Ernest Hemingway

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Ernest Hemingway Trivia

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  • Trivia

    • In France, Hemingway was part of a circle of American expatriates which became known as 'the Lost Generation', a term which he used himself in the epigraph to his novel The Sun Also Rises and in his memoir A Moveable Feast.

    • As a teenager, Hemingway wrote for and edited the newspaper of Oak Park and River Forest High School, in Oak Park, Illinois, sometimes using the pen name Ring Lardner, Jr., in honor of his hero Ring Lardner.

    • When prohibition arrived in the United States in 1920, Hemingway took a job in Canada.

    • Five of the Hemingway family committed suicide - his father, Dr Clarence Hemingway, his sister Ursula and brother Leicester, Hemingway himself, and lastly his grand-daughter Margaux Hemingway in 1996.

    • Hemingway owned an estate near Havana in Cuba for over twenty years, and he was even photographed shaking hands with Fidel Castro, but he lost his property when the conflict in Cuba escalated.

    • The title of his book Across the River and Into the Trees (1950) is taken from the dying words of General Stonewall Jackson.

    • Hemingway was always a heavy drinker and became an alcoholic in his last years.

    • In their Here's to Life, the group Streetlight Manifesto sang:

      Hemingway never seemed to mind
      The banality of a normal life, and I find
      It gets harder every time.
      So he aimed the shotgun into the blue,
      Placed his face in between the two,
      and sighed "Here's to Life!"

    • Hemingway liked six-toed cats, having been given one by a ship's captain. Under his will, his former home in Key West, which is now a museum, houses dozens of the descendants of his cats, more than half of them six-toed.

    • Hemingway converted to Catholicism in 1927.

    • Zelda, the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, took against Hemingway and called him "bogus" and "phoney as a rubber cheque". She believed his macho personality was a cover and Hemingway was really gay.

    • He had three sons, John, Patrick, and Gregory Hemingway. He also had three grand-daughters, Joan, Margaux, and Mariel Hemingway, of whom the last two were actresses.

    • Hemingway was married four times: to Elizabeth Richardson, Pauline Pfeiffer, Martha Gellhorn, and Mary Welsh.

    • At the age of sixty-one, Hemingway killed himself by a gun-shot to the head, exactly as his father had killed himself.

    • He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1953, for The Old Man and the Sea.

    • At the age of eighteen, during the first world wat, Hemingway joined the Red Cross Ambulance Corps and travelled to Italy. After being hit by mortar fire in 1918, he was awarded an Italian medal for bravery.

    • He graduated from Oak Park and River Forest High School, Illinois, but instead of going to college he got a job on a newspaper.

    • Hemingway was named after his grandfather Ernest Hall, an English-born immigrant who fought for the North in the American Civil War.

    • He was the son of a doctor from Oak Park, Illinois.

  • Quotes

    • Ernest Hemingway: When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people, not characters. A character is a caricature.

    • Ernest Hemingway: If two people love each other there can be no happy end to it.

    • Ernest Hemingway: There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it never care for anything else thereafter.

    • Ernest Hemingway: The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.

    • Ernest Hemingway: The good parts of a book may be only something a writer is lucky enough to overhear or it may be the wreck of his whole damn life and one is as good as the other.

    • Ernest Hemingway: That is what we are supposed to do when we are at our best - make it all up - but make it up so truly that later it will happen that way.

    • Ernest Hemingway: Pound's crazy. All poets are. They have to be. You don't put a poet like Pound in the loony bin.

    • Ernest Hemingway: No weapon has ever settled a moral problem. It can impose a solution but it cannot guarantee it to be a just one.

    • Ernest Hemingway: It's none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.

    • Ernest Hemingway: They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one's country. But in modern war, there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason.

    • Ernest Hemingway: If you have a success you have it for the wrong reasons. If you become popular it is always because of the worst aspects of your work.

    • Ernest Hemingway: If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.

    • Ernest Hemingway: If a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one ninth of it being above water.

    • Ernest Hemingway: I never had to choose a subject - my subject rather chose me.

    • Ernest Hemingway: I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake.

    • Ernest Hemingway: Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.

    • Ernest Hemingway: Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously.

    • Ernest Hemingway: Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can.

    • Ernest Hemingway: Fear of death increases in exact proportion to increase in wealth.

    • Ernest Hemingway: As you get older it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary.

    • Ernest Hemingway: About morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.

    • Ernest Hemingway: A serious writer is not to be confounded with a solemn writer. A serious writer may be a hawk or a buzzard or even a popinjay, but a solemn writer is always a bloody owl.

    • Ernest Hemingway: A man can be destroyed but not defeated.

    • Ernest Hemingway: Reality is an illusion that occurs due to lack of alcohol.

    • Ernest Hemingway: You can wipe out your opponents. But if you do it unjustly you become eligible for being wiped out yourself.

    • Ernest Hemingway: I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.

    • Ernest Hemingway: I always try to write on the principle of the iceberg. There is seven-eighths of it under water for every part that shows.

    • Ernest Hemingway: The shortest answer is doing the thing.

    • Ernest Hemingway: I don't like to write like God. It is only because you never do it, though, that the critics think you can't do it.

    • Ernest Hemingway: Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.

    • Ernest Hemingway: Every man's life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.

    • Ernest Hemingway: Madam, all stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you.

    • Ernest Hemingway: All good books have one thing in common - they are truer than if they had really happened.

    • Ernest Hemingway: Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words? He thinks I don't know the ten-dollar words. I know them all right. But there are older and simpler and better words, and those are the ones I use.

    • Ernest Hemingway: There are some things which cannot be learned quickly, and time, which is all we have, must be paid heavily for their acquiring. They are simple things, and because it takes a man's life to know them, the little new that each man gets from life is very costly and the only heritage he has to leave.

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