Thursday, February 21, 2008

20th Century American Literature Class

A few facts about the legendary American author, Ernest Hemingway. Remember, if it's on the Internet it must be true.

- Hemingway was born July 21, 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois. He would be 108 years old today if he were still alive.
- Hemingway's mother often dressed him as a girl when he was a child. Her insanity contributed to Ernest's hyper-machismo.
- Hemingway spent summers with his family in the woods of Wisconsin. While fly fishing appeared frequently in Hemingway's writing, mosquitoes did not.
- At the age of 18, Hemingway volunteered to drive ambulances for the Italian Army in World War I. This presumably was to compensate for being dressed as a girl by his mother.
- Hemingway married the first of his four wives, Hadley, in 1921. She was an older woman. Each successive wife was progressively younger.
- Hemingway moved to Paris to escape Prohibition. This allowed him to cultivate alcoholism and relationships with many notable expatriate artists.
- Hemingway lost a suitcase containing the only copies of his first short stories. He did not have back up copies.
- His first novel, The Sun Also Rises, tells the story of a disaffected WWI veteran through the themes of fly-fishing, bullfighting, and alcoholism. The book popularized the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. Many Drunk Americans have been gored since.
- Hemingway went to Spain during the Spanish Civil War. His novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls tells the tale of a doomed American fighting for the Republicans through the use of oddly stilted dialogue. This was not George W. Bush.
- Hemingway won the Nobel Prize for Literature for his short novel, The Old Man and the Sea. The story tells the tale of a marlin which destroys a man. The marlin dies.
- Hemingway loved fishing, bull-fighting, big-game hunting, and drinking. He defined manliness for at least two generations of young men. Then the hippies grew their hair long and started wearing beads.
- Hemingway survived two plane crashes in one day. Is this a curse or a blessing? You've crashed twice... but you've survived twice. Take a truck next time.
- Hemingway died of lead poisoning in Ketchum, Idaho on July 2, 1961 four days before William Faulkner, another noted American alcoholic and author.

No comments: