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date: 15 June 2024

Hemingway, Ernestfree

Hemingway, Ernestfree

  • Charles Robert Baker


  • North American Literatures

Ernest Miller Hemingway was born on 21 July 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois. His father, Clarence Edmonds Hemingway, was a prominent physician and surgeon and a member of the staff of Oak Park Hospital. He was a powerful physical presence: he stood six feet tall, was muscular, and sported a full, black beard. On 1 October 1896, he married Grace Hall, a lively, artistic woman who gave up a potential operatic career to become the doctor's wife. The couple had six children: Marcelline, Ernest, Ursula, Madelaine, Carol, and Leicester. Dr. Hemingway and his wife were active in civic affairs and Oak Park's First Congregational Church, and Grace taught singing and piano.

The family spent part of every summer at their cottage on Walloon (formerly Bear) Lake in northern Michigan, and it was here that Ernest was taught how to hunt and fish by his father, a skilled and passionate outdoorsman. The idyllic and primitive setting of the eight-mile lake was enhanced by the presence of a number of Ojibway Indians who had settled in an abandoned lumber camp nearby. The Ojibways, who made their living logging what white men had left behind, left a lasting impression on young Hemingway and were characterized in many of his early short stories.

In Oak Park, Hemingway led the conventional, restrictive life that most boys of upper-middle-class families in late Victorian America endured; he attended public school, acted in school plays, played the cello, participated in team sports, and sang in the church choir. In high school he wrote for the school newspaper and contributed stories and poems to the literary magazine. The stories are full of the blood and thunder of most adolescent male writing and the poems are about football. His use of humor, sarcasm, and pseudo-illiterate dialect reveal the strong influence of popular writer Ring Lardner, but there is evidence of Hemingway's search for his own style.

After graduation, Hemingway had three choices: war, work, or college. The United States had entered World War I two months before Hemingway graduated, but Dr. Hemingway forbade his son's enlisting. Because of a deficiency in Hemingway's left eye, it is unlikely that the army would have accepted him. He expressed no desire to attend college, so his uncle, Alfred Tyler Hemingway, a Kansas City businessman, used his influence to get the boy a job as a cub reporter with the Kansas City Star.

Hemingway arrived in Kansas City in October 1917. The newspaper assigned him to the police and hospital beat, which forced his exposure to people and acts that were far removed from the narrow confines of Oak Park. However, the most important things Hemingway gained during his time in Kansas City were the camaraderie and example of other writers and the lessons he learned from the Star's stylebook. The stylebook consisted of 110 rules of prose usage that the Star's reporters were expected to follow. Rule number one admonishes writers to “Use short sentences. Use short first paragraphs. Use vigorous English. Be positive, not negative.” Rule number three reads, “Eliminate every superfluous word.” Other rules address the use of slang and the avoidance of adjectives. At the age of eighteen, Hemingway accepted these rules as his artistic credo and remained faithful to them for the rest of his life.

Wounded in Italy

Hemingway's time in Kansas City was brief. In April 1918, he and Ted Brumback, a fellow reporter, enlisted in the American Red Cross and were assigned to drive ambulances for the Italian army. Hemingway sailed from New York on 23 May and arrived in Schio, Italy, on 4 June. After three weeks of driving the wounded to medical facilities, Hemingway volunteered to distribute chocolate and cigarettes to the men on the front lines. Just after midnight on 8 July, Hemingway was at a forward observation post when an Austrian trench mortar shell exploded nearby. Two hundred twenty-seven pieces of shrapnel cut into his legs. Despite this, he was able to carry a wounded Italian soldier to safety before being hit by Austrian machine-gun fire, one bullet lodging in his right knee and another in his right foot.

Hemingway was the first American to be wounded in Italy and was the first patient to be cared for in the new American Red Cross hospital in Milan. During his three-month hospital stay he fell in love with one of his nurses, Agnes von Kurowsky. When Hemingway had recovered sufficiently from surgery to get about with the aid of crutches or a cane, Agnes accompanied him to dinner, the opera, and the horse races. Their romance progressed to the point that when the war ended and Hemingway sailed for home in early January 1919, he fully expected Agnes to follow soon thereafter and become his wife.

Hemingway, in his tailor-made Italian uniform, walked down the gangplank in New York on 21 January 1919 to a hero's welcome. Newspaper reporters scrambled to get his story and, at home in Oak Park, he was much sought after as a guest speaker. His enjoyment of celebrity was short-lived, however, when he received a letter from Agnes in March announcing her engagement to an Italian officer. Hemingway took his anger and grief to Lake Walloon where he camped, fished, and wrote short stories before returning home to Oak Park in December. In January 1920, Hemingway moved to Toronto as a paid companion for a partially crippled young man and became a freelance writer for the Toronto Daily Star. When summer came, he quit his work in Toronto and joined his family at Lake Walloon. Relations with his mother and father had reached a breaking point. Dr. and Mrs. Hemingway were dismayed that their twenty-one-year-old son had not created a life for himself apart from them. His mother issued an ultimatum in the form of a letter stating that until Hemingway chose to “cease [his] lazy loafing and pleasure seeking” and “come into [his] manhood” he would not be welcome in the Hemingway home. Hemingway never forgot or forgave this letter. In October 1920, having suffered severe wounds from the war, Agnes, and now his mother, he moved in with a friend in Chicago and took a job writing for the Cooperative Commonwealth magazine.

Hadley and Paris

Hemingway met Elizabeth Hadley Richardson in Chicago at a party thrown by a mutual friend. The moment she walked into the room, Hemingway knew she was the woman he would marry. Hadley, who lived in St. Louis, was equally attracted to the handsome young man who was eight years her junior. After a year of passionate correspondence, the two were married on 3 September 1921. Hemingway's next-door neighbor was the popular novelist Sherwood Anderson. Anderson had recently returned from a trip to Paris and convinced Hemingway that it was the perfect place for a young writer to live. Hemingway made an agreement to write feature stories for the Toronto Daily Star and, with letters of introduction from Anderson to the two most influential American writers living in Paris, Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein, he and his wife set sail for Europe on 8 December 1921 and arrived in Paris on 20 December.

