Essay: Ernest Hemingway: Imitations and Departures of Art

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Ernest Hemingway: Imitations and Departures of Art & Life

Ernest Heminway was born on July 21st, 1899 in Oak Park, Chicago. As a child, he spent his winters in the city-where his mother took him to operas, art galleries and plays -- and his summers at his grandfather's cabin on Bear Lake, where his father taught him to hunt and fish and too appreciate nature. Hemingway made his first attempts at writing at the age of twelve, and at the age of 18, he worked as a reporter for the Kansas City Star, from October 1917 to April 1918.

In May of 1918, Hemingway enlisted with the Red Cross and served as an ambulance driver in Italy during the first World War. During his hospitalization in Milan-after having been hit by foreign artillery on July 18th, 1918-Hemingway met and fell in love with Agnes Von Kurowsky, an American nurse who inspired Farewell to Arms a decade later. Upon Agnes's rejection of him for being too young-she was 26 and he was 19-Hemingway returned to the states and married his first wife, Elizabeth Hadley Richardson. During his marriage to 'Hadley,' Hemingway published two volumes of short stories, to include the short story a Soldier's Home, in which he depicted the disappointment and alienation of a war 'hero' upon his return home from war.

While it is said that Hemingway loved Hadley and fathered a son with her, he nonetheless conducted numerous affairs during their marriage, in addition to a platonic but passionate relationship with Gertrude Stein during their time in Paris. He and Hadley divorced in 1927 after she found out about his affair with Vogue Magazine editor, Pauline Pfeiffer. Hemingway married Pfeiffer on May 10th, 1927 and they spent their honeymoon in the small French fishing village of Grand-du-Roi, before moving to the Key West. There, Hemingway enjoyed a life of writing, fishing, swimming and sunbathing in between bouts of heavy drinking. Heminway later immortalized this lifestyle and its pitfalls in his tragic novel the Garden of Eden, begun in 1946 and published in 1986. Hemingway and Pfeiffer's marriage lasted twelve years, dissolving in 1939 and quickly followed by his third marriage to Martha Gellhorn, in November 1940.

Martha was a fellow writer and worked in Britain as a reporter during the second World War, while Hemingway worked to reveal Nazi sympathizers and German submarines off the coast of Cuba. As it gradually became apparent to Hemingway that he was unable to deal with marriage to a woman with a career of her own, he and Martha grew apart and finally divorced 1944. It was also in 1944 that Hemingway met Mary Walsh, with whom he returned to Paris and married on March 14th, 1946. Hemingway remained with Mary until his death in 1961; however, his affair with Adriana Ivancich is said to have inspired Across the River and Through the Trees, published in 1950.

While at work on the Kansas City Star, Hemingway learned that good writing consisted of short sentences and direct speech aimed at describing "what was," as opposed to what could or should have been.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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"Ernest Hemingway: Imitations and Departures of Art."  Essaytown.com.  January 1, 2011.  Accessed October 21, 2019.
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