Hemingway, Ernest (21 July 1899 - 2 July 1961)
Ernest Hemingway (21 July 1899 - 2 July 1961)
John C. Unrue
See also the Hemingway entries in DLB 4: American Writers in Paris, 1920–1939; DLB 9: American Novelists, 1910–1945; DLB 102: American Short-Story Writers, 1910–1945, Second Series; DLB 210: Ernest Hemingway: A Documentary Volume; DLB 316: American Prose Writers of World War I: A Documentary Volume; DLB Yearbook 1981; DLB Yearbook 1987; DLB Yearbook 1999; DLB Documentary Series 1: Sherwood Anderson, Willa Cather, John Dos Passos, Theodore Dreiser, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Sinclair Lewis; DLB Documentary Series 15: American Expatriate Writers: Paris in the Twenties; and DLB Documentary Series 16: The House of Scribner, 1905-1930.
BOOKS: Three Stories & Ten Poems (Paris: Contact Editions, 1923);
in our time (Paris: Three Mountains Press, 1924; London: Jackson, 1924);
The Torrents of Spring (New York: Scribners, 1926; London: Cape, 1933);
The Sun Also Rises (New York: Scribners, 1926); republished as Fiesta (London: Cape, 1927);
Men Without Women (New York: Scribners, 1927; London: Cape, 1928);
A Farewell to Arms (New York: Scribners, 1929; London: Cape, 1929);
Death in the Afternoon (New York: Scribners, 1932; London: Cape, 1932);
God Rest You Merry Gentlemen (New York: House of Books, 1933);
Winner Take Nothing (New York: Scribners, 1933; London: Cape, 1934);
Green Hills of Africa (New York: Scribners, 1935; London: Cape, 1936);
To Have and Have Not (New York: Scribners, 1937; London: Cape, 1937);
The Spanish Earth (Cleveland: J. B. Savage, 1938);
The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories (New York: Scribners, 1938; London: Cape, 1939); republished
as The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway (New York: Scribners, 1954);
The Fifth Column: A Play in Three Acts (New York: Scribners, 1940; London: Cape, 1968);
For Whom the Bell Tolls (New York: Scribners, 1940; London: Cape, 1941);
Across the River and Into the Trees (New York: Scribners, 1950; London: Cape, 1950);
The Old Man and the Sea (New York: Scribners, 1952; London: Cape, 1952);
The Collected Poems, unauthorized edition (San Francisco, 1960);
Hemingway: The Wild Years, edited by Gene Z. Hanrahan (New York: Dell, 1962);
A Moveable Feast (New York: Scribners, 1964; London: Cape, 1964);
By-Line, Ernest Hemingway: Selected Articles and Dispatches of Four Decades, edited by William White (New York: Scribners, 1967; London: Collins, 1968);
The Fifth Column and Four Stories of the Spanish Civil War (New York: Scribners, 1969);
Islands in the Stream (New York: Scribners, 1970; London: Collins, 1970);
Ernest Hemingway’s Apprenticeship: Oak Park, 1916–1917, edited by Bruccoli (Washington, D.C.: Bruccoli Clark/NCR Microcard Editions, 1971);
The Nick Adams Stories, edited by Philip Young (New York: Scribners, 1972);
88 Poems, edited by Nicholas Gerogiannis (New York & London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich/Bruccoli Clark, 1979); enlarged as Complete Poems (Lincoln & London: University of Nebraska Press, 1983);
Ernest Hemingway on Writing, edited by Larry W. Phillips (New York: Scribners, 1984; London: Granada, 1985);
The Dangerous Summer (New York: Scribners, 1985; London: Hamilton, 1985);
Dateline, Toronto: The Complete Toronto Star Dispatches, 1920–1924, edited by William White (New York: Scribners, 1985);
The Garden of Eden (New York: Scribners, 1986; London: Hamilton, 1987);
The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway (New York: Scribners, 1987);
True at First Light, edited by Patrick Hemingway (New York: Scribners, 1999); reedited and republished as Under Kilimanjaro, edited by Robert W. Lewis and Robert E. Fleming (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2005);
Hemingway and the Mechanism of Fame: Statements, Public Letters, Introductions, Forewords, Prefaces, Blurbs, Reviews, and Endorsements, edited by Bruccoli and Judith S. Baughman (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2005).
Editions and Collections: The Enduring Hemingway, edited by Charles Scribner Jr. (New York: Scribners, 1974);
The Sun Also Rises: A Facsimile Edition, 2 volumes, edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli (Detroit: Manly/Omnigraphics, 1990);
Hemingway on Fishing, edited by Nick Lyons (New York: Lyons Press, 2000);
Hemingway on Hunting, edited by Seán Hemingway (New York: Scribners, 2003);
Hemingway on War, edited by Seán Hemingway (New York: Scribners, 2003).
OTHER: “The Spanish War,” Fact, no. 16 (15 July 1938): 7–72;
Men at War, edited, with an introduction, by Hemingway (New York: Crown, 1942; London & Glasgow: Collins, 1946).
By the time he was thirty years old, Ernest Hemingway was considered a stylistic master, and his stories and novels influenced a generation of writers. From the beginning of his writing career Hemingway created a persona and legend, causing many to conclude that Ernest Hemingway’s greatest character was himself. Yet, he was not one character but several, underscoring F. Scott Fitzgerald’s observation about the difficulty of writing a good biography of a novelist because “he is too many people if he is any good.”
Hemingway translated his life into art in a series of stages during which he moved himself into his fictional world, first in his letters and his newspaper articles, becoming the character later developed in the conventional and disciplined stages of his composition. It was a process by which he became a part of a fiction from which he did not always extricate himself. Consequently, he is so closely bound to his fictional characters that it is difficult to separate him from them.
Hemingway was fiercely competitive. As a sportsman he wanted to be the best fisherman or hunter, but his greatest goal was to be the best writer. He told his father in 1925 that in his writing he wanted “to get the feeling of actual life across–not just to depict life or criticize it–but to actually make it alive.” Hemingway was a complicated man, proving himself capable of brutality and betrayal as well as kindness and compassion. When he published The Old Man and the Sea (1952), he said that he “tried to make a real old man, a real boy, a real sea and real sharks,” and that if he “made them true enough they would mean many things.” He was speaking not only of his novella, but also of his life and art.
Ernest Miller Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Illinois, an affluent and conservative suburb of Chicago, on 21 July 1899. He was the second of six children and the first son of Clarence Edmunds Hemingway, a physician, and Grace Hall Hemingway. In childhood and adolescence Hemingway spent summers with his family at Windemere, their house at Lake Walloon in northern Michigan in the area of Petoskey. His hunting and fishing adventures and his contact with the Ojibway Indians, as well as his observations of the troubled relationship between his parents, became the material for stories such as “Indian Camp” (1925), “Ten Indians” (1927), “The Doctor and the Doctor’s Wife” (1924), “The End of Something” (1925), “The Three-Day Blow” (1925), and “Fathers and Sons” (1933), all featuring Nick Adams, a recurrent Hemingway autobiographical protagonist.
Hemingway also derived from his parents positive and enduring values that shaped his career and guided his conduct. His mother introduced him to the arts and made books available. His father instilled in him a respect for and knowledge of nature.