The fiction and poetry Hemingway brought to Paris was written between his return from Italy and his marriage to Hadley and shows little artistic progress beyond his high school writings. But Paris was to be his university and Pound and Stein were to be his professors. Pound was the founder of the imagist movement in poetry. Imagist poets such as Amy Lowell and H. D. (Hilda Doolittle) employed a technique derived from classical Chinese and Japanese poetry that stressed clarity and economy of language. Pound read Hemingway's poems and arranged to have six of them published in the January 1923 issue of Poetry. The magazine's editor and founder, Harriet Monroe, identified Hemingway as “a young Chicago poet now abroad who will soon issue in Paris his first book of verse.” Little critical attention has been paid to Hemingway the poet. Indeed, his poems are considered to be the work of a young man who was merely dabbling in another form of literary expression. Some of the poems are savage attacks on other writers, some are obscene and profane, but some reveal the emergence of genius. Paris 1922, for example, is an exercise in writing that Hemingway described in A Moveable Feast (1964):

I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, “Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there. It was easy because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say.

The prose poem is written in six sections, each one beginning with the words “I have.” The fifth section reads: “I have seen the one-legged street walker who works / the Boulevard Madelaine between the Rue Cambon / and Bernheim Jeune's limping along the pavement / through the crowd on a rainy night with a beefy / red-faced Episcopal clergyman holding an umbrella / over her.” This, of course, became the foundation for one of Hemingway's best short stories, Cat in the Rain. Although Hemingway wrote poems throughout his life, the majority of them were written during his youth in Paris. Of the eighty-eight poems that were collected and published in 1979, seventy-three were written before A Farewell to Arms was published in 1929.

Crucial to Hemingway's development as a prose writer was his relationship with Gertrude Stein. Stein was the arbiter of art and literature in Paris, and her Left Bank apartment, shared with her companion, Alice B. Toklas, was a mecca for young artists and writers. Her own rules of writing were so eccentric as to make her work almost indecipherable, and she did not have any direct influence on Hemingway's style, which had already been developed through journalism. She read his work and made suggested improvements, but more important to the struggling writer, she took him seriously and included him in her circle of established authors. Stein is credited with dubbing those between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five as the Lost Generation. She, however, claimed that she heard the phrase used by an innkeeper who was bemoaning the lost opportunities those who went to the horrors of World War I would never experience. In A Moveable Feast, Hemingway wrote that she heard it used by an auto mechanic who was berating a young assistant. Whatever the origin of the descriptive phrase, Hemingway made it Stein's forever by attributing it to her in one of the epigraphs to The Sun Also Rises (1926).

In addition to Stein's salon, Hemingway frequented Sylvia Beach's bookshop, Shakespeare and Company. The shop, which opened in 1919, had an extensive lending library and was a meeting place for French, American, and British writers. Beach was their friend, confidant, banker, postmaster, tireless promoter, and often their publisher. Her crowning achievement was the publication of the first complete edition of James Joyce's Ulysses in 1922 when publishers in America and Britain were facing arrest on obscenity charges for publishing portions of the massive work. Beach wrote in her history of the shop that Hemingway was “my best customer,” often borrowing armloads of books at a time: Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Turgenev, and Chekhov. Hemingway wrote of Beach, “She had pretty legs and she was kind, cheerful and interested, and loved to make jokes and gossip. No one that I ever knew was nicer to me.”

Trying to follow Hemingway's movements during this part of his life is very difficult; he was constantly in motion. During the rainy season in Paris, he and Hadley liked to go to Switzerland or Austria to enjoy the snow and skiing. On the advice of Stein, they traveled to Spain where, on 30 May 1923, in the town of Aranjuez, Hemingway saw his first bullfight. The spectacle made a tremendous emotional impact on Hemingway; so strong was his reaction that he found that he could not write about it. He explained the problem in Death in the Afternoon (1932):

the bullfight was so far from simple and I liked it so much that it was much too complicated for my then equipment for writing to deal with and, aside from four very short sketches, I was not able to write anything about it for five years—and I wish I would have waited ten.

The best bullfights were to be found beginning on 6 July in Pamplona during the six-day Fiesta San Fermin that has been held since 1126. The fiesta is primarily a religious holiday featuring holy processions and pilgrimages in honor of Christian martyr Saint Fermin. Fermin was beheaded, and during the fiesta red kerchiefs are worn around the neck in remembrance of this. The most well-known event of the fiesta is the daily running of the bulls through the city's streets to the holding corrals at the bullring. For the past several decades, tourists who mistakenly believe they are emulating Hemingway have risked injury or death by running ahead of the charging beasts. Hemingway observed the event many times but never participated.

In addition to these pleasure trips, Hemingway traveled to cover events for the Toronto Daily Star: Constantinople to report on the Greco-Turkish War, Lausanne for the Peace Conference, Germany to observe the French and Belgian occupation of the Ruhr Valley, and Genoa for the International Economic Conference. One wonders how Hemingway found the time to write fiction. What he had managed to produce was lost when Hadley's suitcase containing several short stories and the beginning of a novel was stolen at the Gare de Lyon as she was leaving to join her husband in Switzerland on 2 December 1922. Two stories survived, however: My Old Man which had been rejected by Cosmopolitan magazine and was in the mail, and Up in Michigan, which Hemingway had thrown into a desk drawer after Gertrude Stein had pronounced it inaccrochable, not for public viewing. These two and another story he wrote in Italy in April 1923, Out of Season, plus ten poems were published by Robert McAlmon's Contact Press in Paris as Three Stories and Ten Poems (1923).

Hemingway's first book was a slim volume of only sixty-four pages. Three hundred copies were printed in its first, and only, edition and sold for two dollars each. At a March 2002 auction at Swann Galleries in New York, an inscribed copy sold for $52,900. In what would seem to be open defiance of Stein's opinion, Hemingway selected Up in Michigan to be the first story. It is set in Hortons (Horton) Bay, a small town in northern Michigan that Hemingway knew well. Liz Coates, a romantic young girl, works for Mrs. Smith in what the reader assumes is a restaurant, although it is never identified as such. Liz is silently but overwhelmingly attracted to the town blacksmith, Jim Gilmore. She lies awake at night thinking about his body, remembering how he looks when he washes in the outdoor washbasin. (Liz's musings are remarkably similar to those of another young woman, Connie Chatterley, who shocked the world five years later in D. H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover.) When Jim and two other men prepare to go deer hunting, Liz considers making him something special to eat on the trip but shyly and fearfully decides not to. When the men return she feels excited and weak. The men take their dinner at the Smith house and get drunk on the remains of their hunting whiskey. Jim seeks out Liz in the kitchen and begins to grope and kiss her. Liz is frightened but follows him down a path to the dock where he drunkenly and brutally rapes her and falls asleep on her violated body. Tears of pain join tears of disillusionment as she extricates herself from under his inert weight. She places her coat over Jim to protect him from the damp night air and returns to the Smiths'. “She was cold and miserable and everything felt gone.”

