October 03, 2022
Ernest Hemingway, who won the Nobel Prize, is regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. He is best remembered for his novels "A Farewell to Arms" and "The Old Man and the Sea."
On July 21, 1899, Ernest Miller Hemingway was born in Cicero, Illinois (which is now part of Oak Park). Although Clarence and Grace Hemingway raised their son in this conservative Chicago suburb, the family also frequently visited their cabin in northern Michigan. As a result, the young sportsman was taught how to hunt, fish, and enjoy nature.
On Walloon Lake in Michigan, Ernest Hemingway's childhood vacation home was the Ernest Hemingway Cottage, commonly known as Windemere. In 1968, it was designated as a National Historic Landmark.
Hemingway took part in the Spanish Civil War and the D-Day landings during World War II's invasion of France. He tossed three hand grenades into a bunker once, killing several SS officers. For his actions, he was awarded the Bronze Star.
Ahead of his time Ernest Hemingway was known to write while standing, which was an unusual but healthy technique. He was known for standing for hours while writing, transferring his weight from leg to leg. He could use a lot of pencils if it was a good writing day.
He installed this strange souvenir in his Key West home after taking it from his favorite drinking hole. When questioned about it, he claimed to have "pissed away so much of [his] money in that urinal that [he owned] it."
He once got into a brawl with Orson Welles. It occurred in a theater, where Wells was narrating a film for Hemingway in a snide, mocking tone. Hemingway became agitated, and the two began swinging and punching (mostly missing) at each other. Eventually, the two gave up and began to laugh. Following this incident, they became lifelong friends.
Throughout his life, Hemingway struggled with acute depression. His bouts of sadness were referred to as his "black dog days."
His favorite foods were a New York strip steak, baked potato, Caesar salad, and a glass of Bordeaux. This was the meal Hemingway ate before taking his favorite shotgun and ending his life on July 2, 1961, in Ketchum, Idaho. His father had committed suicide using the same method several decades before.
Hemingway wrote novels about Seney, a hamlet in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Horton Bay, a village in Charlevoix County, and Kalkaska, a town 30 minutes from Traverse City. He set his novels in small northern towns despite being surrounded by the splendor and glamour of Paris. He also taped a Michigan map to the wall of his working space.
The Michigan Hemingway Society holds a conference in Petoskey every fall when attendees trace Hemingway's steps and talk about his influence on literature. Petoskey embraces Ernest Hemingway's legacy and is home to it. Northern Michigan has a lot to offer Hemingway fans.
I couldn't resist providing these extra details about Hemingway's life in Michigan because I too live here and do enjoy the nature and wildlife of Northern Michigan.
Hemingway left a remarkable collection of work with an instantly recognizable style that has continued to influence writers today. However, his personality and never-ending quest for adventure loomed almost as large as his creative talent. To browse books I might have in stock written by Ernest Hemingway, you will find them here.
I'll leave you with a quote that captures this author's writing and life perspective.
"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."― Ernest Hemingway.
Happy Reading, Pam of Reading Vintage
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