Archives for posts with tag: Ernest Hemingway

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“For a long time now I have tried simply to write the best I can. Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can.” ERNEST HEMINGWAY

Cartoon: Harley L. Schwadron, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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All my life I’ve looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time.”  

ERNEST HEMINGWAY

 Painting: “The Mountain” by Edward Ruscha, 1998

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Though they were close friends and lived in Paris at the same time during the 1920s, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald never had their photo taken together, but here’s the next best thing — the novelists are two of the ten writers that grace “Heritage” trading cards issued in 2009 by Topps, a company famous for its baseball cards. The reverse side of each card includes stats about the author, a mini bio, and a literature quiz.

Other writers in the series include Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorn, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and Henry David Thoreau.

Paul Nebenzahl, whose poetry appears in the Silver Birch Press Summer Anthology (June 2013), recently sent a stash of these charming Topps cards (all the writers mentioned above, except for Thoreau). Thank you, Paul! We look forward to including more of the cards in future blog posts.

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The Spring 1958 issue of the Paris Review included an interview George Plimpton conducted with Ernest Hemingway at the author’s home outside Havana, Cuba. Hemingway invited Plimpton into his inner sanctum–his writing room–and allowed the interviewer to observe his writing methods. Here are some of Plimpton’s observations:

…on the top of one of these cluttered bookcases—the one against the wall by the east window and three feet or so from his bed…Hemingway has his “work desk”—a square foot of cramped area hemmed in by books on one side and on the other by a newspaper-covered heap of papers, manuscripts, and pamphlets. There is just enough space left on top of the bookcase for a typewriter, surmounted by a wooden reading board, five or six pencils, and a chunk of copper ore to weight down papers when the wind blows in from the east window.

A working habit he has had from the beginning, Hemingway stands when he writes. He stands in a pair of his oversized loafers on the worn skin of a lesser kudu—the typewriter and the reading board chest-high opposite him.

When Hemingway starts on a project he always begins with a pencil, using the reading board to write on onionskin typewriter paper. He keeps a sheaf of the blank paper on a clipboard to the left of the typewriter, extracting the paper a sheet at a time from under a metal clip that reads “These Must Be Paid.” He places the paper slantwise on the reading board, leans against the board with his left arm, steadying the paper with his hand, and fills the paper with handwriting which through the years has become larger, more boyish, with a paucity of punctuation, very few capitals, and often the period marked with an X. The page completed, he clips it facedown on another clipboard that he places off to the right of the typewriter.

Hemingway shifts to the typewriter, lifting off the reading board, only when the writing is going fast and well, or when the writing is, for him at least, simple: dialogue, for instance.

He keeps track of his daily progress—“so as not to kid myself”—on a large chart made out of the side of a cardboard packing case and set up against the wall under the nose of a mounted gazelle head. The numbers on the chart showing the daily output of words differ from 450, 575, 462, 1250, back to 512, the higher figures on days Hemingway puts in extra work so he won’t feel guilty spending the following day fishing on the Gulf Stream.

Read “Ernest Hemingway: The Art of Fiction” at the Paris Review.

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For many years, novelist William Hazelgrove has had the privilege of writing in the attic of Ernest Hemingway’s birthplace at 339 N. Oak Park Avenue in Oak Park, Illinois, where he was writer in residence. The result — Rocket Man, a novel released by Koehler Books in May 2013. 

Considering Rocket Man‘s impressive reviews, Hazelton has done Hemingway proud.

“Rocket Man is a charming tale of fatherhood, family, and the American Dream.” Midwest Book Review

“The funniest serious novel since Richard Russo’s Straight Man, rich with the epic levity of John Irving and salted with the perversion of Updike.” Chicago Sun Times

NOTE ABOUT THE BOOK FROM WILLIAM HAZELTON: Rocket Man was written after I moved to the suburbs from the city. I looked around and found myself and others unable to keep up with what had become the American Dream…the big car, house, basically the overheated middle class life that had become the American nightmare. When I became the Rocket Man for my son’s scout troop I knew I had a motif to write this novel about a man isolated in a world rapidly spinning out of control. Rocket Man is a story of our time. A man about to lose his home, trying desperately to hang on to what really matters in life. In this way, Rocket Man is really about us. Find the book at Amazon.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: William Elliott Hazelgrove is the best-selling author of Ripples, Tobacco Sticks and Mica Highways. His novels have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, selected for Book of the Month Club, received ALA Editors Choice Awards, and have been optioned for the movies. He was the Ernest Hemingway Writer in Residence, where he wrote in the attic of Ernest Hemingway’s birthplace. His latest novel Rocket Man was chosen Book of the Year by booksandauthors.net. He has been the subject of interviews in NPR’s All Things Considered and features in the New York Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Richmond Times Dispatch, USA Today, and People. Learn more at williamhazelgrove.com.

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“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.” ERNEST HEMINGWAY

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American author and journalist. His economical and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short story collections, and two non-fiction works. Three novels, four collections of short stories, and three non-fiction works were published posthumously. Many of these are considered classics of American literature. (Read more at Wikipedia.org)

PHOTO: Ernest Hemingway by Jeff Morgan, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, Used by Permission

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“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was…” ERNEST HEMINGWAY

Photo: Singer Rosemary Clooney (1928-2002), pictured in the 1950s, reads DEATH IN THE AFTERNOON (1932) by Ernest Hemingway — a nonfiction book about Spanish bullfighting that is a “contemplation on the nature of fear and courage,” according to Wikipedia.

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“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.” ERNEST HEMINGWAY

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CREDIT: New Yorker cartoon by Edward Koren, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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CHRISTMAS AT THE ROOF OF THE WORLD (Excerpt)

by Ernest Hemingway

  “…Paris with the snow falling. Paris with the big charcoal braziers outside the cafes, glowing red. At the cafe tables, men huddled, their coat collars turned up, while they finger glasses of grog Americain and the newsboys shout the evening papers.
     The buses rumble like green juggernauts through the snow that sifts down in the dusk. White house walls rise through the dusky snow. Snow is never more beautiful than in the city. It is wonderful in Paris to stand on a bridge across the Seine looking up through the softly curtaining snow past the grey bulk of the Louvre, up the river spanned by many bridges and bordered by the grey houses of old Paris to where Notre Dame squats in the dusk.
     It is very beautiful in Paris…at Christmas time.

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Editor’s Note: Ernest Hemingway wrote “Christmas at the Roof of the World” in 1923, when he was living in Paris and working as a correspondent for the Toronto Star. Find the story in BY-LINE ERNEST HEMINGWAY: Selected Articles and Dispatches of Four Decades, available at Amazon.com.