Ernest Hemingway Biography ~ World War I
Ernest Hemingway - Biography - IMDb
Hemingway is also one of the most written-about authors, in terms of both his life and his art. Yet, surprisingly, there has not been a single-volume biography of Hemingway published in almost twenty-five years. Most of his biographers have seemed to veer from one pole of critical approval to the other, either accepting wholesale—or with exaggerated winks and nods—the self-created legend of the hypermasculine hero, or disapproving of Hemingway by emphasizing the superficial image of him as a mean-spirited, alcoholic womanizer.
Ernest Hemingway: A Biography [Mary V
Hemingway’s keystone subject was violent death. Plagued by depression and a history of mental illness in his family, Hemingway fought constantly against the insidious slow descent of what he called “the black ass,” which could envelop him in an instant in a fog of despair. The adventuring, the risk taking, the life lived large, was collectively a way of avoiding the dark places that he tried to steer clear of in his life, so that he could explore them with some measure of safety in his art. His writing was a means of connecting with deep, raw emotion; to him, this meant being truthful about what is real—true to what is. The dark call to die, yet the insistence upon continuing, like the offering and withdrawing of emotion in his fiction, is an essential rhythm of Hemingway’s life and art, just as are the silences that sit in his short, declarative sentences—a kind of concession to dread and, ultimately, mortality. It might not be too much to say that he was in some ways a nexus for death, for among the people whom he became close to, or who were part of his family, many were suicides. The psychic terrain that he lived in must therefore have been very hard for him to navigate while still remaining sane.
Garden of Praise: Ernest Hemingway Biography
Hemingway had unusually high standards for his work, for others’ work, and for others’ friendships. So great a talent as his, and the concurrent fame and celebrity status that accompanied it, created huge difficulties in his personal life that he could never overcome, although he tried mightily to do so. Having the mantle of fame put on his shoulders while he was so young, he was always looking over his shoulder at the competition. He therefore developed a competitive streak that often made it impossible for him to praise fellow writers or to feel that anybody was as good a writer as he was. His relationships were often tempestuous, like a summer storm crossing the bay. His high standards created an almost suffocating anxiety in him; it is actually something of a miracle that he survived that pressure as long as he did. He also had a deeply ingrained sense of character, which he often, all too humanly, failed to live up to. This seems forgivable in most people, but many found it unforgivable in Hemingway. As Edmund Wilson once snidely put it, Hemingway had an inviolable code of honor that he was always breaking.