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fanuzzir
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Hemingway's life and legend

This larger than life figure was also the meticulous artist, as well-traveled as any American writer and yet the epitome of American masculinity. Let's discuss the biography of this fascinating artist alongside the lore he created around himself with all that deep sea fishing, bullfighting, and big-game hunting.
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Re: Hemingway's life and legend

[ Edited ]
one picture tells more than a thousand words:

http://www.nytimes.com/books/99/07/04/specials/hemingway.12.html

It's a part of a slide show but it seems the link requires a registration for NYT (no cost).

Mary wants to shoot a lion but she is too short so Hemigway pushes her out of the long African grass and she has a go at it, then he finishes with an expert shot. Ack.

ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 02-09-200712:16 PM

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hero's dignity

[ Edited ]
The trouble with Hemingway is that he (his work) needs to fight against his own myth. It was also the myth he tried to create and enforce during his whole life and finally couldn't maintain. Human flaws and vulnerability didn't fit into that picture.
He went to Africa to shoot lions but how did he handle his alcoholism, his own slavery? The hero was left pretty hollow.

Finally Hemingway had both himself and the image to worry about. And how could you bring down the hero from the top of the mountain in a wheelchair? The hero shot himself. The lion he tried to be went down, the human part of him limping far behind.It was over in a blow.

Suicide runs in his family. Maybe it is chemistry, maybe it is the family's culture and burried secrets, who knows.

But the fact is that his writing style did away with the 1900 type of writing and that is what added weight to the deathlessness of his (somewhat punctuated) myth. As was said when he shot himself: he is not dead, generations of young men will say that (my paraphraze).

Those generations now don't have many useful and reliable male role models for moulding their own style of maleness. We can but hope they see Papa as the complex being he was, not as the picture of himself he tried to promote.

ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 02-10-200705:46 AM

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fanuzzir
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Re: hero's dignity



ziki wrote:
The trouble with Hemingway is that he (his work) needs to fight against his own myth. It was also the myth he tried to create and enforce during his whole life and finally couldn't maintain.


Yes, there is something frantic to these escapades. He devoted his life to the style he tried to express in his writing--a modernist ideal, to make one's art one's guide for living. Hemingway definitely did this to himself, as you say--he was the object of his own art.
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Re: hero's dignity

"We can but hope they see Papa as the complex being he was, not as the picture of himself he tried to promote."

Can they, meaning can we? Are we not also faced with the existential realities of meaning versus death? Are we not also challenged to create a purpose for our lives by way of a willing suspension of disbelief?
_______________________________________________

Overheard in the Student Union at Brandeis University:
"Man, if I actually had to talk to Socrates, I'd be pissed."
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we yes



zman wrote:
"We can but hope they see Papa as the complex being he was, not as the picture of himself he tried to promote."

Can they, meaning can we? Are we not also faced with the existential realities of meaning versus death? Are we not also challenged to create a purpose for our lives by way of a willing suspension of disbelief?




yes yes, they= we = same same but different...sure we.

zee
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Re: Hemingway's life and legend



ziki wrote:
one picture tells more than a thousand words:

http://www.nytimes.com/books/99/07/04/specials/hemingway.12.html

It's a part of a slide show but it seems the link requires a registration for NYT (no cost).

Mary wants to shoot a lion but she is too short so Hemigway pushes her out of the long African grass and she has a go at it, then he finishes with an expert shot. Ack.

ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 02-09-200712:16 PM






I agree, very good pictures. I confirm, it is very easy to register (free of charge) and it lasts for years (I did it a long time ago).
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Hemingway

[ Edited ]
link

Message Edited by ziki on 02-15-200707:24 PM

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Re: Hemingway's writing

I listened to Hemingway's acceptance speech (Nobel price) and there he outlined very clearly what in his opinion a writer needs to do. I liked his view that writing has to speak for itself and the writer doesn't need to speak about his writing. Henry James loved to elaborate on his style.

It's almost disgusting how scholars and pupils chew on his bones, trying to explain him. The more I read about him the more it arrests me in my judgements and interpretations that seem to be so arrogant. It was very beneficial to hear his own voice to regain a little reverence for the human being he was.

ziki
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Re: Hemingway's writing

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Re: Hemingway's writing



ziki wrote:
It's almost disgusting how scholars and pupils chew on his bones, trying to explain him. The more I read about him the more it arrests me in my judgements and interpretations that seem to be so arrogant. It was very beneficial to hear his own voice to regain a little reverence for the human being he was.

ziki




Of course its wise to leave stereotypes and received opinion at the door, but Hemingway certainly wanted his stories chewed over and rehashed, I would think. There is a modernist element to this stories that has us just think of their sentences in themselves. Sometimes his writing leaves you with just an "aura", nothing more, of the world beyond that short plot within his story. But other stories deliberately hide greater narratives that he's actively repressing, such as his war time, or his career with women, both of which were pretty influential on him. Then the stories become like Rorschack tests.
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Re: Hemingway's writing

[ Edited ]
I didn't mean his stories (work) but him as a person. A writer is a brave soul. As he said a writer has to go to nothingness and fetch what can be found. It's like an expedition of sorts....and you can freeze in the snow on the way....

