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Ernest (Miller) Hemingway (1898-1961)

Ernest (Miller) Hemingway (1898-1961)
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One of the most famous American novelist, short-story writer and essayist, whose deceptively simple prose style have influenced wide range of writers. Hemingway was awarded the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature, but he was unable to attend the award ceremony in Stockholm because he was recuperating from injuries sustained in an airplane crash while hunting in Uganda.

"Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter. You will meet them doing various things with resolve, but their interest rarely holds because after the other thing ordinary life is as flat as the taste of wine when the taste buds have been burned off your tongue." (from 'On the Blue Water' in Esquire, April 1936)

Ernest Hemingway was born inn Oak Park, Illinois. His mother Grace Hall had a operatic career before marrying Dr. Clarence Edmonds Hemingway, who took his own life in 1928. Hemingway attended the public schools in Oak Park and published his earliest stories and poems in his high school newspaper. Upon his graduation in 1917 Hemingway worked six months as a reporter for The Kansas City Star and joined then volunteer ambulance unit in Italy during World War I. In 1918 he suffered a severe leg wound and was twice decorated by the Italian government. His affair with an American nurse, Agnes von Kurowsky, gave basis for the novel A FAREWELL TO ARMS (1929). The tragic love story was filmed first time in 1932, starring Gary Cooper, Helen Hayes, and Adolphe Menjou. In the second version from 1957, written by Ben Hecht and directed by Charles Vidor, Rock Hudson and Jennifer Jones were in the leading roles. Its failure caused David O. Selznick to produce no more films.

"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man,then whenever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." (from A Moveable Feast, 1964)

After the war Hemingway worked for a short time as a journalist in Chicago. He moved in 1921 to Paris, wrote articles for the Toronto Star, and associated with such writers as Gertrude Stein and F. Scott Fitzgerald, who edited some of his texts and acted as his agent. Later Hemingway portrayed Fitzgerald in A MOVEABLE FEAST (1964), but not in a friendly light. Fitzgerald, however, regretted their lost friendship. Of Gertrude Stein Hemingway wrote to Maxwell Perkins, his editor: "She lost all sense of taste when she had the menopause. Was really an extraordinary business. Suddenly she couldn't tell a good picture from a bad one, a good writer from a bad one, it all went phtt." (from The Only Thing That Counts, 1996) When he was not writing for the newspaper or for himself, Hemingway toured with his wife, the former Elisabeth Hadley Richardson, France, Switzerland, and Italy. In 1922 he went to Greece and Turkey to report on the war between those countries. In 1923 Hemingway made two trips to Spain, on the second to see bullfights at Pamplona's annual festival.

Hemingway's first books, THREE STORIES AND TEN POEMS (1923) and IN OUR TIME (1924), were published in Paris. THE TORRENTS OF SPRING appeared in 1926 and Hemingway's first serious novel, THE SUN ALSO RISES, on the same year. After the publication of MEN WITHOUT WOMEN (1927) Hemingway returned to the United States, settling in Key West, Florida. Hemingway and Hadley divorced in 1927 and on the same year he married Pauline Pfeiffer, a fashion editor. In Florida he wrote A Farewell to Arms, which was published in 1929. Describing the collapse of the Italian front in World War I and two lovers' brief refuge in private happiness, the novel gained enormous critical and commercial success.

"All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn." (from Green Hills of Africa, 1935)

In 1930s Hemingway wrote such major works as DEATH IN THE AFTERNOON (1932), a nonfiction account of Spanish bullfighting, THE GREEN HILL OF AFRICA (1935), a story of a hunting safari in East Africa, and TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT (1937), which was made into a film by the director Howard Hawks. They had became friends in the late 1930s. Hawks also liked to hund, fish, and drink, and the author got along with Hawk's wife Slim, who later said: "There was an immdiate and instant attraction between us, unstated but very, very strong." According to a story, Hawks had told Hemingway that he can make "a movie out of the worst thing you ever wrote." The author has asked, "What's the worst thing I ever wrote?" and Haws said, "That piece of junk called To Have and Have Not." "I needed the money," Hemingway said. The screenplay of the film was written by Jules Furthman and William Faulkner.

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