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Read Earnest Hemingway
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Read Earnest Hemingway

Earnest Hemingway lived here in Idaho just an hours drive north of our home in Buhl. He had a home in Ketchum, Idaho below Sun Valley and his two famous granddaughters of son Jack Hemingway, Margaux and Mariel, were raised in that home. When you get up our way, you can visit the home.

Earnest Hemingway was raised in Illinois and from early on he loved hunting and fishing in Upper Michigan with his father which is reflected in his works. He loved to fish for trout in Spain and of course, here in Idaho. He hunted in Africa and spent a lot of time deep sea fishing in the Caribbean. He loved bull fighting and drinking wine from a Spanish bota bag or wineskin while watching the picadors and matadores torture the bulls.

Bull Fighting in Ecuador

I was in Ecuador on the equator on a visit for the State Department to give engineering help to ceramic manufacturers. After I bought my wife an embroidered wife a blouse to go with a skirt I bought her in Columbia on a consulting visit, I went to the arena where they trained bull fighters but they never injured the bulls.

Since the bulls were never killed and lived to fight another day, they were very smart. When a would-be matador would run to safety behind the fence barrier (I'm sure that is more Idaho talk than bull fighting talk), the bull would turn his head sideways so the horns would not get in the way, and run right behind the barrier, sending the student out into the arena where he could get at him better.

Pretty funny!

Ole!

Also fun to watch was the senoritas matadors fight a bull. They used the men's capes which where way too long for them. The bull would step on the cape, sending the senorita running for the barrier only to have the bull turn his head and chase in after her.

Did you know girls can climb walls?

Ole!

Hemingway wrote For Whom the Bells Toll (they toll for you) in the lodge at Sun Valley (as I remember). He wrote, and I don't remember where I read it, that he tried to write one good page each day. He said he hung each page on a clothesline as he wrote, studying past pages as he moved along, and editing until each page was perfect.

You may not think that one page a day is writing at a snail's pace. Writing one page a day is writing 365 pages each year and should wind up as a 200 page book.

Hemingway's objective was never to produce quantity, even though he did exactly that. His objective was to put perfection on paper which he also did.

He dumped modifiers just like Samuel Clemens did who said, "As to the adjective: when in doubt, strike it out."

Clemens also believed in tromping out adverbs.

Beginning at the End

Clemens said that the time to start an article is when you finish it. I know what he meant. When I wrote Bone China: A Richard Lacey Detective Mystery, I wrote the book, understood what the story was, chucked the first draft in the garbage can and then quickly wrote the book without all the unnecessary content that distracted from the story. That was Hemingway's philosophy too.

What? Who was Samuel Clemens? Mark Twain who is said to be the father of American literature.

Earnest Hemingway wrote many novels and short stories. He is considered the master of short stories. I have a thick book full of them, probably packed away in the garage if I didn't give it to charity. I read those stories over and over again. When I read his novel, I would read it again later.

One thing I have learned in my old age is that I can pick up any book that I read long ago and read it again as if I had never read it before. That is called memory loss.

What Happened to Reading

If you got this far, (I'm talking to the first pew in the church), reading is not a lost art and there is great enjoyment in reading great literature written by Hemingway and Mark Twain (and the Sunday comics.)

But some read too little. Books are readily available at Amazon, Alibris, ABE Books and other book retailers on and off the Internet. It is easy to find a used copy at a low price of about any book you want.

I usually buy used copies and then give them to my family, if they will take them. I used to read and resell. That is easy with Amazon. You just set up a sellers account and list the book.

I stopped doing it when book sellers started to list books for a penny. (They make their money on the shipping allocation given to them by Amazon.)

My daughter-in-law hardly ever picks up a book anymore. She reads the ebook version on her reader. Many do that now because ebook readers are affordable.

If you don't read, your mind will bleed of the nutrients you need.

Now, that was almost poetic.

Television is a great source of fun and entertainment and there are educational programs too. But books is where the meat is.

Get out your meat cleaver and enjoy!

John

TJ Books


Street Talk

C. Hughes  

I have to admit I haven't read much Hemingway, now Twain I have enjoyed... My tastes lean more toward fantasy novels but I have a varied interest in most books. Having recently discovered Google's free library I have been perusing some of the old classics. Of course the Gutenberg Project has made many titles available that were out of print. Well worth checking into if you like to read a variety of things. Thanks for sharing John.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Meredith  

I agree, a very good article & I'm afraid that like letter writing is turning into a lost art, I'm afraid that reading books will be to. Can you picture a coffee table kindle? Yuck.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Very nice article John. I enjoyed reading it.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thank you, David

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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