I think he wanted his stories to be read, I am not so sure how much he wanted them to be analyzed to the bare thread. But that is besides the point. I read somewhere that he said to his son that he'd fail a course on himself was he to go and study Hemingway at university. Anyhow Hemingway leads in written biographies by family members, friends and others who didn't know him in person, all had something to say. Maybe it is due to the urge to dismantle the myth that he constructed.

ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 02-16-200708:21 AM

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Re: Hemingway's writing

fanuzzir wrote:
"Hemingway certainly wanted his stories chewed over and rehashed, I would think."

If his approach to readership was anything like his approach to writing, I would say that you are absolutely correct. In his preface to "The First Forty Nine", he said

"In going where you have to go, and doing what you have to do, and seeing what you have to see, you dull and blunt the instrument you write with. But I would rather have it bent and dull and know I had to put it on the grindstone again and hammer it into shape and put a whetstone to it, and know that I had something to write about, than to have it bright and shiny and nothing to say, or smooth and well-oiled in the closet, but unused."
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Re: Hemingway's Life (Family Suicide Tendencies)

Remembering Gregory Hemingway
October 02, 2005 - 1:52 by Timeless Hemingway

It has been four years since Gregory Hemingway, the third and youngest son of Ernest Hemingway, died. The strange circumstances surrounding his death while tragic were not entirely unexpected, for Gregory Hemingway was as tortured an individual as his father.

On September 26, 2001, Gregory Hemingway was walking around naked in Key Biscayne, Florida. He was carrying a woman's dress and high heels. He was arrested on an indecent exposure charge and sent to the Miami-Dade Women's Detention Center. He died there of heart failure on October 1, 2001. Gregory's cross-dressing tendencies seem to have blossomed at an early age and it was a practice he continued throughout his life. Ernest was aware of his son's peculiar preferences and it created a great discord in their relationship. An even greater discord would have been realized if Ernest was alive to see his son undergo a sex change operation in 1994.

I remember seeing Gregory speak on the A&E biography: Ernest Hemingway: Wrestling with Life. At one point in the program, he said of his father: "You naturally incorporated his standards which were extremely high and extremely hard to live up to. So as long as you were doing well and satisfying this inner need to do well, it was great being his son, but you felt failure much more acutely I'd say. I wanted him to love me, to love me, yeah." I do believe that Gregory Hemingway was genuine in his comments and that he wanted his father to love him. That love would have been a very positive force in Gregory's life. I am convinced, however, that Gregory Hemingway would have needed much more than a father's love to curb his self-destructive lifestyle.


I never knew his son had such a tortured life. It would have been difficult, indeed, to have been Hemingway's child, I feel. I'll have to get a copy of the biography when I can.

Liz (E-mail) - October 07, 2005 - 8:23

Love from your parents can make a you cry with happiness and weep in shame at the same time.

Knowing how much Hemingway disliked violence and useless bloodshed, I think he would have been greatly saddened by his son's death, despite the suggestion that he bore little love for him and was estranged by his curious habits.

Also, I think that if only father and son could have reconciled, it might have prevented a lot of suicides within the Hemingway family.

Never underestimate the power of love or hate.

ian (E-mail) - October 29, 2005 - 8:40

I have read most of the bio's on EH (Hotchner, Fuentes, L. L. Hemingway, J. Hemingway, Carlos Baker, among others) None told of the Gregory's nature better than "Running with the Bulls" by Valerie Hemingway (Gregory's former wife and personal assistant to EH from 1959-1960). No holds barred and a very personal look into his life.

Thomas (E-mail) - November 15, 2005 - 1:26
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Re: Hemingway's Life (Family Suicide Tendencies)

You could not have found a more fascinating family history angle here. I don't think that cross-dressing and trans-gendered lifestyles should be classified as destructive like drug abuse, but that makes me think even the more about the difficulty the son must have had living with a masculinity obsessed father. I was interested that the father wanted his sons doing well: there was a old-fashioned capitalist, Protestant ethic to Hemingway that we don't often see or appreciate in an artist.
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Re: Hemingway's Life (Family Suicide Tendencies)

[ Edited ]

fanuzzir wrote:
You could not have found a more fascinating family history angle here. I don't think that cross-dressing and trans-gendered lifestyles should be classified as destructive like drug abuse, but that makes me think even the more about the difficulty the son must have had living with a masculinity obsessed father. I was interested that the father wanted his sons doing well: there was a old-fashioned capitalist, Protestant ethic to Hemingway that we don't often see or appreciate in an artist.




