Publicado: Fri, 25 Sep, 2015

Writer and journalist

This entry is also avaliable in: Spanish

Imagen tomada de Internet.Havana. A very fine thread divides the journalist and the writer. Ernest Hemingway was able to take both occupations to universal scenes.

Born in Oak Park, Illinois, on July 21, 1899 he was considered the “God of brass of the North American literature “, although first he cultivated the journalism, when in his last grade of Secondary he took a course imparted by Fannie Biggs, and when finishing the school he went to work as a reporter to Kansas City Star.

In 1918, during the First World War, he went to the Italian front as a driver of ambulances, where he was gravely wounded. When he returned home he collaborated actively with the periodic Toronto Star and he was an associated editor of the magazine Cooperative Commonwealth, where he met the novelist Sherwood Anderson.

In 1921 he married Hadley Richardson, the first of his four wives. That year he was sent to Paris as a foreign correspondent. In twenty months, he presented eighty eight articles to Toronto Star, covered the Greek-Turkish war, and was a witness of the burns of Smyrna, and he wrote many chronicles of his trips. But while he traveled to Geneva, his wife lost his suitcase in the Paris-Lyon station, with all his manuscripts, and Hemingway had to begin from the very beginning.

In Paris he enjoyed the friendship of famous writers that helped him in his formation, namely: Eras Pound, Gertrude Stein, Francis Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos, and the painters Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró and Juan Gris.

When he published his novel Fiesta, his marriage with Hadley was mutilated, due to the proximity of Pauline Peiffer, a rich woman with which he went to live to Key West. There he worked in his novel entitled Farewell to Weapons, alternating the writing with safaris and trips.  He collected material for La verdes colinas de África, La nieves del Kilimanjaro and La breve vida feliz de Francis Macomber.

In 1934 he bought a ship that called Pilar and he began to navigate for the Caribbean Sea. Cuba fascinated him, where in 1935 he wrote Tener y no tener, his unique novel of the decade of 30´s. In 1939 he divorced from Pauline to marry Marta Gellhorn, an outstanding journalist who was “never in charge of him according to the biographers as the other women did”, although she inspired him to write his more famous work: Por quién doblan las campanas, an allegation of his living during the Spanish Civilian War.

In 1940 he bought for 18 000 dollars the Finca Vigía, an extension of 60 000 square meters in the outskirts of Havana. He participated actively in the Second World War, as a correspondent for important newspapers, and self-employed colonel heading a group of adventurous militiamen that followed him everywhere. He was present in the landing of Normandy. He entered first than the regular troops to Paris, taking with their militiamen the hotel Ritz.

In 1948 he married Mary Welsh. Besides travelling and hunting he occupied seriously of writing novels, but he contracted several illnesses, he suffered two airplane accidents, which led him with several intervertebral disks cracked, a hepatic rupture and skull fracture. And in a forest fire, he suffered second grade burns in the legs, the chest, face, hands and forearms, events that precipitated his physical deterioration. Hemingway, who had been an alcoholic during great part of his life, drank more than the habitual to combat the pain of the wounds.

In 1953 he was granted the Pulitzer Prize for his novel The old man and the sea, written in Cuba, about the life of the fishermen in Cojímar. The following year the Swedish academy granted him the Nobel Prize of Literature, for the legacy of his style, a decisive influence for the writers that came later.

In 1959 he left Cuba displeased by the threats of the nascent revolution of intervening the foreign properties. After the invasion of the Bay of Pigs, in 1961, the Finca Vigía was seized by the Cuban government, including his collection of six thousand books and dozens of valuable paintings.

Very sick and subjected to erroneous treatments with electroshock in the clinic of the siblings Mayo, he committed suicide on July 2, 1961 in his house of Ketchum, with his hunt shotgun, leaving to the posterity the simplicity and force of a vigorous prose, made up of skeletal sentences that offer a multifocal reality. His theory of the iceberg, of the omission, the lacking syntax of subordinate sentences, and the internal punctuation in favor of declarative short sentences.

After his death, not only his work, but the details of his life also transformed into a means of exploitation: “the Hemingway Industry.” Then, the Papa’s restaurants and the Harry’s bars proliferated all over the world. A line of furniture Hemingway was promoted successfully by his son Jack. Montblanc offers stylographic pens with his name, as well as famous lines of safari clothes.

At present, there is a Festival of Imitations of Hemingway, created in 1977 as a public recognition to his influence. The winners are rewarded with a trip to “Harry Bar”, in Italy. And a smaller discovered planet in 1978 for the former Soviet Union, 3656 was named after Hemingway, to honor this writer and journalist’s memory and, paradigm of two occupations that although separated by a very fine thread, not all can be carried out at the same time with success.

Frank Correa

Frank Correa es periodista independiente y miembro de APLP

Latest posts by Frank Correa (see all)

Escribir un comentario

XHTML: Ud.puede utilizar los siguientes tags html: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>