Monday, April 29, 2024

'Generous And Reflective’: Letters Show Other Sides To Macho Ernest Hemingway

Dalya Alberge at the British newspaper the Guardian offers a look at The Letters of Ernest Hemingway, 1934-1936. 

He cultivated a hard-drinking macho image, with a taste for big-game hunting and a love of bullfighting, but Ernest Hemingway had a generous and thoughtful side that is revealed in previously unpublished letters. 

In the decade after he made his name with A Farewell to Arms, his 1929 war novel, his correspondence shows that he repeatedly offered advice and encouragement – as well as insights into his own craft – to aspiring young novelists.

In a letter from 1934, he wrote: “The real secret in writing a novel is to keep inside of your action all the time like a horse. Don’t let the damned horse run away on you when you are going to have to keep racing him forever. And always stop at an interesting place when you still know what is going to happen.

“Then you can go on from there the next day and the next and etc. Never write yourself out in those bursts. It is just like making a 300-mile race a succession of runaways. Do a certain amount every day or every two days and always stop where it is interesting and while you are going good.”

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

‘Generous and reflective’: letters show other sides to macho Ernest Hemingway | Ernest Hemingway | The Guardian

You can also read my Philadelphia Inquirer review of The Letters of Ernest Hemingway, 1926-1929 below:  

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