingway did but it turns out it was a story about a fisherman off Cuba who struggled with a huge fish for days, only to have it eaten away by sharks. He actually gives a long list of books to read and perhaps his best advice (which Ill paraphrase). Part 3: Hemingway, despite his flaws like animal cruelty, a huge amount of hunting, womanizing, alcoholism, racist tendencies and by some accounts misogyny, was a true patriot, brave, heroic and a great reporter will do go in the most dangerous places to get the truth. His assessment of Japan-China relations is very interesting and it gives details to the war I didnt know, that Russia was making money by funding both the Axis and the Allies. Hemingway was in WWII as a reporter but he stayed so long that the men started to think of him as an officer. This review has gotten long but as always it shows my love of Hemingway and I was on vacation when I wrote this with lots of time to spare. They way I read it, he was defending himself in a time of war and would not have been charged with anything, still though he acted like a solider and really became one that day, when he was a reporter. Part 5: With the war over we see Hemingway return to what he loves, exploring the world, hunting, fishing and writing. The book ends with another incredible (and sad) story. It shows us that Hemingway was an intensely private man and didnt like all the fame he would get in public places. He loved those friends and associates close to him and he makes an incredibly sad (and true) statement towards the end. He was an incredible man, an amazing writer and ultimately a sad and tragic figure.
Hemingway's journalism informed many of his fictional stories and they are damned good pieces of writing. The second has stayed in my mind from the first reading, it's about free things and Hemingway gets a free shave from the beginners at the barber's academy in Toronto. His passing observation of the Canadian representative, Sir Charles Blair Gordon tells you all you need to know in nine words: "blonde, ruddy-faced and a little ill at ease." A piece called Russian Girls at Genoa teases the reader waiting for the mention of the girls, "the best looking girls in the conference hall" arrive in the second last paragraph. While I'd like to see Hemingway's straight news reports this is stuff that historians use as crayons to colour their tomes. There is an excellent profile of the first Soviet Foreign Minister Tchitcherin at a subsequent conference in Lausanne, "he has plump, cold hands that lie in yours like a dead man's." Hemingway ridicules Tchitcherin for having a portrait of himself taken in a military officer's uniform after revealing the Soviet diplomat had been made to wear dresses by his mother until he was 12. I'm talking about newspaper reporters, not cheap news tipsters." That quote stuck in my mind from my first reading 20 years ago. While Hemingway sticks to his word and doesn't name the woman in his piece he does get the story. It looked almost as though it might be worn with two swords in the belt." To read in one anthology a lifetime of journalism you see the man's character change over time. Which reads like a synopsis: "An old man fishing alone in a skiff out of Cabanas hooked a great marlin that, on the heavy sash cord handling, pulled the skiff far out to sea. Two days later the old man was picked up by fishermen sixty miles to the eastward, the head and forward part of the marlin lashed alongside. The old man had stayed with him a day, a night, a day and another night while the fish swam deep and pulled the boat. The final piece about the Navy NCOs who came to visit him once in Cuba is quite evocative, far from the popular discussion about Hemingway not able to live with the rigours of age and eventually committing suicide, I think it reveals a man trying to come to terms with his position in American life at the end of his career.
It was journalism which paved the way for Hemingways literary career, and this book collects together 75 articles written over the course of 35 years. As you can imagine, its a fascinating read, and not just because its interesting to see how much the world changed across the intervening years Hemingways gift for words is just as apparent here as it is in his novels, and its potentially even more powerful because hes writing about true events, the majority of which happened either directly to him or to his contacts.
The older I become, and the more I read the writings of Hemingway, the better I like him. This collection of his published newspaper and magazine articles came to my attention after reading another work about World War II.
He published seven novels, six short story collections and two non-fiction works. Three novels, four collections of short stories and three non-fiction works were published posthumously. After his 1927 divorce from Hadley Richardson, Hemingway married Pauline Pfeiffer.