I’ve been watching New Girl recently because of Zooey Deschanel. In one episode, her “novelist” roommate compares himself to Ernest Hemingway. I’ve heard of Hemingway, but I haven’t read much of his work. Last night, I did a bit of research on the man, and he lived an impressive life. Without getting into his life story (since I’m sure some of you already know, and the rest can Google it) I’ll mention a few things I found interesting.
He did so much. Hemingway was involved in both World Wars as well as a few smaller skirmishes. He was injured, sometimes grievously, several times throughout his life. He went on African safaris, ran with the bulls in Pamplona, and owned a sailboat. Hemingway lived in Paris, Cuba, and remote places of the US. He was an expatriate and a world traveller. Essentially, he was exactly what I want to be someday.
He lived passionately. Reading about Hemingway’s lifestyle, I cannot help but surmise that he had only two settings: High and Off. He did nothing halfway. He even led a group of militia in WW2, breaching the Geneva Convention in the process. He fell in love and got married several times. Hemingway had a passion for adventure and lived life fully.
I also found he was a journalist before becoming a novelist. His journalistic training taught him to avoid complicated syntax and use vigorous language instead. Hemingway tended to avoid commas as well, using “and” in their place. That’s wrong though. If I wrote something in school with “and” instead of commas, my professor would disembowel me. But I suppose that’s the value of learning the rules about writing, in order to then operate outside their boundaries.
Ernest Hemingway was a truly remarkable individual. He did so much with his life, and did it passionately. He was an inspiring writer, and changed American literature. If my adventures and work eventually resemble his in only a vague sense, I’d have arrived.