Thursday, June 22, 2006

Good ol' papa

Here are some fun facts I learned about Ernest Hemingway while reading his memoir A Moveable Feast.

* He liked to gamble on horses, and worked hard at it, finding all the doped-up horses and then betting on them.
* His first wife went skiing while she was pregnant, but their doctor assured them that was all right, "as long as she did not fall down." And hey! she didn't!
* Hemingway and his first wife would go out all day and leave their infant son in their apartment alone in his "tall cage bed" with only the cat in there with him as a baby-sitter. Hemingway thought this was a great idea. Apparently the cat was some kind of guard cat.
* Zelda Fitzgerald impugned F. Scott Fitzgerald's manhood by mocking his physiognomy ("it's a question of measurement"). So Hemingway checked out Fitzgerald's tackle in a café W.C. and pronounced it fine. He suggested they go to the Louvre together and take a look at the nude statues there for comparison. Another macho, heterosexual Hemingway moment.
* Hemingway seems to deride Ford Madox Ford's appearance and mannerisms, which is rather boorish, since Ford had been shell-shocked, and his lungs ruined by gas, in World War I. You'd think bluff, manly Hem would be more considerate of a fellow invalided vet.
* Hemingway may have been a pioneer of prose style, and he had more than a few keen observations, but his writing is kind of boring after a while.

1 comment:

daveawayfromhome said...

I dont know if I've ever heard anything nice about Hemingway, the Man. The Writer gets accolades, but the Man was a dickhead.