Ernest Hemingway. I am choosing to start an author spotlight series with Hemingway. I chose him because he is a classic choice. Most of us were forced to read something about or by Ernest Hemingway through our school years.
The book that hooked me was “A Farewell to Arms.” I read this as part of a Literature course in college. I enjoyed the way that Hemingway tells a story. It is bleak and he promises no happy endings. Suffering is a real thing. Bad character traits are a real thing. This particular book was set in WWI. The imagery in this book is beautifully crafted. The plot is unnerving and sad. The characters difficult and flawed. He admitted to rewriting the ending thirty-nine times before he felt it was right.
Ernest Hemingway was an interesting character within his own life. He started writing at a young age, and is reported to have had horrible spelling. He would have loved spell check! A little known fact is that he began his career as a writer in Kansas City. He wrote for the Kansas City Star and enjoyed his first experience of a city. After only 6 months of being a writer, he joined the American Field Service as an ambulance driver and was sent into WWI. He was wounded in the war and shipped home. After coming home he continued writing. Hemingway is also famous for his unsuccessful love life. He married several times but was unable to feel content. He was depressed and fearful. He took his own life in 1961. He left behind pieces of himself within his works. Once you start reading his words it’s hard to not become a fan of both the man and his craft.
Quotes that I like from Hemingway:
“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”
“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”
“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?”
“My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.”
“Madame, all stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you.”
Any other Hemingway fans? Let’s chat in the comments!
Here are the ones I recommend. The first two are by Hemingway and the third is a fictionalized book about Hemingway and the alleged love of his life.