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March 13, 2009


One thing that is so interesting about this story is how well Hemingway, er, fleshes out his own image of himself - manly, experienced, and wise, and how Scott comes across as the timid neophyte who doesn't know what to do with the equipment he has -- just as Hemingway liked to think of the two of them in terms of their writing, too.

I know, and the more you get into it, the worse it gets, with Hemingway's rep the more tarnished. The biographers accept this story as real; but wouldn't it be great if H. made it all up? What a document THAT would be.

Oh, and almost forgot the best line: "Finally when we were eating the cherry tart ..."!

I think H. made it up - I mean (and sorry to get all Dr. Phil on everyone here), what guy is going to show his John Thomas to another guy for approval, especially another guy with whom he already feels incredible competition? And at least, wouldn't Scott have been in museums long ere this, so he could have done his own comparisons?

Maybe what happened is that Scott said something about his sexual life with Zelda (whom H. despised anyway), and H. created this story out of that and his own imagination and agenda. All the details (even the cherry tart!) are there because perhaps that part really happened; certainly H. knew Paris as well as anyone, even what Michaud's served for dessert. It adds that note of veracity that people latch onto.

Hemingway made up a lot of stuff, usually about his bravery and manliness. He used to tell everyone he'd had an affair with Mata Hari during WWI, when she'd already been executed before he got anywhere near where they could have encountered each other. A great story, but totally bogus.

It's funny that this particular story has been accepted as gospel. To me, it leaks like a sieve, although, as a story, you can't beat it. Sort of confirms the old adage: it's not what you say, it's how you say it. And nobody could say it better than Hemingway.

The bit about the pillow is precious, too.

Hmm Interesting story. I have never seen this before. Thnak you for sharing.

The anecdote tells a lot not only about Fitz but about Hemingway as well,n'est-ce pas?

The anecdote tells a lot not only about Fitz but about Hemingway as well,n'est-ce pas?

thank you for sharing, good article, awaited the next article

It tells you much about Hemingway, very little about Fitz.

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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