Ernest Hemingway was an American writer who won the Pulitzer Prize (1953) and the Nobel Prize in Literature (1954) for his novel The Old Man and the Sea, which was made into a 1958 film The Old Man and the Sea (1958).
He was born into the hands of his physician father. He was the second of six children of Dr. Clarence Hemingway and Grace Hemingway (daughter of an English immigrant). His father's interests in history and literature, as well as his outdoorsy hobbies (fishing and hunting), became a lifestyle for Ernest. His mother was a domineering type who wanted a daughter, not a son, and dressed Ernest as a girl and called him Ernestine. She also had a habit of abusing his quiet father, who suffered from diabetes, and Dr. Hemingway eventually committed suicide. Ernest later described the community in his hometown as one having "wide lawns and narrow minds".
In 1916 Hemingway graduated from high school and began his writing career as a reporter for The Kansas City Star. There he adopted his minimalist style by following the Star's style guide: "Use short sentences. Use short first paragraphs. Use vigorous English. Be positive, not negative." Six months later he joined the Ambulance Corps in WWI and worked as an ambulance driver on the Italian front, picking up human remains. In July 1918 he was seriously wounded by a mortar shell, which left shrapnel in both of his legs causing him much pain and requiring several surgeries. He was awarded the Silver Medal. Back in America, he continued his writing career working for Toronto Star . At that time he met Hadley Richardson and the two married in 1921.
In 1921, he became a Toronto Star reporter in Paris. There he published his first books, called "Three Stories and Ten Poems" (1923), and "In Our Time" (1924). In Paris he met Gertrude Stein, who introduced him to the circle that she called the "Lost Generation". F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thornton Wilder, Sherwood Anderson and Ezra Pound were stimulating Hemingway's talent. At that time he wrote "The Sun Also Rises" (1926), "A Farewell to Arms" (1929), and a dazzling collection of Forty-Nine stories. Hemingway also regarded the Russian writers Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Ivan Turgenev and Anton Chekhov as important influences, and met Pablo Picasso and other artists through Gertrude Stein. "A Moveable Feast" (1964) is his classic memoir of Paris after WWI.
Hemingway participated in the Spanish Civil War and took part in the D-Day landings during the invasion of France during World War II, in which he not only reported the action but took part in it. In one instance he threw three hand grenades into a bunker, killing several SS officers. He was decorated with the Bronze Sgtar for his action. His military experiences were emulated in "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (1940) and in several other stories. He settled near Havana, Cuba, where he wrote his best known work, "The Old Man and the Sea" (1953), for which he won a Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize in Literature. This was adapted as the film The Old Man and the Sea (1958), for which Spencer Tracy was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Actor, and Dimitri Tiomkin received an Oscar for Best Musical Score.
War wounds, two plane crashes, four marriages and several affairs took their toll on Hemingway's hereditary predispositions and contributed to his declining health. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and insomnia in his later years. His mental condition was exacerbated by chronic alcoholism, diabetes and liver failure. After an unsuccessful treatment with electro-convulsive therapy, he suffered severe amnesia and his physical condition worsened. The memory loss obstructed his writing and everyday life. He committed suicide in 1961. Posthumous publications revealed a considerable body of his hidden writings, that was edited by his fourth wife, Mary, and also by his son Patrick Hemingway.
|Mary Welsh||(14 March 1946 - 2 July 1961) (his death)|
|Martha Gellhorn||(5 November 1940 - 21 December 1945) (divorced)|
|Pauline Marie Pfeiffer||(10 May 1927 - 4 November 1940) (divorced) 2 children|
|Elizabeth Hadley Richardson||(3 September 1921 - 10 March 1927) (divorced) 1 child|
Was awarded the 1954 Nobel prize in literature.
Born at 8:0am-CST
Pictured on a 25¢ US commemorative postage stamp in the Literary Arts series, issued 17 July 1989.
For a man who survived two plane crashes, it's somewhat ironic that he would take his own life in the end. He is the grandfather of sister actresses Mariel Hemingway and the late Margaux Hemingway (also a suicide, in 1996, as was her great-grandfather, Ernest's father).
It's estimated Hemingway left behind over 8,000 personal and business letters, and plans were announced in May 2002 to attempt to collect and publish most of them in a set that could exceed 10 volumes.
Unlike his great contemporaries F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner and John Steinbeck, Hemingway never wrote for the movies, but he had no objection to selling his novels and short stories for good prices to producers.
A.E. Hotchner, in his 1966 memoir of his friendship with "Papa Hemingway", reports that the great writer chose him in the late 1950s as his emissary to Hollywood to sell the Nick Adams stories. Hemingway, hobbled by mental illness and bad health, wanted an unprecedented $1 million for the movie rights to the stories, but Hotchner was only able to get him $100,000. The stories are the basis for Martin Ritt's film Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man (1962), which came out the year after Papa's death. Hotchner wrote the screenplay, as he did for the tele-play "The Seven Lively Arts: The World of Nick Adams (#1.2)" (1957).
