“In order to write about life, first you must live it.”- Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway is considered one of the most significant and influential writers of the twentieth century. He became famous for his short stories and novels. His stories hold great relevance, even today, as it still continues to inspire a lot of writers. Even though Hemingway wrote fictional stories, but there was some truth to it. After all, like other profound writers, his life experiences inspired him to write. Therefore, in honor of this Nobel Laureate, here is a short article.
Born on July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois, Ernest Miller Hemingway was the second child. His father Clarence Edmonds Hemingway, worked as a general medical practitioner while his mother was a music teacher. He loved going on family vacations. As there he developed a love for the outdoors and learned to hunt and do fishing with his father. On the other hand, his mother wanted all her children to learn to play musical instruments. During high school, he took part in swimming, football and played cello in the school orchestra. He also co-edited the school newspaper Trapeze and Tabula, where he mostly wrote about sports. After graduating he immediately starts working in the Kansas City Star newspaper.
He learned the truth about deaths and diseases from a very early age, as his father was a doctor. Hemingway loved adventure and in order to seek adventure. He wanted to join the army during World War 1, but could not join due to poor eye-sight. So instead, he began working as an ambulance driver for The Red Cross in Europe. While on duty in Italy he met with a severe accident. He was badly injured by an exploding mortar shell, with more than two-hundred fragments molted in his leg. However, he became the first American to survive world war one injuries and for which he received a medal from the Italian government.
The journey of Becoming a Writer
By 1918, he returned back to The United States in search of a job. While he was still recovering from his wounds. After a year almost, he met with the feature editor of Toronto Star Weekly, who hired him for the job. After some time he moved to Chicago where began writing for a monthly magazine, The Cooperative Commonwealth. Even though he had a job, but he longed for something more. He had always wanted to write fictional stories. So he began writing short stories and started submitting them to the magazine. However, they got rejected every single time. Although he did not lose hope and through mutual friends, he met a renowned novelist of that time, Sherwood Anderson. He presented him the stories he had written and Anderson came to like them very much.
Meanwhile, he met Hadley Richardson and fell in love with her. The two ended up marrying and after few months they moved to Paris, as advised by Anderson, to pursue a career in writing. He rented a small room in a hotel to use it as an office. He began filling notebook after notebook with his stories and poems. In Paris, he met Gertrude Stein, a modernist writer, and later established a deep friendship with him. Stein honored Hemingway with some valuable advice on becoming a writer. Stein acted as a mentor to him and you can find some similarities between the writing style of both of them.
Soon Hemingway became a part of Gertrude Stein’s circle, famously known as “The Lost Generation”. Under his guidance, Ernest Hemingway got acquainted with many prominent writers and artists of that time. Writers and artists like, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, Pablo Picasso, and James Joyce were a part of the group.
His writing style became distinctive from the writers who came before him. Instead of writing in elaborative proses, he kept it short and simple. Like most of the writers, he also wrote from his experiences. The relationship between him and his father played a major role in his writing. He wrote his life experiences under a different name, making it fiction, but in all of his stories, you can find glimpses of his life.
For example, in 1925, he attended the famous festival of San Fermin in Spain. Which later inspired him to write his first-ever novel A Sun Also Rises. Even though his writings claim to be a work of fiction, but the main essence of all his work had been his life experience. A Sun Also Rises, considered one of his greatest works describes the setbacks and anxiety of post-war in his generation.
“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know”- Hemingway
His book The Nick Adams Stories comprises of many short stories. All of his stories are said to be a work of fiction, but they are not. He created a parallel world of fiction, where he shared his thoughts and life experiences in form of stories. However, most of his stories revealed his relationship with his father. And many shared his experiences during the war and post-war.
His famous novel A Farewell To Arms, acknowledged his affair with a woman during his time in Milan recovering from a fatal accident. Which did not last for a long time. It shows the despair and heartbreak suffered by Hemingway at that time. However, he had the art of such good narration that he could turn his deepest feelings into a work of art. And most importantly, he did it with such grace and simplicity, that his books were kept alongside F. Scott Fitzgerald and Mark Twain.
In 1951, he wrote his most iconic book, The Old Man and The Sea. This book won him a Pulitzer Prize in 1953, something he had been denied for a long time. It followed with a Nobel Prize for Literature in the year 1954. Even though his writing style kept him under a number of controversies, he continued his style. For which he readers and the critics have mentioned that he writes as if the characters would talk.
In the year 1959, Ernest Hemingway moved to Ketchum, Idaho as he suffered from various illness as he became an alcoholic. His physical, as well as mental health, began deteriorating and he could not continue his writing. He even got hospitalized many times. But later on July 2, 1961, he committed suicide by shooting himself and died instantly. Even though he could not live his stardom for very long, his work still inspires people to write. He has set such an example by his writings that we now consider them as classics, an all-time favorite of many.
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