FELT EXTREMELY SELF-SATISFIED WHILE READING ABOUT HEMINGWAY AT WORK TODAY by Matthew Donahoo
Matthew Donahoo discovers the life of one of America’s maddest writers, Ernest Hemingway. Right in Hemingway’s name, the first one, is the name ‘Ernest’. Despite how tremendously rotten Hemingway could be to people there was earnestness to how he conducted his life. All Hemingway wanted to do was to write. Hemingway grew his beard out so people knew he was Ernest Hemingway. Thousands of writers emulating Hemingway have grown beards hoping to capture some of that Hemingway essence. Yet good writing means doing more than growing a beard or drinking to excess.
Hemingway had a lot of biters. None of them have gone through the physical abuse he apparently suffered. Planes blew up all around him. He had places to go. Instead he got hurt. Everything fell on him. Skylights fell when Hemingway needed to use the bathroom. His shit was just that heavy. Porcelain broke thanks to his extreme defecated strength. Others did not have much of a life around him. Rather his ego ended up consuming all those around him. Like a supernova Hemingway exploded taking everything with him. Wives, relatives, grandchildren, etc. were devoured by forces Hemingway knew he could not control. A lack of control showed itself in how he drank excessively, boating around blackout drunk. Good thing a lighthouse brought him back to shore.
Light could not lead Hemingway back to society. Out to sea for too long his life turned out to be quite bizarre. Royalties to ‘The Sun Also Rises’ was given to one of his wives. He gave a fishing trophy to Castro. Here’s where things get interesting: what if Castro had continued winning fishing trophies? Castro could have had a great career becoming a successful fisherman. No revolution in Cuba would have happened. Rather Castro would have become the old man and the sea. Unlike the character in Hemingway’s ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ Castro would have beaten ‘the fuck’ out of that fish. If Castro was willing to go to such lengths to fight for the Cuban people imagine what he could have done to a fish. He would have seriously messed up that fish.
Towards the end of his life Hemingway went a little sad. The FBI never spied on Hemingway in rural Idaho. Nobody really wants to go to rural Idaho. While the B-52s sang about a private Idaho they were being paid off by the Idaho tourism board. Besides the FBI has better states to go to, such wonders as Ohio, New Jersey, and the crown jewel of America, Colorado. Colorado has had a climate hospitable to a ‘freak-o-system’ for literally centuries. If Hemingway had lived in Colorado he could have better honed his natural ability to be a total weirdo. Sadly living in the strict confines of a boring part of Idaho (heck, it wasn’t even Boise or the hidden paradise of Coeur d’Alene) ruined Hemingway forever.
Matthew Donahoo ends it with an observation on who Hemingway loved. Like everyone Hemingway just wanted to be loved by caring affectionate people. That’s all anyone could want.