Sunday, July 14, 2013

Searching For Hemingway: What Was "Papa" Really Like?

Bill Maxwell, a columnist at the Tampa Bay Times, ventured to Ketchum, Idaho in search of the late great American writer, Ernest Hemingway.

KETCHUM, Idaho - I came to this small town in the foothills of the Sawtooth Mountains to fulfill my childhood dream of visiting the last home of my favorite American writer, Ernest Hemingway.

In 1979, during my only trip to Paris, I went to a hotel where Hemingway had a long-term room, and I had a few drinks in some of the bars and cafes he loved. While working in Chicago, I went to the site of the author's birthplace in nearby Oak Park. When I taught at Florida Keys Community College in Key West, I took students to Hemingway's home and to the original Sloppy Joe's bar where the author regularly drank. 

I enjoyed these places, but they never intrigued me like Ketchum, where on the morning of July 1, 1961, Hemingway killed himself with a shotgun. Like other Hemingway devotees worldwide, I wanted to experience as fully as possible the place the author had called home for the last time, where he hunted and fished in Silver Creek Valley, where he drank and ate, and where he is buried.

Hemingway scholar Kirk Curnutt wrote that such readers look beyond the author's printed words for understanding. We come to Ketchum "searching for traces of the personality that saturates (Hemingway's) every sentence." We want to know what "Papa," as he was called in his later years, was really like.

You can read the rest of the column via the below link:

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