I have no idea why Ernest Hemingway's name popped into my head today. I mean, I don't even like his writing all that well, and never have. For some reason, I could never quite see why he was considered an important author. Hell, Raymond Chandler was much more to my liking. But then, I didn't grow up in Hemingway's era, so it's understandable that his style wouldn't work for me.
PARENTHETICAL NOTE: There are plenty of Famous Authors whose works have never grabbed me. Never mind the standards that high-school English teachers made all of us wade through; literary icons like F. Scott Fitzgerald, though clever enough, have consistently left me unmoved. That may say more about me than about them....
But I have a sneaking admiration for the man himself. He did all those things that defined A Man in his time; hanging out at the Spanish Civil War, running with the bulls at Pamplona, drinking, fishing, hunting. I dig all that, wish I could have tasted that life, even though you couldn't pay me enough to hunt. Or, for that matter, fish. So long as the local market offers fresh meat and nice fish fillets, anyway.
Ol' Ernie managed to hook up with some interesting women, too. It could be that we're getting to the nut of the matter here. He seems to have dug strong, intelligent females, and I can identify with that. Such women may gut a guy like a fresh-caught tuna (and too often do), but they are the ones worth taking the risk for.
And he was into Cuba as well, as I am. Forget the cigars; I simply dig the whole Latin bit and Cuba, despite Dr Castro's efforts to the contrary, is a country full of hot-blooded people with rhythm in their hearts.
Of course both of us are/were big burly guys with white beards. We gotta stick together, you know.
But when you come right down to it, it's the final act in the Hemingway Saga that I can identify with. The man was stuck in Idaho when he ate his shotgun. I understand that completely. If anything makes me walk the plank, it will almost certainly be Idaho.
I might not want to read his stuff, but I wish I could have tossed back a few with Ernie. If I was lucky, I might have learned the secret to becoming a Legend before Idaho killed me.
2 days ago