Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bursting with Hemingway

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Current obsession: Ernest Hemingway

It started with my watching a BBC documentary on Hemingway’s travels, Hemingway Adventure, where Michael Palin revisited the places and passions that defined Hemingway and his works. Those places include Chicago and Michigan, his birthplace and childhood haunts; Italy in WWI, where his experiences as a volunteer Red Cross ambulance driver became the basis for his novel A Farewell to Arms; Spain, where he translated his experiences into a manifesto on bullfighting, Death in the Afternoon, the novel For Whom the Bell Tolls, and the propaganda film Spanish Earth; Africa, which inspired The Snows of Kilimanjaro and The Green Hills of Africa; Florida’s Key West where they continue to hold annual Papa Hemingway lookalike contests; Cuba where he wrote The Old Man and the Sea, which won him the 1954 Nobel Prize for literature; and the American West where he spent his last days in search of peace and solitude.

As the show took me to the places where Hemingway has been, I sensed that same jolt of excitement I felt when I first encountered Hemingway’s work, For Whom the Bell Tolls, eighteen years ago. He got me then. I became an instant fan. And as I learn more about Hemingway, my regard for his work and his attitude towards life has turned into something akin to an obsession.  Watching the HBO movie Hemingway and Gellhorn did not help either: it just increased my fascination with the man.    

I can talk for hours and days about Hemingway and his novels, but I confine myself to just writing about him, instead. Who would listen to a lengthy discourse on the author, anyway? Not even my friends would. My colleagues haven’t even heard of him. And they are not interested in a dead guy who’s famous for writing a story about an old fisherman who had gone 84 days without catching a fish.      


Loree said...

Interesting stuff. Hemingway wrote some inspirational stuff.

Arti said...

Sounds like a great author and interesting tales he spun. Hope I catch up on some of his works here.
Wish you a happy week ahead Angeli:)

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