Despite its religious fundamentalism, political conservatism, and adherence to what it saw as moral certainties, the village of Oak Park was progressive; it had a good library and a high school that provided Hemingway with a sound education, especially in composition, language, literature, and history. He read Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare, John Milton, Alexander Pope, and Matthew Arnold, and he gained valuable experience writing for the school newspaper, The Trapeze, and its literary magazine, Tabula, to which he contributed three stories during his junior year that reveal his early interest in violent death and suicide. Hemingway’s competitive spirit drove him to box, play football, and run track, but he was never an outstanding athlete.
Between November 1916 and May 1917 Hemingway wrote twenty-four articles for The Trapeze. Although the quality of his work was unexceptional, his experience helped prepare him for his first job following high school, as a cub reporter with the Kansas City Star, considered one of the best newspapers in America. In addition to having the advice of first-rate journalistic professionals, Hemingway had to make his writing comply with the 110 rules of the Kansas City Star style sheet, requiring him to avoid adjectives and to use short sentences, brief paragraphs, vigorous English, and fresh phrases. Later, Hemingway remarked that these rules, which influenced his style as a fiction writer, were the best he had ever learned.
Determined to get to Europe and participate in World War I, which the United States had entered in the spring of 1917, Hemingway left the Kansas City Star at the end of April 1918 and joined an American Red Cross ambulance unit that assisted the Italian Army. On 8 July at Fossalta he was hit by shrapnel from an Austrian trench mortar and suffered severe leg wounds. He was sent to an American Red Cross hospital in Milan.
When Hemingway arrived home in January 1919, he exaggerated his war service, creating a heroic persona for himself that he embellished throughout most of his life. He pursued a writing career ever more diligently, imitating Rudyard Kipling, O. Henry, and Ring Lardner, optimistic that he could follow a formula that would enable him to sell his stories to The Saturday Evening Post and other mass-market magazines. But he had yet to find his own narrative voice or his own material, and his work, predictably amateurish, was rejected.
Hemingway left home in January 1920 for Toronto, where he became a freelancer for the Toronto Star. He returned to Chicago in May and worked for The Cooperative Commonwealth, a monthly magazine. He met and became engaged to twenty-eight-year-old Hadley Richardson, whom he married on 3 September 1921 in Horton Bay, Michigan. In Chicago he also met Sherwood Anderson, whose Winesburg, Ohio (1919) had gained wide acclaim. Anderson befriended Hemingway, encouraged his writing efforts, and convinced him that Paris was the place for a serious writer. Supported by Hadley Hemingway’s trust fund, which yielded approximately $3,000 annually, Hemingway and his wife left for Paris at the end of the year. He carried letters of introduction from Anderson to Gertrude Stein, Sylvia Beach (owner of the bookstore and lending library Shakespeare and Company), and Ezra Pound.
In February 1922 Hemingway met Pound, who became one of his most important literary friends and helped him get his early work published. Pound also oversaw Hemingway’s literary education and recommended that he read works by T. S. Eliot and James Joyce. The major figure in the imagist movement during the period from 1909 to 1918, Pound encouraged Hemingway to focus upon natural objects, to delete unnecessary words, and to permit images to give meaning. With Pound’s advice Hemingway developed what he called the “true” sentence and “true” paragraph.
Hemingway met Stein on 8 March 1922. Stein had derived her own ideas about the possible uses of language from William James’s psychological theories and had gained recognition for her experimental prose that showed the influence of painters from whose planes of color she had begun to model sentences. At her apartment at 27 rue de Fleurus, Hemingway studied paintings by Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Juan Gris, Pablo Picasso, and especially Paul Cézanne, whose ability to capture landscape he admired. In the original ending to “Big Two-Hearted River” Nick Adams says that he wants to write the way Cézanne painted. Hemingway also observed Stein’s repetition of key words and phrases and her attempt to convey a continuous present. Hemingway credited Stein with helping him understand prose rhythms.
Continuing to work as a stringer for the Toronto Star, Hemingway went to Lausanne, Switzerland, in November 1922 to cover a peace conference on a territorial dispute between Greece and Turkey. He had asked Hadley Hemingway to join him, and in the Paris Gare de Lyon on the evening of 2 December a thief stole her valise, which contained all of Hemingway’s unpublished work except “My Old Man,” “Up in Michigan,” six poems that had been sent to magazines, and one chapter of a fishing story about Nick Adams. Hemingway was by then writing finely honed miniatures or vignettes, illustrating the imagist technique championed by Pound. The papers were never recovered.
In June 1923 Hemingway made his first trip to Spain, accompanied by Robert McAlmon, a writer and publisher, and William Bird, a newsman and publisher. Hemingway immersed himself in the culture of bullfighting, or as McAlmon observed, making everything about bullfighting “into a literary or artistic experience.” The following month Hemingway made a second trip to Spain, this time with Hadley Hemingway, to see their first Fiesta of San Fermín and the bullfights and to gather material.
In August 1923 McAlmon published Hemingway’s first book, Three Stories & Ten Poems. Although the poems in the volume merited little acclaim, the stories– “My Old Man,” an initiation story about horse racing with a narrative voice bearing a resemblance to that in Anderson’s “I Want to Know Why”; “Up in Michigan,” a seduction story Stein thought too sexually explicit to be publishable; and “Out of Season,” about tension and conflict in a marriage during a fishing trip in Italy–received praise. Hemingway and his wife left Paris for Toronto, where he was on salary as a full-time reporter with the Toronto Star. There they awaited the birth of their child and news of Hemingway’s second book, in our time, which William Bird published in 1924. John Hadley Nicanor (Bumby) Hemingway was born in Toronto on 10 October 1923.
Among the articles Hemingway wrote for the Toronto Star Weekly during this period was one that provided his most extensive early comment about the Nobel Prize. In “‘Nobelman’ Yeats” (24 November 1923) he praised the awarding of the prize that year to William Butler Yeats, saying that Yeats had written, “with the exception of a few poems by Ezra Pound, the very finest poetry of our time.” By giving the prize to Yeats, Hemingway said, “the Nobel Prize-givers had made up for a lot of things.” He criticized the Nobel Committee for many of its previous awards. He thought the works of recipients Maurice Maeterlinck (1911), Rabindranath Tagore (1913), Verner von Heidenstam (1916), and Karl Adolph Gjellerup and Henrik Pontoppidan (1917) were greatly inferior to those of Thomas Hardy or Joseph Conrad and would not endure. Hemingway also chided the Nobel Committee for waiting so long to give an award to Anatole France (1921).
After Christmas, Hemingway resigned his position at the Toronto Star and returned to France in 1924. He was soon serving as an unpaid assistant editor for the transatlantic review, a journal founded by Ford Madox Ford that published experimental fiction. The first issue included Hemingway’s story “Indian Camp.” “The Doctor and the Doctor’s Wife” and “Cross Country Snow” were published in the December 1924 and January 1925 issues respectively. Hemingway also used the transatlantic review as a forum to attack writing contemporaries, including most memorably Eliot. After the death of Conrad, Hemingway wrote in the October 1924 issue that if he could bring the Polish-born novelist back to life “by grinding Mr. Eliot into fine dry powder and sprinkling that powder over Mr. Conrad’s grave,” he “would leave for London tomorrow with a sausage grinder.”
By April 1924 Hemingway’s in our time, a thirty-two-page volume consisting of eighteen vignettes, was on sale in Paris at Shakespeare and Company. It was limited to 170 copies. Brief paragraphs depict executions, bullfights, festivals, gorings, refugees in Adrianople, and war scenes. Hemingway found another outlet for his fiction when Ernest Walsh and Ethel Moorhead started a little magazine called This Quarter. One of his best stories, “Big Two-Hearted River,” was published in the first issue, May 1925, and another excellent story, “The Undefeated,” appeared in the second issue, Autumn-Winter 1925.
