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Mganga with the Lion

Kenneth Silverman: Hemingway, 2 September 1999

HemingwayThe Thirties 
by Michael Reynolds.
Norton, 360 pp., £9.95, October 1998, 0 393 31778 1
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HemingwayThe Final Years 
by Michael Reynolds.
Norton, 416 pp., £19.95, July 1999, 0 393 04748 2
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True at First Light 
by Ernest Hemingway.
Heinemann, 319 pp., £16.99, July 1999, 9780434008322
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... Michael Reynolds is the marrying kind of biographer: president of the Hemingway Society, he has published a 140-page annotated chronology of Hemingway’s life, a 2300-item inventory of Hemingway’s reading, and a monograph-length study of the creation of A Farewell to Arms, as well as three serial volumes of biography: The Young Hemingway (1986); Hemingway: The Paris Years (1989); and Hemingway: The American Homecoming (1992 ...

From Papa in Heaven

Russell Davies, 3 September 1981

Ernest HemingwaySelected Letters 1917-1961 
edited by Carlos Baker.
Granada, 948 pp., £15, April 1981, 0 246 11576 9
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... was just issuing from the door haveing just said, I learned later, “By God I wish I had that Hemingway here now I’d knock him out with a single punch.” So who should show up but poor old Papa and Mr Stevens swung that same fabled punch but fertunately missed and I knocked all of him down several times and gave him a good beating. Only trouble was ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: Hemingway the Spy, 16 February 2017

... their consent, to the countries they came from.’Very nice: ‘with their consent’. And so to Ernest Hemingway, whose adventures recorded by the military historian Nicholas Reynolds may not admit such subtlety. Reynolds is a former curator of the CIA Museum in Washington. Reasonably, the museum is a bit cagey and I am not very familiar with it ...

Short Cuts

John Lanchester: Who’s Afraid of the Library of America?, 19 June 2008

... great writers are represented. (The omissions smack of rows over royalties and copyright: no Ernest Hemingway, no Emily Dickinson, no Marianne Moore.) Some have even argued that the brief has been stretched too far. Wilson’s canonisation came after those of Charles Brockden Brown, H.P. Lovecraft, James Weldon Johnson, George Kaufman, William ...

Maaaeeestro!

Sanjay Subrahmanyam: Gabriel García Márquez, 27 August 2009

Gabriel García Márquez: A Life 
by Gerald Martin.
Bloomsbury, 668 pp., £25, October 2008, 978 0 7475 9476 5
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... 69 in May 1996, the obituaries were many and generous. They recalled his curious relationship with Ernest Hemingway, his love affairs with the likes of Ava Gardner, and that he was the father of the famous singer Miguel Bosé. They made much of his close friendship with Picasso, and Le Monde quoted from his brief work of 1960, Pour Pablo. Dominguín had ...

Just William

Doris Grumbach, 25 June 1987

Willa Cather: The Emerging Voice 
by Sharon O’Brien.
Oxford, 544 pp., £22.50, March 1987, 0 19 504132 1
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... of a Ladies Home Journal serial. Lionel Trilling called The Professor’s House ‘lame’ and Ernest Hemingway thought Cather had found the war experiences described in One of Ours in D.W. Griffith’s film Birth of a Nation. After her literary success, Willa Cather led a secure, lofty, comfortable, solidly middle-class life. But it took her forty ...

Fairyland

Bruce Bawer, 2 May 1985

Invented Lives: F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald 
by James Mellow.
Souvenir, 569 pp., £15.95, February 1985, 0 285 65001 7
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Home before Dark: A Personal Memoir of John Cheever 
by Susan Cheever.
Weidenfeld, 243 pp., £10.95, January 1985, 0 297 78376 9
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... the friendships with Edmund Wilson, Ring Lardner, Gerald and Sara Murphy, and above all with Hemingway; the insanity that crippled Zelda during the Thirties, and the alcoholism that devastated Scott; the prolonged composition and demoralising failure of Tender is the night; Zelda’s institutionalisation in North Carolina and the attempted resuscitation ...

