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ernest hemingway

Jun 13 2012

Art and appetite

by Dea Anne M

I think I can say that I’m not the biggest Hemingway fan in the world but probably the book of his that I like best is A Moveable Feast — his memoir, told in a series of essays, of his life in Paris after WWI. Perhaps part of my admiration for that book has to do with my fascination with a period of history when  so many American writers, artists, and thinkers made the choice to live and work in Europe far from the limits and conventions of home. Many of these expatriates were not without a safety net though, and I have to admit that a particular passage in Hemingway’s book irritated me for awhile.

“It is necessary to handle yourself better when you have to cut down on food so you will not get too much hunger-thinking. Hunger is a good discipline and you learn from it.”

“Hunger is Good Discipline,” A Moveable Feast

Now, Hemingway was far from starving in Paris as his wife Hadley came into the marriage with an inheritance that supported them more than comfortably (of course those dollars went a long way in the Paris of those times). “Hmph!” I thought, convinced as I was that Hemingway was merely posturing. These days, I think a bit more kindly about those lines as a re-reading of the book not too long ago reminded me that the book as a whole deals in many ways with hunger  not so much of the physical body but of the spirit. Hemingway is hungry in these essays for experience and for the dedicated pursuit of art. I believe now that I was overly influenced by a later persona of Hemingway who honestly mostly struck me as a macho braggart. A Moveable Feast reminds me how much more there is to Hemingway as a writer and how very enjoyable his prose can be.

All this musing about Hemingway has been inspired by a favorite website that I have recently discovered, Paper and Salt, whose stated mission is to “…attempt to recreate and reinterpret the dishes that iconic authors discuss in their letters, diaries, essays, and fiction.” The site hasn’t been up for a long time and there are not, as yet, a huge number of posts but the writing is both eloquent and entertaining, the photography is beautiful, and the recipes…well,  they’ve made me want to get into my kitchen as quickly as I can and start cooking. I don’t know about you, but Lobster Tail with Spaghetti and Bread Crumbs inspired by the letters of Gabriel Garcia Marquez sounds pretty scrumptious. Apparently,  Marquez enjoyed a long-time correspondence with Fidel Castro and many of their letters involved discussions on best methods of preparing seafood. Oscar Wilde was famous, if not notorious, for his love of champagne and his recipe is a luscious sounding cocktail involving the bubbly stuff and fresh strawberries. I think my favorite post so far though is the one for Truman Capote and Italian Summer Pudding. In Too Brief a Treat: the letters of Truman Capote Capote writes “Food. I seldom think of anything else.” I’m not quite that obsessed (I think), but the posted recipe is certainly something that I wouldn’t mind my thoughts lingering on. Featured ingredients are bittersweet chocolate, raspberries, ladyfingers, and mascarpone cheese. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth but I think it’s irresistible. Need proof? Just look…

Image from paperandsalt.org

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Apr 24 2012

The Old Man and the Sea in Four Minutes

by Joseph M

Here’s a really nifty video of artist Marcel Schindler sketching out the plot of Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. When it was shared on booklicious, the blogger compared the video to “watching someone read your mind as you read a book.”

Interested in seeing more art inspired by famous literature? Check out this article from The Atlantic for artists’ renditions of Moby Dick, Finnegans Wake, and more!


Jul 10 2009

Six Word Stories

by Jesse M

hemingway-picErnest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899—July 2, 1961) is a Pulitzer and Nobel prize winning author considered by many to be one of the most influential American writers of the 20th century. While it would be entirely appropriate to devote an entire blog post to a discussion of his life and works, that is not my intention*. Rather, I am more interested in a form of writing that Hemingway is alleged to have invented single-handedly, on a bet; the six word story.

This is the story he composed.

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

The ultimate in minimalist writing, all the more powerful for its brevity, it has inspired scores of imitators, both amateurs and professional authors (including such luminaries as Magaret Atwood, Jeffery Eugenides, Charles Stross, and Orson Scott Card, among others) alike, whose efforts are collected on the excellent website Six Word Stories.

Here are a couple of my favorites:
Machine. Unexpectedly, I’d invented a time
Alan Moore

Leia: “Baby’s yours.” Luke: “Bad news…”
Steven Meretzky

This form of writing is known as flash fiction, which is commonly defined as any piece of work 1000 words or less, making any six word story an extreme example of the category.

Compose your own and post it in the comments!

*For those interested in further learning, I recommend taking a look at Timeless Hemingway. The website features a wealth of information about the author, including book resources, biographical information, photos, and a quote finder. And of course, we have an impressive collection of works by and about Hemingway here in DCPL.