In late April 1925, in the Dingo Bar in Montparnasse, Hemingway met Fitzgerald. Despite Fitzgerald’s being the established and successful writer, with two collections of short stories and three novels, including The Great Gatsby (1925), while Hemingway had published two slim volumes totaling eighty-eight pages and 470 copies, Fitzgerald was in awe of Hemingway, impressed by his talent and intimidated by him. Their meeting was the beginning of one of the most complex friendships in American literary history.
In March, Hemingway had signed a contract with Boni and Liveright for his first trade publication, a collection of stories called In Our Time. The new book consisted of fifteen stories and reprinted vignettes from in our time; it included seven Nick Adams stories, showing Nick as a child and young man experiencing initiation as he confronts death, insanity, loss, disillusionment, consequences of matrimony and fatherhood, and in the best story, “Big Two-Hearted River,” healing and revitalization on a trout stream. In Our Time was published on 5 October 1925. Although the collection includes some excellent stories and reveals Hemingway’s talent, it did not sell well.
Nevertheless, reviewers praised In Our Time and saw in Hemingway’s vignettes and stories what critic Edmund Wilson had called earlier in a review for Dial (October 1924) of Three Stories & Ten Poems and in our time “a distinctively American development in prose” that was “strikingly original.” Hemingway’s short declarative sentences captured the essence of an object or subject. Fitzgerald’s review for The Bookman (May 1926) noted that Hemingway conveyed emotion “without the aid of comment” or “recourse to exposition.” Others agreed; Paul Rosenfeld in the New Republic (25 November 1925) found “little analysis in this narrative art” and welcomed the freshness of Hemingway’s prose with its absence of “psychologizings.” Louis Kronenberger, writing for The Saturday Review of Literature (13 February 1926) saw the young author’s work as “experimental and very modern.” Most critics pointed to the effectiveness of Hemingway’s style and diction and agreed that a promising new American writer’s career was being launched.
In July 1925 Hemingway and Hadley Hemingway returned to the Fiesta of San Fermín with humorist Donald Ogden Stewart; Bill Smith, Hemingway’s old fishing friend from northern Michigan; novelist Harold Loeb; Lady Duff Twysden, an alcoholic Englishwoman and Montparnasse fixture; and her alcoholic Scottish fianceá, Pat Guthrie. Hemingway experienced the excitement of the fiesta and observed the tension, jealousy, resentment, and bad behavior in the group. When the fiesta concluded, Hemingway began writing a new novel. Paris, Spain, his friends, the fiesta, and the brilliant young bullfighter Niño de la Palma provided the material. He finished the first draft on 21 September.
Confident that he had written a good novel, Hemingway had begun to see that Fitzgerald was right when he said that Hemingway would fare better at Scribners than at Boni and Liveright. Before revising his new novel, Hemingway wrote a parody of Anderson’s Dark Laughter (1925), a book he found disappointing and fake, and submitted it to Boni and Liveright, also Anderson’s publisher, knowing that his contract with its three-book option would be invalidated if Boni and Liveright refused to publish his parody, called The Torrents of Spring. By 30 December 1925, Horace Liveright rejected The Torrents of Spring, calling it “a vicious caricature of Sherwood Anderson.”
Although Hemingway claimed that he did not intend for The Torrents of Spring to be a contract breaker, it was; and with Fitzgerald’s encouragement Hemingway turned to editor Maxwell Perkins at Scribners, Fitzgerald having notified Perkins that he could get Hemingway and his new novel, The Sun Also Rises, if Scribners published The Torrents of Spring. Perkins agreed to the arrangement, and The Torrents of Spring was published on 28 May 1926.
In addition to brokering the agreement between Hemingway and Scribners, Fitzgerald provided editorial advice concerning Hemingway’s new novel. He read a carbon copy of the novel before 5 June while proofs were being set and advised Hemingway to cut the opening of the novel substantially. Hemingway acted upon Fitzgerald’s recommendations, strengthening the book, but throughout his lifetime Hemingway denied that Fitzgerald had helped. The Hemingways returned to Pamplona in July, taking along other friends, including Pauline Pfeiffer, a wealthy American who worked for the Paris edition of Vogue and who had accompanied the Hemingways on skiing trips to Austria. By the end of the festival Hadley Hemingway knew that her husband was having an affair with Pfeiffer. The Hemingways returned to Paris and set up separate residences.
The Sun Also Rises was published on 22 October 1926. It advanced Hemingway’s literary career, introducing him to an American audience and expanding his reputation beyond Paris. The first printing of five thousand copies sold quickly, and it was reprinted in November, December, and January 1927, and twice in February. The epigraphs of The Sun Also Rises were taken from a quotation by Stein referring to those who survived World War I as “a lost generation” and from a passage in Ecclesiastes that provided the title of the novel and acknowledged that the earth “abideth forever.” Hemingway was skeptical about Stein’s “lost-generation” label, and he sarcastically referred to it as the “so-called (but not by me) lost generation.” He used the Ecclesiastes passage to balance Stein’s quotation, which he found presumptuous for attempting to judge his generation.
With distinctively spare, idiomatic language, Jake Barnes, the first-person narrator, an American newspaperman made impotent by a war wound, recounts the experiences of a postwar generation who have become members of a disillusioned and self-destructive expatriate community. Rejecting the traditional values and moral remedies of a world left behind, most of Barnes’s friends avoid consequences and responsibilities while steadily anesthetizing themselves with alcohol. In July, Barnes leads four friends from Paris to the Fiesta of San Fermin in Pamplona, where they join in the revelry of a bacchanalian week fueled by drunkenness, jealousies, self-destruction, corruption, and betrayal.
The reviewer for The New York Times (31 October 1926) thought The Sun Also Rises fulfilled the promise of Hemingway’s earlier work and that the novel was “unquestionably one of the events of an unusually rich year in literature.” Conrad Aiken said in the New York Herald Tribune Books (31 October 1926) that “in many respects” Hemingway was “the most exciting of contemporary writers of fiction.” Wilson reportedly thought it the best novel written by anyone in Hemingway’s generation, and in his Exile’s Return (1951) Malcolm Cowley observed Hemingway’s influence upon young men and women who were acting out roles suggested by Jake Barnes and Brett Ashley. Looking back at The Sun Also Rises in 1953, biographer/critic Carlos Baker underscored qualities noted by contemporary reviewers of the novel that caused it to endure and contribute to Hemingway’s literary reputation. Baker cited the purity of Hemingway’s language and denotative power of dialogue; his devotion to fact and personal knowledge; his skill in evoking and controlling emotional states; and his use of symbolic landscape.
Explaining that all the stories lacked “the softening feminine influence” resulting from “training, discipline, death, or other causes,” Hemingway titled his second short-story collection Men Without Women (1927). Reviews were mixed. Dorothy Parker praised the collection, and Virginia Woolf was critical, calling Hemingway “self-consciously virile” with a “contracted” talent (New York Herald Tribune Books, 9 October 1927). Although general admiration was expressed for “The Killers,” “Hills Like White Elephants,” and “In Another Country,” the collection was considered uneven.