Out of Season concerns a young gentleman and his wife who are staying at a hotel in Cortina, Italy. The young gentleman (this is the sole way Hemingway refers to him the thirty-seven times he is mentioned) has engaged the services of a drunken local, Peduzzi, to show him and his wife, Tiny, the best spot to do some illegal, out-of-season, trout fishing. As the fishing party proceeds through the streets of Cortina, the couple becomes reluctant to continue. Tiny finally returns to the hotel, disgusted by her husband's spineless inability to simply dismiss the drunken fool and cancel the agreement. At the river, Peduzzi discovers that they lack a vital piece of fishing gear and arranges with the young gentleman to meet again tomorrow morning. The young gentleman gives Peduzzi money to buy supplies for tomorrow but admits, “I may not be going.”

My Old Man is told by a young boy named Joe who, along with his father, a steeplechase jockey named Butler, travels through Europe pursuing racetrack wins. The boy has a deep love for his father and is excited about their future after Butler wins enough money to buy his own horse, Gilford. At the Auteuil racetrack in Paris, Gilford stumbles at a water jump and Butler is killed. Gilford suffers a broken leg and is shot. Joe is left nothing but the good memories of his beloved father. But even that is taken from him when he overhears two men cursing his father as a crook who got what he deserved. Joe is stunned to learn that he is the only person on the racing circuit who is unaware of his father's dishonesty. Even though another jockey tries to reverse the damage, Joe ends his story by realizing the totality of his loss: “Seems like when they get started they don't leave a guy nothing.”

The ten poems in this volume are of minor interest. Indeed, when Edmund Wilson reviewed the work in the October 1924 issue of The Dial, he wrote that the poems were “not particularly important.” That has remained the opinion of most Hemingway scholars; however, poetry remained an important means of expression for Hemingway all his life and his work in this art will perhaps one day receive the critical attention it deserves. Two of the poems present some insight into the twenty-four-year-old Hemingway, however. Along With Youth is a farewell; “…Piles of old magazines, / Drawers of boy's letters / And the line of love / They must have ended somewhere. / Yesterday's Tribune is gone / Along with youth.…” And in Roosevelt, a tribute to his boyhood hero, Teddy Roosevelt, are these lines that give the reader an eerie sensation of things to come in Hemingway's life: “And all the legends that he started in his life / Live on and prosper, / Unhampered now by his existence.”

Hadley was several months pregnant and Hemingway reluctantly agreed to have their child born in America. In late August 1923, the couple left Paris and settled in Toronto, Hemingway working full time for the Toronto Daily Star. Their son, John Hadley Nicanor Hemingway, was born on 10 October, and although Hemingway loved “Bumby” all his life, the boy's arrival was untimely and added stress to an already tense marriage. The role of full-time breadwinner and father left little time for writing fiction. In late December, he took Gertrude Stein's advice and quit the Star and moved his family back to Paris. Released from his journalistic duties, Hemingway threw himself into writing short stories, producing enough to publish a collection of sixteen entitled In Our Time (1925). Another volume with the same title (in lower case, however) was published in 1924. It is a collection of eighteen vignettes, the longest amounting to only 282 words. These exercises in writing short, declarative sentences, similar to the exercises in Paris 1922, were used as interchapters in the 1925 collection.

In Our Time is not only a masterpiece in terms of writing, it is a masterpiece of arrangement as well. Each story is indirectly a piece of a larger picture, rather like a Cubist painting. The collection begins, after a brief vignette about the Greco-Turkish War and one of the interchapters from the 1924 volume, with Indian Camp. A doctor is called to an Indian camp across the lake from his summer cabin to assist a woman who is having difficulty delivering her baby. With him are his brother, George, and his young son, Nick. The woman has been in labor for two days and her screams fill the air. The doctor assures Nick that the screams are unimportant and does for the woman what he must do under the primitive circumstances. Not having any anesthetic, he instructs some Indians and George to hold the woman in place, performs a cesarian section with his pocketknife, delivers a healthy baby boy, and sews up the incision with fishing leaders. Feeling very happy with his work, the doctor attempts to rouse the baby's father who has been lying silently in the upper bunk. When the doctor pulls his blanket back he finds that the man, unable to endure his wife's suffering, has cut his throat and bled to death. The doctor tells his brother to take Nick outside but it is too late; Nick has seen the man's wound. As they row back across the lake, the doctor voices his regrets at taking his son to the Indian camp. Nick, however, who has experienced firsthand the adult mysteries of birth and death, seems unscarred by his initiation. The doctor answers his son's questions patiently and honestly. Sitting in the boat with his father, the sun rising and bass jumping, Nick in youthful confidence feels quite sure that he will never die. Indeed, Nick does not die. Hemingway allowed his autobiographical counterpart to live on through eleven more stories and have a son of his own. The achingly beautiful Fathers and Sons, first published in Winner Take Nothing (1933), is the last of the Nick Adams stories and presents a thirty-eight-year-old Nick who is reminiscing about his father, and what he was taught by him, while driving on a Sunday toward some unnamed destination. Nick's young son sleeps beside him on the front seat and, as if he were dreaming about his father's remembrances, wakes up and asks Nick, “What was it like, Papa, when you were a little boy and used to hunt with the Indians?”

The Doctor and the Doctor's Wife is another father and son story. The doctor has backed down from a physical confrontation with some Ojibway Indians he has hired to cut logs. He walks to his home where he is further humiliated by his wife and escapes to the solace of the woods. He finds his son reading under a tree and tells him that his mother wants him to come home. Nick, in an almost heartbreaking display of love and support for his father, says that he would rather go with him. “All right. Come on then,” his father said. “Give me the book, I'll put it in my pocket.” “I know where there's black squirrels, Daddy,” Nick said. “All right,” said his father. “Let's go there.”

The next three stories follow an older Nick as he breaks off a romance (The End of Something), suffers through the aftermath with the aid of liquor and a sympathetic friend (The Three-Day Blow), and stumbles upon a punch-drunk boxer and his kind-hearted companion after being thrown from a train (The Battler). A Very Short Story is an expanded version of a vignette from the 1924 collection and recalls Hemingway's anguish over the loss of Agnes von Kurowsky. Soldiers Home reveals what many soldiers faced when they returned home from the horrific battlefields of World War I. A sharp contrast is shown between the life Krebs returned to in the previous story and the life of a young Hungarian soldier traveling through postwar Europe in another expanded vignette, The Revolutionist.