I thought it was interesting and another data point. From what I have read so far, it appeared that Hemingway actually tried to be a good father even though he might not have been the best husband. There was definately a falling out with Gregory and Gregory's choices. He had blamed Gregory for his former wife Pauline's death and one account indicated that they never really spoke afterwards.

Hemingway had more of Grace in him than he cared to admit. I think she brought to him his artistic side as well as his sense of ethics which he chose to submerge and mask with all of those things his father loved to do. And it may be the case that Grace because of the deal that she struck with Hemingway's Dad did not clean and/or cook or do housekeeping chores etc which other mothers handled in their households. It is apparent that Hemingway held these things against Grace even though Grace showered affection on him and loved him very much. I can't think of many folks (anybody for that matter) who do not go to their mother's funeral even if they have had a minor falling out with their parent.

I did feel sorry for Gregory for his tortured life as well and not ever being able to live up to Heminway's ideals and likewise Gregory's choices must have caused Heminway and Pauline a lot of pain as well with their backgrounds. It was very sad in a way.

Message Edited by bentley on 02-20-200704:50 AM

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Re: Hemingway's Life (Some documents cited)

[ Edited ]
http://www.galegroup.com/servlet/PressArchiveDetailServlet?articleID=199908_dlb210


This looks like an interesting volume to look over. Some original documents and letters. Has anyone taken a look at this. Is it something that is available in the librairies?

Message Edited by bentley on 02-20-200701:32 PM

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Re: Hemingway's Life (Family Suicide Tendencies)



fanuzzir wrote:
You could not have found a more fascinating family history angle here. I don't think that cross-dressing and trans-gendered lifestyles should be classified as destructive like drug abuse, but that makes me think even the more about the difficulty the son must have had living with a masculinity obsessed father. I was interested that the father wanted his sons doing well: there was a old-fashioned capitalist, Protestant ethic to Hemingway that we don't often see or appreciate in an artist.




Here is a photo from the Kennedy Library Hemingway archives of Gregory Hemingway and his father in Cuba...he doesn't look very happy here (Gregory)

http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset+Tree/Asset+Viewers/Image+Asset+Viewer.htm?guid={E321CC9A-3095-4FEE-85B0-7EF589A879CC}&type=Image
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Re: Hemingway's background influence



fanuzzir wrote:
You could not have found a more fascinating family history angle here. I don't think that cross-dressing and trans-gendered lifestyles should be classified as destructive like drug abuse, but that makes me think even the more about the difficulty the son must have had living with a masculinity obsessed father. I was interested that the father wanted his sons doing well: there was a old-fashioned capitalist, Protestant ethic to Hemingway that we don't often see or appreciate in an artist.




to all,

I think it is good to take into account what we know about the influence of both Hemingway's parents.

As I understood it was his father who taught Ernest the hunting and the outdoor life game. I feel that it is an important fact. I would see it differently if Hemingway himself (as a grown up man) came to the conclusion that hunting was something he wanted to pursue. For me this impacts the whole discussion of his 'masculine image'.

Even if Hemingway had a troubled relationship to his mother she was the one who stressed culture (not nature as the father) and like it or not it must have been something that he inherited from her, too. There was also some religious issue involved I would think. Hemingway wanted to leave his family very early on and no child does that if things are not askew in some serious way.

There's no doubt that the family was for some reason dysfunctional but what is interesting in that case is how that influenced Hemingway's writing; IOW: the fact that inspite of his background he became what he became. Or thanks to that background?

Often the dyfunctional patterns get tighter with each coming generation and Gregory perhaps tried to dilute the presure in his "own way". It was also mentioned that Hemingway wished for a daughter and he was disappointed by getting yet another son. In that light one could say no wonder that Gregory played with being a transvestite. However, these are psychological oversimplifications and only raw speculations in line with the style of a tabloid press... unless it is soemhow related to his writing. methinks. Perhaps we as readers own him that sort of respect.

The 'iceberg style' could also be connected to the feel of such a disturbed family. Perhaps issues were not discussed openly, all was just held under the surface, covert and you have to fish for feelings and meaning.

Also sea is often seens as a symbol of the female element and EH was fascinated by sea. Maybe it could offer him something that he didn't find with his mother or his women. Maybe the deep sea fishing somehow united the disparate elements inside of him. Who knows?

ziki
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