Hemingway’s divorce from Hadley Hemingway became final in mid April 1927, and Hemingway and Pfeiffer were married in May. By March 1928 Hemingway had begun a novel inspired by some of the stories in Men Without Women: “In Another Country,” “Now I Lay Me,” and “Italy, 1927,” later called “Chi Ti Dice La Patria,” all concerned with scenes and sentiments associated with his war experiences. The novel was A Farewell to Arms (1929).
Hemingway had wanted to return to the United States for several years, and he and Pauline Hemingway, who was pregnant, sailed on 17 March 1928 for Key West from France. Their son Patrick was born on 28 June 1928. Hemingway received a telegram on 6 December informing him of the death of his father. Having suffered depression for many years, Clarence Hemingway had shot himself. Following the funeral, Hemingway finished A Farewell to Arms. In April 1929 Hemingway and his family returned to France, where he revised the page proofs for serial publication of A Farewell to Arms in Scribner’s Magazine and rewrote the ending.
A Farewell to Arms was published on 27 September 1929. It was praised from the outset, and the first printing of 31,050 copies sold rapidly, with additional printings in September, October, and November. By February 1930 Hemingway had earned more than $30,000 in royalties.
In The Sun Also Rises Hemingway had shown the effects of World War I upon the generation whose lives it touched. In his second novel he focused upon the war itself, tracing the events that took a toll on the young people who participated in it. Severely wounded on the Austrian front while serving as a Red Cross ambulance driver, Frederic Henry is sent to a hospital in Milan, where he falls in love with his English nurse, Catherine Barkley, who becomes pregnant with his child. He returns to the front, where he sees incompetence, chaos, and destruction and is nearly executed by Italian battle police who epitomize the madness the war has become. Frederic searches for meaning in a world in which he can find no meaning and no reason for his pain or for Catherine’s eventual death during delivery of their stillborn baby. He concludes that there is no one or no force to whom he can turn for help or whom he can blame. Ultimately, he is a man alone confronting his fate.
Frederic Henry’s discovery was one Hemingway had made earlier when he observed bullfighters in the bullring confronting their fate. Manuel in “The Undefeated” stands “very much alone in the ring.” In The Sun Also Rises as the three matadors Belmonte, Romero, and Lalanda enter the bullring, Jake Barnes observes, “They were all alone.” And when Romero fights his bull, he is “out in the center of the ring, all alone.” It was the aloneness with which Hemingway identified and that he saw inherent in the life of the artist. Hemingway concluded A Farewell to Arms with one of his most admired understated sentences: “After a while I went out and left the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the rain.”
The novel was widely reviewed, and critical response was predominantly favorable, affirming that Hemingway had become a major writer who exerted strong influence upon American literature. Henry Hazlitt of The New York Sun (28 September 1929) thought the novel Hemingway’s “finest,” called him “the young master,” and observed that it was Hemingway whom young and older writers were imitating. There was evolving not only a “Hemingway school” but also a “Hemingway cult,” strengthened by convincing dialogue and a distinctive style. In The Nation (30 October 1929) Clifton Fadiman acknowledged Hemingway as “one of the best craftsmen alive” and concluded, “There seems no reason why A Farewell to Arms should not secure the Pulitzer Prize.” Although the book did not win a Pulitzer, the high regard for Hemingway’s work was so commonplace that Henry Seidel Canby said in The Saturday Review of Literature (12 October 1929) that among things “not permitted in contemporary criticism” was “to attack Ernest Hemingway.” By 1930 Hemingway’s high critical reputation was established, and as Cowley had observed in the New York Herald “Tribune Books (6 October 1929), Hemingway had gained the respect “one normally accords to a legendary figure.”
Hemingway’s influence upon fiction of the 1930s was profound. Writers who came after him were influenced by his style and his “cult of violence.” He was, said Alfred Kazin in his On Native Ground (1942), “the greatest single influence on the hard-boiled novel of the thirties,” and “no one . . . had anything like Hemingway’s dominance over American fiction.” Among the writers Hemingway influenced were James T. Farrell, John O’Hara, Nelson Algren, James Jones, and Norman Mailer. Ralph Ellison, in “The World and the Jug” (included in Shadow and Act, 1964), called Hemingway “the true father-as-artist of so many of us who came to writing during the late thirties.”
Hemingway had been considering a big book on bullfighting even before he began writing The Sun Also Rises. He wanted to recreate the experience of the bullfight rather than explain it for an English-speaking public ignorant of the spectacle. He began working on this project soon after his return to Key West from Paris in February 1930. In November, when he learned that Sinclair Lewis had won the 1930 Nobel Prize in Literature, he was angry and wrote in a letter to Archibald MacLeish that the news was “a hell of a blow.” That the committee gave the prize to Lewis, whom he had long disliked and resented, rather than Pound or Joyce was “a filthy business.” He declared that “the only difference between the Nobel Prize and other prizes” was that it was worth more money.
On 12 November 1931 Pauline Hemingway gave birth to son Gregory, and the following month Hemingway finished Death in the Afternoon. It was published on 23 September 1932. Although the book revealed Hemingway’s considerable research and knowledge about bullfighting, as well as his most extensive public presentation of his writing philosophy, Death in the Afternoon was not embraced by Americans during the Depression. Some reviewers attacked Hemingway personally, faulting his remarks about other writers.
Five months before the publication of Death in the Afternoon Hemingway reported that he had written six stories for a new collection. He called it Winner Take Nothing, explaining in the epigraph that unlike other “forms of lutte [struggle] or combat conditions,” the winner would take nothing, not ease or pleasure, nor ideas of glory, and “if he win far enough,” there would be “no reward within himself.” The collection was published on 27 October 1933, and the reviews were mixed. Some critics regarded Hemingway’s lower-class characters as intellectually limited and uninteresting. Although the collection includes “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place,” Winner Take Nothing was thought the weakest of Hemingway’s three story collections. Nevertheless, it sold 12,000 copies by mid December in the third year of the Depression.
While many scoffed at Hemingway’s sporting activities, he added to his considerable fame and greater celebrity by capitalizing upon his game-fishing and hunting adventures. He agreed to contribute hunting and fishing articles to Arnold Gingrich’s new men’s magazine, Esquire, promoting his sportsman image and the growing Hemingway persona. Hemingway also published in Esquire twenty-five “letters” and six short stories between 1933 and 1939.
As 1933 ended, the Hemingways went to Africa for a two-month safari. After he returned to Key West in April 1934, Hemingway began writing Green Hills of Africa, an experimental book in which he attempted, he said in the foreword, “to see whether the shape of a country and the pattern of a month’s action can, if truly presented, compete with a work of the imagination.” After appearing serially in Scribner’s Magazine, the book was published on 25 October 1935.
In addition to writing about his hunting adventures Hemingway provided an assessment of literary history and dangers to which writers are vulnerable. “All American literature,” he said, “comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. . . . All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.” He attacked other writers who had politicized art by acquiescing to the directives of critics such as Granville Hicks, who had argued in 1932 that literature in a “period of transition... must be used as a weapon” and lamented that Hemingway had not written a novel about a strike or looked “squarely at the contemporary American scene.” Hemingway stated his commitment to art, observing:
A country finally erodes and the dust blows away, the people all die and none of them were of any importance permanently, except those who practiced the arts, and these now wish to cease their work because it is too lonely, too hard to do, and it is not fashionable. A thousand years makes economics silly and a work of art endures forever, but it is very difficult to do and now it is not fashionable.