The next four stories, Mr. and Mrs. Elliot, Cat in the Rain, Out of Season, and Cross-Country Snow, are brilliant portrayals of marital discord from various points of view. My Old Man fits in at this point by taking the reader back to the father-and-son relationship of the first two stories. Finally, after dealing with suicide, humiliation, rejection, drunkenness, insanity, and parental and marital problems, Nick takes a fishing trip alone in Hemingway's undisputed masterpiece of detailed observation, Big Two-Hearted River. The importance of this two-part story cannot be overemphasized. Not only does it present Hemingway at the height of his descriptive powers, it offers a tribute to a way of coping with life's difficulties that Hemingway was about to lose forever. “It was hard work walking up-hill. His muscles ached and the day was hot, but Nick felt happy. He felt he had left everything behind, the need for thinking, the need to write, other needs. It was all back of him.” Hemingway would search for the rest of his life for the solitary peace and simple happiness that Nick enjoys along the river.

Pauline and the Early Novels

The New York publishing house of Boni and Liveright published In Our Time and signed Hemingway to a three-book contract. After the contract had been signed, however, Hemingway received a letter that had been waiting for him at Shakespeare and Company while he was away in Austria. The letter was an offer from the now-legendary editor at Charles Scribner's Sons, Maxwell Perkins. Perkins wrote that F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose The Great Gatsby had recently been published by Scribners, had recommended that Perkins should approach Hemingway about signing with his house. Scribners certainly was a more prestigious publisher than Boni and Liveright, and it is suggested by many Hemingway scholars that he wrote The Torrents of Spring (1926) knowing that the blatant parody of Boni and Liveright's best-selling author, Sherwood Anderson, would be refused and he would be released from his contract. There may be some truth in this, since everyone in Hemingway's growing circle thought the book was cruel, vicious, a betrayal of Anderson who had done much to help the young writer, and not worthy of the author of In Our Time. Everyone, that is, except Pauline Pfeiffer. Pauline was a stylish young woman from Piggott, Arkansas, who was working for the Paris edition of Vogue magazine when she became friends with Hemingway and Hadley. She found The Torrents of Spring to be a splendid piece and encouraged Hemingway to publish it. Her support, beauty, family wealth, and freedom from domestic responsibilities attracted Hemingway and widened the growing gap between him and Hadley.

Hemingway met with Horace Liveright on 9 February 1926 in New York and brought an end to their contractual agreement. The next day, Hemingway met with Max Perkins at Scribners and signed a contract for publication of Torrents and a novel Hemingway had begun in July, The Sun Also Rises (1926). When Hemingway returned to Paris, he spent two days celebrating with Pauline before joining his wife in Austria. “When I saw my wife again standing by the tracks as the train came in by the piled logs at the station, I wished I had died before I ever loved anyone but her.” Hemingway wrote movingly of the pleasure and pain of these days in the final chapter of A Moveable Feast:

an unmarried young woman becomes the temporary best friend of another young woman who is married, goes to live with the husband and wife and then knowingly, innocently and unrelentingly sets out to marry the husband. When the husband is a writer and doing difficult work so that he is occupied much of the time and is not a good companion or partner to his wife for a big part of the day, the arrangement has advantages until you know how it works out. The husband has two attractive girls around when he has finished work. One of them is new and strange and if he has bad luck he gets to love them both.Then, instead of the two of them and their child, there are three of them. First it is stimulating and fun and it goes on that way for a while. All things truly wicked start from an innocence. So you live day by day and enjoy what you have and do not worry. You lie and hate it and it destroys you and every day is more dangerous, but you live day to day as in a war.

The daily war became too much for Hadley and she agreed to divorce Hemingway. It was during this time of emotional upheaval that Scribners published The Sun Also Rises.

The novel takes a passage from the Book of Ecclesiastes as its title. Following the epigraph from Gertrude Stein, “You are all a lost generation,” Hemingway inserted a second epigraph, “One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; but the earth abideth forever.…The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to the place where he arose.” It is Hemingway's purpose to present honestly the devastating effects of World War I on a generation represented by his characters. Jake Barnes, the novel's narrator, is a veteran of the war and has suffered an unspecified wound that has rendered him impotent. The wound is important to an understanding of the novel in that it represents a physical manifestation of what the other characters suffer emotionally; an inability to participate fully in life.

Book 1 of the novel presents the festive façade of life in Paris during the 1920s. Jake and his friend, Robert Cohn, run into Brett Ashley at a dance club filled with people who are seeking some sort of satisfaction through loud music, frenetic movement, and bottles of champagne. Jake knew Brett when she was a nurse in England. It is obvious that the two love each other and suffer greatly because of Jake's wound. Brett lost her first husband to dysentery during the war and is waiting for her divorce from her second husband, Lord Ashley, to become final before she weds Mike Campbell, her bankrupt, Scottish fiancé. Brett is sexually insatiable and takes the hopelessly smitten Robert with her for a two-week stay in San Sebastian, a seaside resort on the border between France and Spain. When they return in book 2, Bill Gorton, a friend of Jake's, and Mike Campbell have arrived in Paris. Jake and Bill leave for the fiesta in Pamplona and stop for a few days of trout fishing in Burguette. Robert had intended to go with them but decides instead to wait for Brett who has gone back to San Sebastian, this time with Mike. The pathetic Robert is incapable of accepting the fact that Brett wants nothing further to do with him and endures the drunken derision of Jake, Mike, and Bill to be close to her.

All the characters come together in Pamplona and enjoy a week of drinking and attending the bullfights. Hemingway, through Jake, displays his remarkable knowledge of the life and death struggle that happens within the bullring. Jake introduces Brett to a dashing young matador, Pedro Romero. Brett's attraction to the nineteen-year-old boy is more than Robert can bear. He erupts in violence, using the skills he learned on the boxing team at Princeton, and knocks Jake unconscious and knocks Mike down. His rage carries him to Pedro's hotel room where he injures the boy badly. Pedro pulls himself together enough to give a brilliant show in the bullring the next afternoon before leaving for Madrid with Brett.

Book 3 opens with Jake, Bill, and Mike leaving Pamplona. They hire a car to take them to Bayonne. Bill takes the train to Paris, Mike goes to the resort town of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, and Jake retreats to San Sebastian for six days of rest, relaxation, and recuperation. While there, he receives a desperate telegram from Brett begging him to come to Madrid: “Could you come Hotel Montana Madrid am rather in trouble Brett.” He arrives in Madrid to find that Brett has sent Pedro away and has decided to return to Mike. The sexual tension between Jake and Brett is unbearable and they try to drown their frustrations and disappointments in endless martinis and white wine. Hemingway ends the novel with Brett and Jake taking a taxi ride through Madrid.

