Big News: Hemingway Wrote Great Books

I never spent much time reading Ernest Hemingway, but now I do.

I was turned off by the macho image that he seemed to want to project. Until I read his short stories. Then I saw that the author I thought was a macho guy was really a boy who thought by acting macho he could attract attention and love from his inattentive father.

Which figure is more attractive to you, the reader, the macho guy or the little boy trying without success to win his father’s love?

Hemingway’s work, from beginning to end, hinges on complete honesty. It starts in his short stories and continues throughout his career. That may sound funny for a writer of fiction, but Hemingway was incredibly diligent about it, and you’ll see what I mean if you read his books.

He won the Nobel Prize for literature, remember?

He had a lot of talent to begin with, but he was also able to learn from his many brilliant teachers, including Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound and F. Scott What’s His Name.

Hemingway even followed What’s His Name to Paris and frequented the same cafes. That’s how he met Stein and Pound. A guy with talent who can learn? There’s no limit for a guy like that and there was no limit for Hemingway. He was a great writer, period. Everything he wrote.

But I have to say, don’t listen to the accounts of his suicide that say, “He got cancer, so he killed himself.” This is completely untrue. I say this in hopes of reaching cancer patients who might feel this way.

Hemingway was in a terrible plane crash in Africa and everyone feared he was dead. But he survived and made it back to civilization.

Then he was in a second plane crash that was worse than the first, causing unimaginable injury. Unhealed bone fractures lead to cancer. Hemingway was disabled in ways he found terribly embarassing, and because of the two plane crashes he had no real hope of recovery.

So if he chose to end his life, it had much more to do with the TWO plane crashes than it did with the diagnosis of cancer, and I’m grateful for the chance to set the record straight.

And, like I said, his books are all great reads, and they’re taught so much you can find them for a quarter wherever you go.