Hemingway indicated that his position was also dangerous for writers in the 1930s. Both “politics” and “a lack of politics” could put an author at risk with critics as could “women, drink, money and ambition,” dangers that appear frequently in his later stories and novels. Although Green Hills of Africa is not fiction, it does have the structure of a fictional work, and its form illustrates Hemingway’s aesthetic goal: to take the reader where the author has been and to involve the reader in the emotion of place and time.
Most critics thought Green Hills of Africa a failed experiment. Leftist reviewers found Hemingway’s subject inappropriate for the times and again chided him for ignoring the ills of society and for attacking political dogma and the Marxist school of writing. Many others were offended by his judgments about contemporary rival writers and thought his literary discussions self-aggrandizing and superficial. Hemingway had also attacked the critics themselves, calling them “the lice who crawl on literature.”
Hemingway had begun writing a long story in February 1933 about Harry Morgan, the owner of a charter fishing boat in Key West who had become a smuggler in order to support his family during the Depression. It was titled “One Trip Across” and was published in Cosmopolitan in April 1934. A second Harry Morgan story, “The Tradesman’s Return,” in which Harry has lost an arm and his boat is confiscated, was published in Esquire in 1936. Rather than include these stories in a collection, Hemingway decided to use them as a major portion of a new novel, to which he added a third Harry Morgan story as well as another story contrasting Harry’s strength to the weaknesses of the yacht-club “haves” and of a writer named Richard Gordon, who has become “fashionable” by writing about a strike. Hemingway told Perkins that his plan for To Have and Have Not (1937) was to show “the mechanics of revolution” and its effects upon those involved in it and to show also “the decline of the individual.” Harry Morgan’s dying words are, “One man alone ain’t got . . . no bloody fucking chance.”
Hemingway became involved in the Loyalist cause in the Spanish Civil War and covered the conflict for the North American Newspaper Alliance (NANA). His personal life had also become complicated, as he had begun an affair with Martha Gellhorn, a young writer he met in Key West and who also went to Spain as a correspondent for Collier’s. To Have and Have Not was published on 15 October 1937. Although a reviewer for New Masses, a radical magazine, thought this work better than Hemingway’s previous novels, To Have and Have Not was generally regarded as structurally flawed and unsuccessful. Yet, it was a Hemingway book, and it sold 38,000 copies in five months.
In the summer of 1937 Hemingway assisted in the production of The Spanish Earth, a documentary movie about the Spanish Civil War, and recorded the narration he had written. He also wrote a play, The Fifth Column (1938), focusing upon the activities of two counterespionage men in Madrid who capture members of a fifth-column group supporting the Fascists. (It was not produced at the time but was adapted by Benjamin Glazer for performance at the Alvin Theater in New York in March 1940.) Philip Rawlings, the protagonist, appears to be indifferent, but he in fact is committed to the Loyalist cause and even more emphatically committed to saving mankind and democracy. Rawlings proves himself focused, disciplined, and prepared to sacrifice all for the cause, including Dorothy Bridges, an American writer in Spain with whom he has had an affair. He will not go with Dorothy to places he has loved and remembers vividly; he has “left them all behind.” Duty and responsibility take precedence in Rawlings’s life over Dorothy and all other temptations or destructive forces. “Where I go now I go alone,” Rawlings says, “or with others who go there for the same reason.” Hemingway contended that the play was not an endorsement of the “Reds,” a declaration his next novel affirmed.
Hemingway’s collection The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories was published on 14 October 1938 and included two of his best stories, both set in Africa. “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” (first published in Cosmopolitan, September 1936) portrays a husband’s initial cowardice during a safari and a triangle involving himself, his wife, and their white hunter. The story ends with the husband’s experiencing euphoria as he regains his courage, bravely facing a charging buffalo before his wife shoots him, intentionally or unintentionally, ending his short happy moment and her dominance. “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” (first published in Esquire, August 1936) concerns a dying writer who is corrupted by a rich wife and who regrets wasting his writing talent. Seldom able to resist the opportunity to attack fellow writers, Hemingway included a comment about “poor Scott Fitzgerald” (later changed to Julian) and a mocking and distorted reference to the line “The rich are very different from you and me” from Fitzgerald’s story “The Rich Boy” (1926). Autobiographical, the story reflected loss and dangers to which Hemingway felt vulnerable.
Most critics praised the collected stories but found The Fifth Column unsatisfactory. Elmer Davis said in The Saturday Review of Literature (15 October 1938), “Nobody else now living could show forty-nine stories that good.” Those who had not liked Hemingway’s work since the publication of A Farewell to Arms found even less to like in a play they regarded as “propaganda” and “melodrama,” a self-conscious indulgence on the part of the author. Critic Lionel Trilling, writing for the Partisan Review (Winter 1939), saw The Fifth Column as evidence that Hemingway had felt the pressures of leftist critics, that the 1930s cultural environment had led to “the recent falling off of Hemingway’s work. Leftist critic Edwin Berry Burgum (New Masses, 22 November 1938) welcomed the play, praising Hemingway
way for having continued to recognize “that art must have its roots in social events” and asserting that “the whole of Hemingway’s development” is “implicit in the character of Philip Rawlings.”
In February 1939 Hemingway went to Cuba to begin writing his much-anticipated big book on the Spanish Civil War. Following him there in April, Gellhorn rented the Finca Vigia, near Havana. By summer 1940 he had finished his novel, and Pauline Hemingway had filed for divorce. For Whom, the Bell Tolls, dedicated to Gellhorn, was published on 21 October 1940.
For Whom the Bell Tolls is the story of Robert Jordan, a college Spanish teacher from Montana who joins the Loyalist forces in Spain during the Spanish Civil War and is assigned to blow a bridge behind Fascist lines in order to prevent Fascist troops from crossing the bridge during a Loyalist attack. Jordan is another Hemingway character who accepts his “orders” and performs his duty heroically. Like A Farewell to Arms, this novel is a story of love and war, or love and death, but unlike A Farewell to Arms or The Sun Also Rises, For Whom the Bell Tolls has a more compressed time frame, sixty-eight hours, requiring extensive use of flashbacks and recollections by characters in order to show the scope and complex history of the conflict. Hemingway used also a third-person, omniscient narrator rather than the first-person narrator of his first two major novels, broadening the dimensions of character consciousness, moving from the spare language of early stories and novels to more rhetorical and lyrical passages, appropriate for the romantic and heroic character he had created in Robert Jordan. After completing the novel, Hemingway took its title from John Donne’s “Meditation 17” (1624) with its “No Man is an Island” theme. Hemingway had shown that while participants in the war were bound by their common humanity, they were also bound by a common capacity for murderous action, Communists and Fascists alike. Robert Jordan discovers that “to get a full picture of what is happening you cannot read only the party organ.” Hemingway had told an American Writers’ Congress in 1937, “It is very dangerous to write the truth in war, and the truth is also very dangerous to come by.” He demonstrated this fact in For Whom the Bell Tolls.