“Oh, Jake,” Brett said, “we could have had such a damned good time together.” Ahead was a mounted policeman in khaki directing traffic.He raised his baton. The car slowed suddenly pressing Brett against me.“Yes,” I said. “Isn't it pretty to think so?”

Nothing is resolved and the reader finds himself back at the beginning with little reason to be optimistic about the lives of any of the characters. The small hope that Hemingway expresses is found in the second epigram: the sun will rise again on another generation and perhaps they will find some purpose in this seemingly purposeless postwar world.

The novel was a tremendous success, not only among Hemingway's friends who enjoyed trying to match his characters with those within their circle, but with everyone who had experienced the moral and spiritual vacuum that existed in Europe after the war. Scribners published a first edition of 5,090 copies that sold for two dollars each; it has never been out of print. In the divorce agreement, Hadley gained custody of Bumby and the royalties from the novel, which was dedicated to both of them.

On 10 May 1927, Hemingway married Pauline in Paris. In October, Scribners published a collection of Hemingway's short stories, many of which had already been published in Scribner's Magazine, entitled Men without Women. Their faith in their new author is suggested by the fact that they published a first edition of 7,650 copies. The young man who had come to Paris on 20 December 1921 to become a writer left the city on 17 March 1928 after publishing six books and gaining the respect of a major American publishing house. With his new wife he sailed for Key West, Florida, where he began work on A Farewell to Arms (1929).

Frederic Henry, who, like Hemingway, was an American volunteer ambulance driver in World War I Italy, tells the story. Frederic begins his reminiscences with some of the most memorable opening lines in American literature:

In the late summer of that year we lived in a house in a village that looked across the river and the plain to the mountains. In the bed of the river there were pebbles and boulders, dry and white in the sun, and the water was clear and swiftly moving and blue in the channels.

Frederic's ambulance corps was assigned to a British medical unit in northeast Italy where heavy fighting was expected. Catherine Barkley, an English nurse whose fiancé of eight years has been killed in France, was attracted to Frederic but also repulsed by his immaturity and insensitivity. The battle along the northern front intensified and Frederic was wounded.

I ate the end of my piece of cheese and took a swallow of wine. Through the other noise I heard a cough, then came the chuh-chuh-chuh-chuh—then there was a flash, as when a blast-furnace door is swung open and a roar that started white and went red and on and on in a rushing wind. I tried to breathe but my breath would not come and I felt myself rush bodily out of myself and out and out and out.

Frederic was sent to the American Hospital in Milan where Catherine had been transferred, and, now that Frederic had gained some insight into the horrors of war and himself, their romance intensified. Frederic was returned to the front after several months of physical rehabilitation and was involved in the hideous retreat from Caporetto. As his unit approached the Tagliamento River, they were stopped by Italian military policemen who picked out officers to be executed as deserters. Frederic jumped into the river and escaped into his “separate peace.” He found Catherine in Stretsa and the two rowed the twenty-one miles across Lake Maggiore to Switzerland. Frederic enjoyed an idyllic life with Catherine and awaited the birth of their child. At the hospital in Lausanne, however, the baby was stillborn after a prolonged labor and cesarian section and Catherine, whose hemorrhaging could not be stopped, died. Frederic was left alone, his disillusionment complete, to “walk back to the hotel in the rain.”

Once again Hemingway captured the frustrations and anxieties of postwar Europe. Indeed, A Farewell to Arms seems a prequel to The Sun Also Rises; one can imagine Frederic going on to the sort of purposeless life led by Jake in the previous novel. The public responded wildly to this story of two lovers damaged by events they neither caused nor were able to avoid. Scribner's Magazine serialized the novel in six parts from May through October 1929 and published a first edition of 31,050 copies. The elation of his first commercial success was dampened by the news Hemingway received on 6 December 1928, that his father had shot and killed himself after suffering a long illness and some financial difficulties.

The year 1930 marked the beginning of a rapid decline in Hemingway, both physically and artistically. His drinking increased and led to a series of accidents; his literary output, which had been prodigious during the 1920s, began to slow down. His success created celebrity and Pauline's money made the enjoyment of it possible. The simple pleasures of solitary hunting and trout fishing in Northern Michigan and Paris graduated to the public spectacles of big-game hunting in Montana and Africa and lengthy fishing expeditions in the Gulf Stream aboard his boat, the Pilar. His growing family (sons Patrick and Gregory were born to Hemingway and Pauline in 1928 and 1931, respectively), his need to take care of his widowed mother and siblings, and his own desire to hold his place among readers would interrupt his adventures and send him back to his pencils and paper. But like all true writers Hemingway never stopped writing, even when it appeared he was playing. His enjoyment of the bullfights in Pamplona, which he continued to attend with Pauline, led to his writing what is considered the best book on the subject written by a non-Spaniard, Death in the Afternoon (1932). In addition, his 1933–1934 African safari produced Green Hills of Africa (1935). Both are splendid examples of Hemingway's ability to entertain and instruct through the use of seemingly simple nonfiction prose.

During the 1930s, Hemingway continued to write short stories that, for the most part, were published in Scribner's Magazine and expand upon his themes of loss and disillusionment. A collection of these was published in 1933 as Winner Take Nothing. A short story written in 1936, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, gives evidence of the deterioration of his marriage to Pauline and the fear that he was losing his talent. Indeed, during the early part of 1936, Hemingway suffered from serious depression and insomnia, and he considered suicide. His counterpart in the story, Harry, has come to Africa with his wealthy wife, Helen, to try to recapture, in the place “where he had been happiest in the good time of his life,” his ability to write well. He has injured his leg and gangrene has set in. As he and Helen wait for a plane from Nairobi that will carry them to a hospital, Harry recalls, in a series of flashbacks, experiences he has saved to write stories about but knows he will not live to complete. As he drifts in and out of delirium, which his nonstop drinking heightens, he berates Helen who patiently tries to make him as comfortable as she can. In his interior monologue he thinks of her as “this rich bitch, this kindly caretaker and destroyer of talent.” He quickly reverses and blames himself: “He had destroyed his talent by not using it, by betrayals of himself and what he believed in, by drinking so much that he blunted the edge of his perceptions.…”

As if to prove his self-assessment correct, Hemingway combined two stories that had been published in Cosmopolitan and Esquire and a third unpublished piece into a novel that is considered an utter failure, To Have and Have Not (1937). This novel, his first in eight years, is Hemingway's attempt to display a social consciousness regarding the devastating effects of the Depression, but the contrast between the “haves” and the “have nots” in Key West is erratic and uneven and lacks the lyricism of his earlier work.