Hemingway suffered from bipolar disorder, then known as manic depression, and was treated with electroshock therapy at the Menninger Clinic. The therapy, he claimed, had destroyed his memory, which was essential to a writer, and he told his friend A.E. Hotchner that his memory loss was one of the reasons he no longer wanted to live. The condition was hereditary: Hemingway's father Clarence likely suffered from it, as did at least one of his sisters, Ursula, and his only brother, Leicester, as did one of his sons, Gregory, and his granddaughter Margaux. In addition to Ernest, Hemingway's father Clarence, his siblings Ursula and Leicester, and his granddaughter Margaux all committed suicide. His son Gregory died in police custody after being picked up in a stupor shortly after a sex change operation.
His house in Key West, Florida, where he wrote a good deal of his literature, is now a museum in his honor. One other interesting note about the house is that the lineage of cats that live there hereditarily have six toes on each foot, going back to Hemmingway's own cats.
One son, Jack Hemingway with first wife; two sons, Patrick and Gregory, with second. Only Patrick survives as of this writing (June 2005).
He was married four times, and dedicated a book for each wife during the time he was married to them.
Long considered a likely Nobel Laureate for Literature, Hemingway was disappointed when in 1950, William Faulkner became the first American writer of their generation to cop the Prize. Hemingway's 1949 novel "Across the River and Into the Trees" (1949) had been a notable failure, and likely cost him the honor of being the first American since Eugene O'Neill won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938. Hemingway returned to his original, simple style for The Old Man and the Sea (1958), his 1952 novella that won him the Pulitzer Prize. After two plane crashes gave him the opportunity to read his own obituary, he finally won the Nobel Prize in 1954, in large part due to the extraordinary success of "Old Man". Hemingway himself was initially involved in the production of his book, although the extent of his participation after selling his book was to go marlin-fishing off the coast of Peru to try to find a fish worthy enough for the picture. In the end, the producers used a rubber marlin and stock footage of marlin fishing in which Hemingway didn't participate in. After seeing the film, Ernest Hemingway expressed his disappointment and said that Spencer Tracy looked less the Cuban peasant fisherman and more the rich old actor that he was. Tracy won an Oscar nomination for the role.
Hemingway, perhaps the most prominent of the American supporters of the Spanish Republic during its struggle against the fascist rebellion led by Gen. Francisco Franco's Falangists--heavily supported by the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler--said that Alvah Bessie's Spanish Civil War novel "Men in Battle" (1939) was one of the best war novels of its time. Hemingway's own Spanish Civil War novel, "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (1943), won the 1940 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and was a best-seller.
Much of his writing reflects his dissatisfaction with modern culture.
The city of Key West, Florida, has an Ernest Hemingway lookalike contest every year.
Although it was not used, he proposed the following epitaph for his tombstone: "Pardon me for not getting up.".
Journalist Hunter S. Thompson was an admirer of Hemingway and his writing. Thomnpson wrote an article about Hemingway's later life and death titled, "What Lured Hemingway to Ketcham". The article can be found in Thompson's book, "The Great Shark Hunt".
When he died in 1961, his estate consisted of $418,933 in various stocks and bonds, $801,766 in real estate, and $189,611 in notes, cash, and mortgages.
As you get older, it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary.
A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.
All things truly wicked start from an innocence.
There are events which are so great that if a writer has participated in them his obligation is to write truly rather than assume the presumption of altering them with invention.
All my life I've looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time.
If the book is good, is about something that you know, and is truly written, and reading it over you see that this is so, you can let the boys yip and the noise will have that pleasant sound coyotes make on a very cold night when they are out in the snow and you are in your own cabin that you have built or paid for with your work.
God knows people who are paid to have attitudes toward things, professional critics, make me sick; camp following eunuchs of literature. They won't even whore. They're all virtuous and sterile. And how well meaning and high minded. But they're all camp followers.
A man's got to take a lot of punishment to write a really funny book.
Remember this too: all bad writers are in love with the epic.
Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
Never mistake motion for action
There is no hunting like the hunting of men, especially armed men, and those who have done this long enough to like it...they never care for anything else thereafter.
What is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.
[on Marlene Dietrich] If she had nothing but her voice, she could break your heart with it. But she also has that beautiful body and the timeless loveliness of her face.
When I dream of afterlife in heaven, the action always takes place in the Paris Ritz.
|The Killers (1946)||$36,700|
|The Sun Also Rises (1957)||$10,000|
|Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man (1962)||$100,000|
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