Although reviewers in the leftist journals condemned the novel that attacked Communists and the Communist leaders in the Spanish Civil War, For Whom the Bell Tolls received positive reviews in major American newspapers and in leading magazines. It was hailed by many as the best book Hemingway had written, showing continued growth of Hemingway’s novelistic talent since The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms. Howard Mumford Jones wrote in The Saturday Review of Literature (26 October 1940) that it was “one of the finest and richest novels of the decade.” An unnamed reviewer for Time (21 October 1940) who had feared that Hemingway had declined “past the point of recovery” said that with the appearance of For Whom the Bell Tolls Hemingway had again “emerged as a sensitive artist.” The reviews were consistent with the public reception. The Book-of-the-Month Club selected it, and Paramount Pictures paid $100,000 for movie rights. The novel sold 491,000 copies within six months of its publication. Hemingway’s critical reputation, which had declined throughout the 1930s, had once again been restored, and his fame and fortune had never been greater. His divorce from Pauline Hemingway became final on 4 November 1940, and he and Gellhorn were married at Sun Valley, Idaho, on 21 November.
As biographer Michael Reynolds observed, Hemingway’s continuing insistence that prizes were not important to him was not accurate. When the Pulitzer Prize Committee announced that there would be no award for fiction for 1940, when For Whom the Bell Tolls would have been the probable winner, Hemingway was disappointed but responded characteristically in an interview for the St. Louis Star-Times (23 May 1941): “If I’d won that prize . . . I’d think I was slipping. I’ve been writing for twenty years and never have won a prize. I’ve gotten along alright.” Although the Nobel Prize was not awarded during the years 1940 to 1943, Hemingway had begun to think of himself as a serious contender for it following the success of For Whom the Bell Tolls.
After the publication of For Whom the Bell Tolls, Hemingway’s literary productivity waned. At the end of 1940 he bought the Finca Vigia, and he and Gellhorn left at the beginning of the new year to cover the war in China, Gellhorn for Collier’s and Hemingway for PM, a liberal New York tabloid. In his dispatches for PM he often appeared prophetic, predicting that the United States would be forced into war when Japan attacked American bases in the Pacific. Yet, he produced just eight articles during his Far East assignment, “only enough,” he said, “to keep from being sent home.” In the spring of 1942 he edited and wrote an introduction for the anthology Men at War, which was published in October.
With an influx of Nazi agents into Cuba and U-boats steadily sinking ships in the Caribbean, Hemingway proposed to officials at the American Embassy and to the U.S. ambassador to Cuba that he set up a private counterintelligence agency. The Cuban prime minister granted him permission, and Hemingway organized a group he called the Crook Factory and outfitted his fishing boat the Pilar for U-boat surveillance. During this time Hemingway’s drinking increased, and his marriage deteriorated as Gellhorn spent more time away from Cuba on journalistic assignments.
At the end of October 1943 Gellhorn left Cuba again to cover the war in Europe for Collier’s. Early in 1944 Hemingway usurped her position with the magazine, agreeing to go to Europe for Collier’s as their front-line correspondent, a role women were not permitted to fill. Hemingway began an affair with Mary Welsh, an American journalist in London whose marriage to Australian reporter Noel Monks also had become fragile. On D-Day, 6 June 1944, Hemingway was on a landing craft taking soldiers ashore at Omaha Beach. Biographer Michael Reynolds records that after taking German machine-gun fire trained on the boat, the lieutenant in charge put back out to sea and rejoined the attack transport Dorothea M. Dix that Hemingway reboarded, losing his opportunity to go ashore on D-Day (though Gellhorn did go ashore from a hospital ship on 7 June). Ten other landing craft were destroyed attempting to land. Reporting on the confusion, fear, death, and destruction, Hemingway observed, “Real war is never like paper war, nor do accounts of it read much the way it looks.”
After a brief assignment as a correspondent with General George Patton’s Third Army, Hemingway was assigned to the Twenty-second Infantry Regiment, where he acted as an irregular soldier, often violating his noncombatant status. Recalling his feelings about Paris as he looked down on the city with American forces of liberation, he wrote, “I couldn’t say anything more then, because I had a funny choke in my throat and I had to clean my glasses because there now, below us, gray and always beautiful, was spread the city I love best in all the world.” On 25 August 1944 Hemingway entered Paris with the American and French armies.
He contributed only six articles to Collier’s recounting his observations as a correspondent during the war. However, he wrote to Welsh from Belgium that he had material for four short stories that would provide funds while he wrote a novel. In March 1945 Hemingway returned to Cuba, and Welsh arrived shortly afterward. On 14 March 1946, their respective divorces final, Hemingway and Welsh were married in Havana.
Hemingway began an ambitious writing project in 1945, a trilogy that would encompass the land, sea, and air from the mid 1930s to the mid 1940s. He had not published any fiction for five years. He returned to a Bimini fragment he had begun before going to London in 1944 that became Islands in the Stream (1970). By 1946 he was also writing a novel he called The Garden of Eden (1986). Both novels were published posthumously. News stories and magazine articles about him increased; Hollywood bought more of his work; and the Hemingway legend grew. In 1947 he was awarded the Bronze Star for his war service during 1944.
In September 1948 the Hemingways went to Italy. In Venice he met Adriana Ivancich, an attractive eighteen-year-old girl who became Hemingway’s fantasy and regenerative muse. By March 1949 he had begun a new novel, Across the River and Into the Trees, about the dying fifty-year-old Colonel Cantwell, who while duck hunting east of Venice during the final weekend of his life recalls to himself a past in which he was wounded and scarred, but undefeated. All is set in bold relief by the presence of a young woman with whom the colonel has found love. The hunt itself serves as a metaphor for one last example of the pattern of conduct by which the colonel has lived his life and by which he faces his impending death, aware that “the shooting is over” but that he has “shot well.” The novel was published on 7 September 1950.
Reviewers were highly polarized in their assessments of Across the River and Into the Trees. Many were hostile and vitriolic. Cyril Connolly called Cantwell “a drink-sodden and maundering old bore,” and Morton Zabel thought the “new novel the poorest thing its author has ever done.” Yet, a Newsweek reviewer called Across the River and Into the Trees Hemingway’s “best and most carefully thought out book,” and although he was not referring to Across the River and Into the Trees, O’Hara called Hemingway “the most important author living today, the outstanding author since the death of Shakespeare” (The New York Times Book Review, 10 September 1950).
Hemingway’s response to the bad reviews suggests that he was aware of his vulnerability as he looked forward to a better era of criticism “when books are read and criticized, rather than personalities attacked” (The New York Times Book Review, 3 December 1950). As often had been the case, negative reviews had little effect upon the sales of the novel. The first printing of 75,000 copies sold out rapidly, and by the end of the year 125,000 copies had been sold. On Christmas Eve 1950 Hemingway finished a draft of Islands in the Stream.
On 10 November 1950 it was announced that William Faulkner had won the Nobel Prize in Literature for 1949. Two other American writers had been under consideration for the award: John Steinbeck and Hemingway. The selection of Faulkner was more disappointing to Hemingway than that of any other previous recipient. Hemingway saw it as the most prestigious affirmation of Faulkner’s superiority over him.
Hemingway began writing what he considered a final section of the sea portion of his planned land, sea, and air trilogy: the story of an old Cuban fisherman who had gone eighty-four days without catching a fish and who had taken his small boat far out to sea where he hooked and fought a giant marlin for three days. After lashing the great fish to his boat, he must fight sharks that devour the fish. Hemingway clearly identified with the circumstances of the old man, who had not had a big fish for a long time, but who was “born” to fish. The conditions under which Hemingway was pursuing his art by 1951 were the most difficult he had faced. Although he was only fifty-one years old, his physical condition had deteriorated during the last decade as a result of serious head injuries, infections, and alcohol abuse, all of which exacerbated his depression.