Martha and the Wars in Europe

In The Snows of Kilimanjaro, which reads like a bad fever dream, Hemingway, with brutal honesty about himself and his situation, announces the death of his life with Pauline. Hemingway began to spend more time fishing with his friends and drinking at Sloppy Joe's Bar. The outbreak of civil war in his beloved Spain roused Hemingway from his self-indulgent stupor and he signed an agreement with the North American News Alliance in November 1936 to send dispatches from the war-torn country. In late December 1936, Hemingway met the woman who would become his third wife, journalist and novelist Martha Gellhorn (1908–1998). Hemingway had read her first novel, What Mad Pursuit (1934), and was greatly attracted to the young blonde writer. By January 1937, Hemingway was reporting from besieged Madrid with Martha at his side.

Throughout 1937 and 1938, Hemingway traveled between Spain and America promoting the Loyalist cause. He helped in the production of a short film about the effects of the war in Spain on its people, The Spanish Earth, and made many publicity and fund-raising appearances. His play, the three-act The Fifth Column (1938), a story of counterespionage in Madrid featuring barely disguised portrayals of Hemingway and Martha in the characters of Philip Rawlings and Dorothy Bridges, was published in 1938 together with a collection of previously published short stories. The play did not present the horrors of the civil war as successfully as seven short stories written during this period: The Denunciation, The Butterfly and the Tank, The Night Before the Battle, Old Man at the Bridge, Nobody Ever Dies, Under the Ridge, and Landscape with Figures. Elements of each of these splendid portraits of human dignity and courage enter into Hemingway's fourth novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940).

Robert Jordan, an American college professor, has come to Spain to volunteer his services to those fighting against the fascist forces of Generalissimo Francisco Franco. Jordan is assigned to deliver explosives to a band of guerilla fighters who, after successfully blowing up a train, have been hiding in the mountains near Segovia for the past three months. The self-proclaimed leader of the peasant patriots is Pablo, but Jordan learns that the true strength and authority lies in Pablo's woman, Pilar. With them are seven other men and a young woman, Maria, whom they had rescued from the blown-up train. Fascist soldiers had entered Maria's hometown and killed her mother and father along with many others. Maria and several of the younger women had had their heads shaved and had been gang-raped before being put on the train. With Pilar's help, Maria has recovered enough physically and psychologically to become Jordan's lover. Through her story and the stories of Pilar and the others, Jordan learns much about the capabilities of men and women at war with their countrymen. He learns that both factions commit acts of betrayal and brutality; indeed, the most horrific murders are at the hands of the very people Jordan has joined. Hemingway's relentless honesty about the viciousness and stupidity of both factions earned him some negative responses from leftists who regarded his honesty as anticommunist. Indeed, Hemingway was anticommunist as well as antifascist and all other party lines. His concern was with the individual and how that individual lives and dies within a code of honor, honesty, dignity, and grace.

At the novel's end, Jordan is lying on the pine-needled floor of the forest, as he was in chapter 1. He and the band have carried out their mission and the bridge has been destroyed. As they retreat from fascist soldiers, Jordan's horse is shot and in its fall crushes Jordan's leg. Unable to continue, he sends the others away and stays behind with a machine gun to stall the advancing troops. This is the point where Jordan's true war begins: the war between his desire to escape his pain and torment through suicide, and his desire to hold out against the soldiers long enough that the remaining guerillas might reach safety. It must be remembered that in his almost Christ-like sacrifice, Jordan dies not only for Maria but for the treacherous Pablo as well.

In April 1939, Hemingway packed all his belongings that were in Key West and sailed the Pilar to Havana, Cuba. He moved into a large farmhouse that Martha had found just outside of the city. The property, Finca Vigia (Lookout Farm), would be Hemingway's base of operations for the next twenty years. Hemingway married Martha on 21 November 1940. The honeymoon was soon over, however, as their competitiveness and professional jealousies made for a very difficult marriage. Martha was as ambitious as she was talented and she accepted assignments that took her far from home. Sometimes Hemingway accompanied her, as he did during her trip to cover the Sino-Japanese War, but more often he was content to stay in Cuba enjoying the success of For Whom the Bell Tolls, deep-sea fishing on the Pilar with friends, and drinking.

His envy reached a breaking point when Martha received an assignment to cover the war in Europe for Collier's. After brooding and drinking for nearly six months while his wife was on the front lines, Hemingway agreed to write for Collier's and effectively upstaged Martha, who was given other duties by the magazine. He arrived in London on 17 May 1941 and witnessed the D-Day landing aboard a correspondents' transport ship on 6 June 1944. Because of his celebrity he was afforded special treatment not usually granted members of the press corps: permission to fly on Royal Air Force bombing missions and, through General Charles Trueman Lanham, a car, weapons, and a small troop of irregulars whom he led on reconnaissance patrols. His little army was one of the first to enter Paris on 25 August 1944. Hemingway commandeered the Ritz Hotel and its bar and sought out old friends who had stayed in Paris during the Nazi occupation: Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein, and Sylvia Beach.

Mary and the Final Years

With him at the Ritz was an American reporter he had met in London, Mary Welsh. In temperament Mary was everything Martha was not: passive, adoring, indulgent, and endlessly forgiving. Hemingway's fiery five-year marriage to Martha came to a legal end on 21 December 1945, and he married Mary on 14 March 1946 in Havana.

The tumultuous decade of 1940 saw only one major work by Hemingway. In 1946 he had begun work on The Garden of Eden (1986) and in 1948 Islands in the Stream (1970), but, as 1950 approached, the reading public was hoping for a novel of World War II that would rival A Farewell to Arms and For Whom the Bell Tolls. What they got was the terribly disappointing Across the River and into the Trees (1950). The title is derived from the dying words of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson, “Let us cross the river and rest in the shade of the trees.” The story concerns another dying general (now demoted to colonel because of a blunder he committed resulting in the loss of several men under his command), fifty-year-old Richard Cantwell, who, aware of death's rapid approach, has bluffed his way through an army physical in order to spend his last days doing what he loved most: duck hunting on the Tagliamento River near Venice, dining at the Gritti Palace Hotel, drinking at Harry's Bar, and loving an eighteen-year-old countess, Renata. In the few hours left to him, Cantwell reminisces about his life and loves. It is a tender story with masterful descriptions of Venice, but Hemingway loses control of his style, often in ways that result in self-parody. The reviews were scathing and called into question the entirety of Hemingway's work. Stung by this and the fact that the Nobel Prize for literature had been awarded to William Faulkner the previous year, Hemingway reworked an essay he had written in 1936 for Esquire magazine, On the Blue Water: A Gulf Stream Letter. The resulting work was the last novel published in his lifetime and the one that restored and solidified his reputation for all time, The Old Man and the Sea (1952).

