Hemmingway Biography Essay, Research Paper
Hemingway, Ernest (Miller) 1899 — 1961 Writer; born in Oak Park, Ill. Son of a doctor (who would commit suicide), he never attended college but became a journalist for the Kansas City Star (1917–18). He served with the Red Cross Ambulance Corps in France (1917–18) and was wounded while accompanying the Italian army into battle. He worked as a journalist, covering the Greco-Turkish war for the Toronto Star (1920). In Chicago, he married (his first of four wives) and went back to Europe to serve as a foreign correspondent (1921–24). He made frequent trips to Spain and the Austrian Alps but for the most part was based in Paris where he fell in with the expatriate circle centered around Gertrude Stein. His first published work was Three Stories already his distinctive voice was in evidence–simple sentences, enigmatic dialogue, precise description. His first novel, Torrents of Spring (1926), was more a satire of Maxwell Anderson, but The Sun Also Rises (1926) gained him instant acclaim and seemed to capture what Stein labeled “the lost generation.” Men Without Women (1927), another collection of stories, maintained his reputation, while his next novel, A Farewell to Arms (1929), advanced him to the front ranks of contemporary writers. He had returned to the U.S.A. in 1927 but would never stay long in one place, seemingly always in need of adventure–deep-sea fishing off Key West, Fla., big-game hunting in Africa. He had long been dedicated to Spanish bullfighting–his nonfictional work, Death in the Afternoon (1932), effectively introduced it to the non-Spanish world–and when the Spanish Civil War broke out, he went off to cover it (1936–38); he identified with the anti-Fascists, and his only play, The Fifth Column (1938), and one of his better novels, For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940), came out of this experience. By now he was more than a well-known writer–he had become one of the great celebrities of the century, his every word, activity, drink, and clothing style reported on in magazines such as Life. In 1940 he bought a house in Cuba that was to be a fairly regular stopover (and which Fidel Castro and the Cubans treated as a historical site). In World War II, he is said to have aided in espionage in the Caribbean under cover of deep-sea fishing; he then went to England to report on the Royal Air Force and he accompanied the Allied forces on their drive to liberate Paris. After the war, his talents as a writer seemed to have dulled, but he recaptured both popular and critical audiences with his short novel, The Old Man and the Sea (1952), and ended up with the Nobel Prize in literature in 1954. Restless and unable to complete new writing projects, he became prone to various physical ailments, mental depression, and eventually a form of paranoia; he committed suicide by shooting himself at his home in Ketchum, Idaho. A series of works, including A Moveable Feast (1964), appeared posthumously. Hemingway’s terse prose style, self-promoted macho image, and stress on the search for physical challenges have all lent themselves to imitation and parody; but at their best his writing, life, and themes ensured him a role as one of the century’s major literary figures.