Hemingway worked rapidly to complete The Old Man and the Sea, which was published in its entirety in Life magazine on 1 September 1952 with a printing of more than 5 million copies. The following week Scribners published it, and 50,000 copies sold out in ten days; the Book-of-the-Month Club distributed 153,000 copies. Most reviewers were effusive in their praise of the novella, saying that Hemingway had written a masterpiece and that he had returned to his true form. Canby thought Hemingway had “no superiors in the art of writing about the sea in any language” (Book of the Month Club News, August 1952). W. M. Frohock said in Southwest Review (Winter 1953), “We had been waiting for something of such quality” from Hemingway since 1940 and thought The Old Man and the Sea gave “clear evidence that he has all his powers.” Unlike Across the River and Into the Trees with its “garrulous colonel” (Harper’s, October 1952), the new Hemingway book was a “stripped, lean, objective narrative” (Atlantic, September 1952) without “self-indulgence” (New Republic, 6 October 1952). Paul Pickerel reported in The Yale Review (Autumn 1952) that “the critical keening” for Hemingway “was premature.” Faulkner began his brief review of the novella with the words “His best,” and he added that the book might prove to be “the best single piece of any of us” (Shenandoah, Autumn 1952). The Old Man and the Sea remained twenty-six weeks on The New York Times best-seller list and was rushed into translations throughout the world.
Responding to speculation that he might receive the Nobel Prize, Hemingway said in a 27 June 1952 letter to Harvey Breit that it meant nothing to him because he had “no respect for that institution.” But when he considered that The Old Man and the Sea might be read by as many as five million readers, that, he said, was a greater honor than winning the Nobel Prize. In May 1953 Hemingway was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.
By the end of August the Hemingways had gone to Africa for a safari. At the conclusion of the safari, an airplane sight-seeing trip on 23 January 1954 proved nearly fatal when their pilot crash-landed, leaving Mary Hemingway with broken ribs and Hemingway with back, shoulder, and arm injuries. A second plane crashed while attempting takeoff the following day, causing Hemingway serious internal injuries and a concussion. When an air search found the wreckage with no one nearby, newspapers throughout the world carried obituaries for Hemingway and his wife. Hemingway reported in “The Christmas Gift” (Look, 20 April and 4 May 1954) that he had been unable to resist reading his obituaries, referring to them as his “new and attractive vice” as he observed the inaccuracies of reporters. He said that a German newspaper reported that he had attempted to land one of the airplanes himself on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, and an Italian paper carried comments by people who called themselves his “only true and intimate friends... who knew the innermost contents of my heart.” Nearly all obituaries, he said, “emphasized that I had sought death all my life,” an observation he rejected.
After Hemingway’s near-fatal crashes, several members of the Swedish Academy expressed regret that they had not awarded him a Nobel Prize in previous years. He had been passed over for the Nobel Prize for 1953, although he had been rumored as the probable recipient, when the committee awarded it to Sir Winston Churchill.
For Hemingway 1954 became a year of prizes. In March he accepted the Award of Merit Medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and upon his return to Cuba he accepted on his fifty-fifth birthday Cuba’s highest award: the Order of Carlos Manuel de Cespedes.
On 28 October 1954 it was announced that Ernest Hemingway was the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature “for his powerful, style-forming mastery of the art of modern narration, as most recently evinced in The Old Man and the Sea.” He was the fifth American writer to win the prize. Charles Poore wrote in The New York Times (29 October 1954) that “Hemingway more than any other writer of his time in America, has given new directions to the course of story telling, new cadences in prose, particularly in dialogue.” Anders Österling, the Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, observed in his presentation speech that Hemingway’s work demonstrates “an artistic self-discipline of uncommon strength.” He noted also Hemingway’s central theme–”the bearing of one who is put to the test and who steels himself to meet the cold cruelty of existence, without, by doing so, repudiating the great and generous moments” and who shows that “a man can be destroyed but not defeated.” Hemingway was also praised because he had written not “to illustrate theses and principles of one kind or another.” Österling declared that the 1954 prize “has therefore been awarded to one of the great authors of our time, one of those who, honestly and undauntedly, reproduces genuine features in the hard countenance of the age.”
Biographer Reynolds concurred with the observations of the Nobel Committee, pointing out that Hemingway remained an experimental writer throughout his life and that, although he was not always successful, Hemingway consistently attempted innovative structure, challenging conventions in each new novel. Hemingway was in the vanguard of his craft, testing the genres, including stories within stories, writing about fiction within fiction, and laying the groundwork for many of those postmodernists who followed him.
Hemingway accepted the Nobel Prize in Literature graciously, expressing pleasure and pride, wishing that Twain and Henry James could have received the award, too (The New York Times, 29 October and 7 November 1954). During a Time magazine interview (13 December 1954) he took the opportunity to make a plea for Pound, “a great poet,” who had been committed to an insane asylum to spare him from trial and possible execution for actions judged treasonable during World War II. It was time, Hemingway said, that Pound be free to write poems again.
Hemingway did not attend the Nobel award ceremony, excusing himself because of his recent injuries. He returned to work, writing steadily on a new African book and assisting in the filming of The Old Man and the Sea until illnesses, including hepatitis, put him in bed from November 1955 to January 1956. By fall Hemingway was well enough to travel to Europe, and he and Mary Hemingway stayed in Paris until January 1957. Hemingway suffered from deteriorating health during much of the trip, and by the time he sailed for the United States he had high blood pressure and an enlarged liver.
Back in Cuba, despite his poor health and constant interruptions, Hemingway returned to his work: an African book (True at First Light, 1999), The Garden of Eden (1986), and a new project, A Moveable Feast (1964), a memoir about Paris in the 1920s. As revolutionary activity increased in Cuba, Hemingway feared he would be a target during the overthrow of the Batista government, and he and his wife left Cuba for Ketchum, Idaho. They departed for Spain in 1959 after Hemingway agreed to write about the bullfight season for Life magazine. During the Spanish trip he displayed erratic behavior and hostility.
Hemingway went back to Spain in August 1960 to gather more material but returned to Ketchum in October. His depression and insomnia growing, his paranoia more obvious, and his nerves uncontrollable, he entered the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, at the end of November and underwent a series of electroshock therapy treatments. He was released on 22 January 1961. By March, Hemingway’s depression had returned, and he had to be restrained because of suicide attempts. He returned to the Mayo Clinic for additional electroshock therapy on 25 April and was released on 26 June, his psychiatrist confident of Hemingway’s improvement. Back in Idaho, in the early morning of 2 July 1961, Hemingway killed himself with one of his favorite shotguns.
Five Hemingway books have been published posthumously. A Moveable Feast, edited by Mary Hemingway, includes twenty sketches of persons Hemingway knew in Paris in the 1920s, many of whom were important to his career–Fitzgerald, Stein, Pound, and Ford–and his recollections of his experiences during his apprentice years. Although critics praised the craft and artistry of the memoir and the opportunity to read Hemingway’s recollections, they found many of his portraits, especially that of Fitzgerald, nasty and mean.
Islands in the Stream was a novel Hemingway intended to be part of the sea portion of the planned trilogy. It is the story of painter Thomas Hudson. The novel is divided into three sections. The first, “Bimini,” takes place during the summer of 1934 or 1935 when Hudson is visited by his three sons, with whom he fishes and swims and shares memories of his early life in Paris. The second, “Cuba,” is set in Havana in February 1944 when Hudson chases German U-boats and drinks heavily as he learns that his three sons have been killed. The third, “At Sea,” occurs during May 1944 as Hudson searches for the crew of a sunk German submarine, finds them, kills them, and is probably mortally wounded following the battle. Islands in the Stream is of uneven quality; nevertheless, readers found good writing and powerful scenes in individual sections while acknowledging that the novel was a work in progress, lacking Hemingway’s finishing touch.