The small book, barely 27,000 words, is the very essence of the Hemingway style: a simple story told with detailed accuracy and close attention to natural beauty. Santiago is an old, expert fisherman living in poverty in Cuba. His wife has died and his only company is a young boy, Manolin, who lives in the village with his parents and helps Santiago with his fishing gear and brings him food and coffee. Santiago has not caught a fish in eighty-four days but Manolin reminds him he once went eighty-seven days without a catch before his luck changed. Santiago, who follows the New York Yankees baseball team closely, knows that his team has just won their eighty-fourth game of the season and one more win would put them in a tie for first place. He sees this as a guarantee that his eighty-fifth day out on the water will result in a good catch for him. Indeed, at noon the next day Santiago hooks an enormous marlin that pulls his sixteen-foot skiff far out into the Gulf Stream. United in their determination to survive, sharing physical torments in the struggle, man and fish fight for two days until the fish is finally killed by Santiago's harpoon. He lashes the eighteen-foot marlin to his skiff and sails for shore. After an hour the first of several Mako sharks attacks Santiago's catch. The old man fights them off with what strength he has left but the sharks prevail and when he arrives at his village the night of his third day out, only the marlin's skeleton remains tied to his skiff. The next morning gawking tourists who think the bones are that of a shark misunderstand the gruesome sight and the struggle it represents. In the novel's final scene, Manolin sits by the old man who is sleeping and dreaming of the lions he once saw playing on an African coast when he was a young sailor.

The novel contains several elements of Christian imagery: Santiago's cry as the fishing cord cuts into his hands is described as the sort of cry a man might make as he feels “the nail go through his hand and into the wood,” and the image of Santiago struggling to his home carrying his mast on his back and finally lying down in the form of a crucified man. Some see the novel as an allegory of Hemingway's life's work: the struggle and determination to go farther than anyone has gone to catch/create the greatest fish/body of work only to have it destroyed by sharks/critics and misunderstood by tourists/readers. But the true wealth of the story is found in its simple, straightforward presentation of the tragic dignity of all living things. Santiago is Hemingway's finest example of everyone who has struggled and lost and risen to the challenge again. As he struggles with the sharks, he voices and exemplifies the belief that sustains all of Hemingway's protagonists, “A man can be destroyed but not defeated.” The small book earned Hemingway the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 and is thought to be directly responsible for his being awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1954.

In spite of the literary accolades, Hemingway was a seriously troubled man in the final years of his life. Like Harry in The Snows of Kilimanjaro, he attempted to reclaim his artistic abilities by returning to the places where he was at his best. He arrived in Pamplona with Mary in the summer of 1953 and from there went on a disastrous and near-fatal African safari that involved two plane crashes in two days. He recuperated in Venice from his several severe injuries before returning to Cuba in June 1954. In 1956, he returned to Europe where, the legend has it, he found two footlockers he had stored at the Ritz Hotel in Paris when he had left for Key West in 1928. The footlockers contained notebooks that were filled with Hemingway's observations of his life in Paris as a young man. He began to organize and rewrite these reminiscences in 1957 but was unable to complete the project to his satisfaction during his lifetime. Mary, with the assistance of Hemingway's friend, A. E. Hotchner, gathered the material and had it published as A Moveable Feast (1964). With its romanticized portrayal of his years with Hadley and its gossipy and often cruel comments on his circle of fellow expatriates, it quickly became the most popular of Hemingway's nonfiction books.

In 1959, Hemingway and Mary spent the summer in Spain following a pair of young matadors who were staging mano a mano bullfights across the country. The pace of travel in the summer heat was exhausting and Hemingway fortified himself with ever-increasing amounts of alcohol. The tour became a debacle in which a constantly drunken Hemingway showed signs of severe mental illness. His book that chronicled this trip was indeed well titled, The Dangerous Summer (1985).

Hemingway was admitted to the Mayo Clinic under a false name on 30 November 1960 and remained there until 22 January 1961. He was treated for a long list of problems including diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, hypertension, paranoia, and severe depression. Electro-shock therapy was administered and, while it relieved some of the depression, it damaged his memory. Hemingway was released to Mary's care and they went to their home in Ketchum, Idaho. Ketchum is located near Sun Valley, an area Hemingway loved the first time he saw it with Martha in 1939. The house he and Mary bought there in 1959 is rather grim and forbidding but the views of the Sawtooth Mountains are spectacular. Here Hemingway struggled to organize his Paris sketches. Increasingly frustrated, Hemingway attempted suicide twice in late April. He was returned to the Mayo Clinic under heavy sedation on 25 April and endured more electroshock therapy. Against Mary's advice, the clinic released Hemingway on 26 June and he returned to Ketchum. Early Sunday morning on 2 July 1961, while Mary slept upstairs, Hemingway unlocked a storage room and retrieved his Boss double-barreled shotgun. In the foyer of his home he put the barrels to his head and pulled the trigger.

Mary tried to convince the press that the shooting was accidental but no one other than she believed that Hemingway would have been cleaning a loaded shotgun at seven-thirty on a Sunday morning. The funeral service, held at Ketchum Cemetery on 6 July, was small and private. A simple plot-length stone bearing his full name and birth and death dates marks Hemingway's grave. Along the road to Sun Valley there stands a stone pedestal bearing a bronze bust of Hemingway. These words from a eulogy that Hemingway wrote for his friend Gene Van Guilder in 1939 are inscribed on a plaque at the base of the pedestal: “Best of all he loved the fall / The yellow leaves on the cottonwoods / Leaves floating on the trout streams / And above the hills / The high blue windless skies / Now he will be a part of them forever.”