Pioneering

Janet Todd, 21 December 1989

Willa Cather: A Life Saved Up 
by Hermione Lee.
Virago, 409 pp., £12.99, October 1989, 0 86068 661 2
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... Catherised’ was how Ernest Hemingway described the portrayal of the Great War in One of Ours by Willa Cather. Despite lifting scenes from the movie Birth of a Nation, it made Cather rich and won her the Pulitzer Prize. H.L. Mencken was as dismissive as Hemingway, finding in it a ‘lyrical nonsensicality’ that ‘often glows half pathetic’; its setting was that of ‘a Hollywood movielot ...

Spying on Writers

Christian Lorentzen, 11 October 2018

... that he’d meant to say he was ‘objective’ (as if). The biggest file on display belongs to Ernest Hemingway, who worked for the FBI in Cuba over the winter of 1942-43. It was a marriage arranged by the US ambassador, Spruille Braden, and not a happy one. In exchange for uncovering Falangists and Germans ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: The Killers', Criterion Collection, 24 September 2015

... story probably had more left out of it than anything I ever wrote.’ The writer was Ernest Hemingway; the story is ‘The Killers’. For us, the readers, the joke has all kinds of other meanings. One fictional character tells another he should consume more fiction, although in another form. Does this enlarge the illusion, make everything ...

Issues for His Prose Style

Andrew O’Hagan: Hemingway, 7 June 2012

The Letters of Ernest HemingwayVol. I, 1907-22 
edited by Sandra Spanier and Robert Trogdon.
Cambridge, 431 pp., £30, October 2011, 978 0 521 89733 4
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... ones, the who, what and where. The thing British schoolchildren call a ‘naming word’ was, for Hemingway, a chance to reveal what he knew, an opportunity to be experienced, to discriminate, and his style depends on engorged nouns, not absent adjectives. But at times it strikes you that the cult of specificity in ...

Strange Fruit

Francis Spufford, 5 February 1987

The Garden of Eden 
by Ernest Hemingway.
Hamish Hamilton, 247 pp., £9.95, February 1987, 0 241 11998 7
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... Who would have suspected Hemingway’s resources as a food writer? Not me, at any rate. The Garden of Eden is studded with provincial delicacies Elizabeth David would be proud of (‘jamon serrano, a smoky, hard-cured ham from pigs that fed on acorns’) and dramatic narratives of eating and drinking that might please M ...

Wounds

Stephen Fender, 23 June 1988

Hemingway 
by Kenneth Lynn.
Simon and Schuster, 702 pp., £16, September 1987, 0 671 65482 9
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The Faces of HemingwayIntimate Portraits of Ernest Hemingway by those who knew him 
by Denis Brian.
Grafton, 356 pp., £14.95, May 1988, 0 246 13326 0
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... he shot the top of his own head off, Americans had begun to wonder whether they had come to love Hemingway not wisely but too well. This suspicion had little to do with his stories and novels: it was the fiction that Hemingway and others had made of his life that held the attention – the text of the man, not of his ...

Aversion Theory

Lord Goodman, 20 May 1982

Clinging to the Wreckage 
by John Mortimer.
Weidenfeld, 200 pp., £8.50, March 1982, 0 297 78010 7
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... No one could describe Francois Villon or Marlowe or Chatterton or Baudelaire or D.H. Lawrence or Ernest Hemingway as conventional, but what about Thomas Hardy or Anthony Trollope or Jane Austen or Charles Dickens or John Galsworthy? And, in particular, what about John Mortimer? He would, I think, indignantly deny the suggestion, but although he espouses ...

How not to get gored

Edward Said, 21 November 1985

The Dangerous Summer 
by Ernest Hemingway.
Hamish Hamilton, 150 pp., £9.95, June 1985, 0 241 11521 3
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... it is not surprising to discover that one of the greatest American books of the 20th century is Hemingway’s Death in the Afternoon, first published in 1932. Hemingway’s reputation is now somewhat in eclipse, although the effect of his stylistic innovations on other writers continues. Remembered for his macho ...

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