Originally cut for publication in Life magazine in 1960, The Dangerous Summer (1985) is a nonfiction book, edited by others, about the bullfight competition in Spain in 1959 between Antonio Ordóñez and Luis Miguel Dominguin, two of Spain’s best matadors. In addition to its focus upon the bullfights, the book includes descriptions of the Spanish landscape, comments about food and wine, strategies in the art of bullfighting, and interpretations of the complex psychology Hemingway associated with the matadors. The writing sometimes unclear and confusing, The Dangerous Summer was not well received by critics, who saw it as inferior work, written at the low point of Hemingway’s deterioration.
Considered his most complex and provocative posthumously published book, The Garden of Eden is set primarily in the south of France during the spring and fall of 1923. It is the story of writer David Bourne and his new wife, Catherine, a bisexual who insists upon sexual role reversals with her husband and bringing another woman into their lives and bed. The novel depicts Catherine’s resentment of David’s career and her increasing mental instability. She finally burns his manuscripts and destroys their marriage. In his fullest treatment of the theme of androgyny, Hemingway demonstrates in The Garden of Eden the primacy of art in the life of the artist, the artist’s resiliency, and the essential solitariness of the creative process. Many critics disapproved of Scribners’ editing of the manuscript, which was reduced to one-third of its original content, but they were cautiously receptive to the novel, recognizing what they regarded as a new direction for a major writer who had continued to develop.
On 21 July 1999, in honor of Hemingway’s centennial anniversary, Scribners published True at First Light, edited by Hemingway’s son Patrick. It is based upon Hemingway’s experiences during his African safari in 1953. The text recalls his service as a temporary game warden when he claimed to protect a village against hostile attacks while immersing himself in African culture that enabled him to adopt a new persona other than that of “literary character.” It was republished uncut as Under Kilimanjaro (2005).
Following Ernest Hemingway’s death, authors, critics, and literary historians throughout the world spoke of his reputation and legacy. The New York Times (3 July 1961) carried several responses: Trilling said, “There is no one in the whole range of literature of the modern world who has a better claim than he to be acknowledged as a master.” Van Wyck Brooks saw Hemingway as “the inventor of a style that has influenced other writers more than any other in our time.” C. P. Snow said, “No novelist in the world has produced such a direct effect on other people’s writing.” Robert Frost observed, “His style dominated our story-telling long and short.” And Faulkner proclaimed, “He is not dead. Generations not yet born of young men and women who want to write will refute that word as applied to him.”
Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters, 1917–1961, edited by Carlos Baker (New York: Scribners, 1981);
Hemingway in Love and War: The Lost Diary of Agnes von Kurowsky, Her Letters and Correspondence of Ernest Hemingway, edited by Henry Serrano Villard and James Nagel (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1989);
The Only Thing That Counts: The Ernest Hemingway/Maxwell Perkins Correspondence, 1927–1947, edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli (New York: Scribners, 1996);
At the Hemingways: With Fifty Years of Correspondence Between Ernest and Marcelline Hemingway (Moscow, Idaho: University of Idaho Press, 1999);
Dear Papa, Dear Hotch: The Correspondence of Ernest Hemingway and A. E. Hotchner, edited by Albert J. DeFazio III (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2005).
Conversations with Ernest Hemingway, edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1986).
Audre Hanneman, Ernest Hemingway: A Comprehensive Bibliography (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1967);
Philip Young and Charles W. Mann, The Hemingway Manuscripts: An Inventory (University Park & London: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1969);
Jackson J. Benson, “A Comprehensive Checklist of Hemingway Short Fiction Criticism, Explication and Commentary,” in The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway: Critical Essays, edited by Benson (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1975), pp. 312-375;
Hanneman, Supplement to Ernest Hemingway: A Comprehensive Bibliography (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1975);
Linda Welshimer Wagner, Ernest Hemingway: A Reference Guide (Boston: G. K. Hall, 1977);
Jo August, Catalog of the Ernest Hemingway Collection at the John F. Kennedy Library, 2 volumes (Boston: G. K. Hall, 1982).
Carlos Baker, Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story (New York: Scribners, 1969);
Mary Welsh Hemingway, How It Was (New York: Knopf, 1976);
Peter Griffin, Along With Youth: Hemingway: The Early Years (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985);
Jeffrey Meyers, Hemingway: A Biography (New York: Harper & Row, 1985);
Michael Reynolds, The Young Hemingway (Oxford: Blackwell, 1986);
Reynolds, Hemingway: The Paris Years (Oxford: Black-well, 1989);
Griffin, Less Than a Treason: Hemingway in Paris (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990);
James R. Mellow, Hemingway: A Life without Consequences (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1992);
Reynolds, Hemingway: The American Homecoming (Oxford: Blackwell, 1992);
Matthew J. Bruccoli, Fitzgerald and Hemingway: A Dangerous Friendship (New York: Carroll & Graf, 1994; London: André Deutsch, 1995);
William Burrill, Hemingway: The Toronto Years (Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 1994);
Reynolds, Hemingway: The 1930s (New York: Norton, 1997);
Reynolds, Hemingway: The Final Years (New York: Norton, 1999).
Carlos Baker, Hemingway: The Writer as Artist, fourth edition (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1972);
Susan F. Beegel, Hemingway’s Craft of Omission: Four Manuscript Examples (Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1988);
Matthew J. Bruccoli and C. E. Frazer Clark jr., comps., Hemingway at Auction, 1930–1973 (Detroit: Gale, 1973);
Morley Callaghan, That Summer in Paris (New York: Coward-McCann, 1963);
Scott Donaldson, The Cambridge Companion to Hemingway (Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996);
Charles A. Fenton, The Apprenticeship of Ernest Hemingway (New York: Farrar, Straus k Young, 1954);
Fitzgerald/Hemingway Annual (Washington, D.C.: Microcard Editions, 1969–1976; Detroit: Bruccoli Clark/Gale, 1977–1979);
Hemingway Notes (1971–1974, 1979–1981);
Hemingway Review (1981– );
Nicholas Joost, Ernest Hemingway and the Little Magazines: The Paris Years (Barre, Mass.: Barre Publishers, 1968);
Bernice Kert, The Hemingway Women (New York: Norton, 1983);
Harold Loeb, The Way It Was (New York: Criterion, 1959);
George Monteiro, ed., Critical Essays on Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms (New York: G. K. Hall, 1994);
James Nagel, ed., Critical Essays on Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises (New York: G. K. Hall, 1995);
Michael Reynolds, Hemingway: An Annotated Chronology (Detroit: Manly/Omnigraphics, 1991);
Reynolds, Hemingway’s First War: The Making of A Farewell to Arms (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1976);
Reynolds, Hemingway’s Reading, 1910–1940 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981);
Bertram D. Sarason, Hemingway and the Sun Set (Washington, D.C.: Bruccoli Clark/NCR Microcard Editions, 1972).
Ernest Hemingway’s papers are located at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, Massachusetts. Other major collections are found at the Princeton University Library; the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin; the University of Virginia Library; The Lilly Library, Indiana University; the University of Delaware Library; and the University of South Carolina.