Hemingway in Our Time

Hemingway's reputation has survived several attempts to dismantle it. He was reviled as a war monger addicted to blood sports in the peace movement years of the 1960s; he was held up as a perfect example of a male chauvinist pig during the women's liberation movement of the 1970s; and even in the new millennium some library occasionally finds it necessary to ban one or more of his books. For the most part, however, an industry has grown up based on the man and his work. Manuscripts left incomplete at the time of his death have been heavily edited by friends or family members and then published as Hemingway's work: A Moveable Feast (1964), Islands in the Stream (1970), The Dangerous Summer (1985), The Garden of Eden (1986), and True at First Light (1999).

Seminars and conferences on Hemingway are held in many parts of the world every year. New biographies and critical studies appear regularly in bookstores. Annual festivals, featuring events that run the gamut from the sublime to the ridiculous, are held in Oak Park and Key West. Tourists still risk life and limb in Pamplona every July because of a book Hemingway wrote more than seventy years ago. Hemingway Web sites abound. Hemingway's centennial year, 1999, saw an incredible outpouring of mass-produced items—clothing, hunting and fishing equipment, home furnishings, postage stamps, and even a Hemingway cookbook—all claiming to convey the spirit of the man.

What is sometimes lost in all of this frenetic adoration and commercial enterprise is the reason anyone remembers Hemingway at all—his work and how it affected literature. There are few modern writers who can assert that Ernest Hemingway taught them nothing. Ann Beattie, Reynolds Price, Andre Dubus, Jim Harrison, Joyce Carol Oates—the list is endless—readily confess that Hemingway was and is of vital importance to their art. Our language is filled with descriptive phrases that originated with Hemingway: “grace under pressure,” “a clean, well-lighted place,” “a moveable feast.” His influence is indeed pervasive and unavoidable. It is said in jest, although it may very well be the truth, that 50 percent of writers try hard to write like Hemingway and the other 50 percent try hard not to.

The secret of Hemingway's endurance as a storyteller is that he invites the active participation of the reader in the creation of the story. Everyone will read a Hemingway piece differently based on his or her own life experiences. This is true of many writers but particularly of Hemingway who purposely stripped his sentences of detailed description. In 1932 he wrote of his theory of omission, popularly known as the “iceberg theory,” in Death in the Afternoon:

If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer has stated them. The dignity of movement of an ice-berg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water.

Writing in simple, crisp, clear declarative sentences Hemingway made the work of writing look easy, to the dismay of many would-be authors. He set the standard of performance for all writers in these words written in a letter to Bernard Berenson in 1954, “You have the sheet of blank paper, the pencil, and the obligation to invent truer than things can be true. You have to take what is not palpable and make it completely palpable and also have it seem normal and so that it can become a part of the experience of the person who reads it.”

Despite all the biographies and studies of Hemingway and all he has told us about himself and his art, he remains enigmatic. He is one of the most photographed writers since Mark Twain, but the abundance of images create more questions about the man than they answer. He appears equally content holding a machine gun or holding one of his many cats; posing with a huge marlin he has caught or with his infant first child; drinking wine from a bota at the bullfights or working on a manuscript in Idaho. Perhaps James Joyce summed up all we really need to know about Hemingway when he told a Danish interviewer, Ole Vinding, in 1936:

He's a good writer, Hemingway. He writes as he is. He's a big, powerful peasant, as strong as a buffalo. A sportsman. And ready to live the life he writes about. He would never have written it if his body had not allowed him to live it. But giants of his sort are truly modest; there is much more behind Hemingway's form than people know.


  • Three Stories and Ten Poems (1923)
  • in our time (1924)
  • In Our Time: Stories (1925)
  • The Torrents of Spring (1926)
  • The Sun Also Rises (1926)
  • Men without Women (1927)
  • A Farewell to Arms (1929)
  • Death in the Afternoon (1932)
  • Winner Take Nothing (1933)
  • Green Hills of Africa (1935)
  • To Have and Have Not (1937)
  • The Fifth Column, and the First Forty-nine Stories (1938)
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940)
  • Across the River and into the Trees (1950)
  • The Old Man and the Sea (1952)
  • A Moveable Feast (1964)
  • Islands in the Stream (1970)
  • The Nick Adams Stories (1972)
  • The Dangerous Summer (1985)
  • The Garden of Eden (1986)
  • The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway (1987)
  • True at First Light (1999)

Further Reading

  • Baker, Carlos. Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story. New York, 1969. A standard biography, approved by Mary Hemingway. Excellent source for specific dates.
  • Baker, Carlos. Hemingway: The Writer as Artist. 4th ed. Princeton, N.J., 1972. A reprint of the first critical study of Hemingway, originally published in 1952.
  • Baker, Carlos. Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters, 1917–1961. New York, 1981.
  • Bloom, Harold, ed. Modern Critical Views: Ernest Hemingway. New York, 1985. Splendid collection of essays by such writers as Reynolds Price and Robert Penn Warren. It also includes the complete Paris Review interview conducted by George Plimpton in 1958.
  • Brian, Denis. The True Gen: An Intimate Portrait of Hemingway by Those Who Knew Him. New York, 1988. “The true gen” was a phrase Hemingway picked up in World War II and used often—it means “the real thing” or “the genuine fact.”
  • Burrill, William. Hemingway: The Toronto Years. Toronto, 1994.
  • Donaldson, Scott. The Cambridge Companion to Hemingway. New York, 1996. “Hemingway's Late Fiction: Breaking New Ground,” by Robert E. Fleming, is a very good appraisal of Hemingway's final works.
  • Fenton, Charles A. The Apprenticeship of Ernest Hemingway: The Early Years. New York, 1975.
  • Gerogiannis, Nicholas, ed. Complete Poems. Rev. ed. Lincoln, Nebr., 1992. Originally published as Ernest Hemingway: 88 Poems in 1979, this revised edition includes an insightful afterword.
  • Hotchner, A. E. Papa Hemingway: A Personal Memoir. New York, 1999. Hemingway's close friend during the last thirteen years of his life, Hotchner writes a vivid account of the writer's decline. Mary Hemingway tried unsuccessfully to stop publication of the book.
  • Meyers, Jeffrey. Hemingway: A Biography. New York, 1999. Includes two helpful appendices: one that lists all of Hemingway's injuries and illnesses and another listing travel dates and points of departure and arrival.
  • Oliver, Charles M. Ernest Hemingway A to Z: The Essential Reference to the Life and Work. New York, 1999. An invaluable encyclopedic guide.
  • Smith, Paul. A Reader's Guide to the Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway. Boston, 1989.
  • White, William, ed. Dateline Toronto: The Complete Toronto Star Dispatches, 1920–1924. New York, 1985.