Whiskey Dreams: Inside the Mind of Hemingway

I may be a person who reads farther into things than I should, but as a deep woman, it is really hard for me to take things at face value. Today I had two signs- they were signs that I think I needed to see, or maybe to feel. One of those signs was a post by a favored writing guru with a love similar to mine. That post reminded me that there was something that I had to do. Many of the posts on this site deal with digital initiatives and issues, which is the main reason I like it. Today I learned about a new digital initiative, and this one involves the mind of Ernest Hemingway. The Hemingway Papers are now available in a digital archive, and I know thanks to the author of Read, Write, Now.

http://readwritenow.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/digital-archive-as-advertisement-the-hemingway-papers/

The Hemingway Papers capture “the legendary writer’s reporting from the Toronto Star archives.” Article topics in this digital archive include: culture; sports; vices; and war. The articles were featured in the Toronto Star in the 1920s. I am yet to explore the pages devoted to “the curious case of the stolen Hemingway letters.” The site also mentions the Hemingway Letters Project which will be an attempt to digitize over 6,000 Hemingway letters over the next few years. Did this guy really have and/or write that many letters? I am madly in love with this man! Since he was interested in whiskey and rum-runners, I can’t help but wonder if he wrote best after licking the fire water?

Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) was a Nobel Prize winning author and journalist. His work enveloped fiction and non-fiction. His various works were published from around 1918 thru the 1950s. When Paris was liberated during World War II, Hemingway was on the beach for the Normandy landings capturing history during Operation Neptune and Operation Overlord. From Illinois, to Kansas, to Madrid, to Pamplonato, to Italy, to Paris, to London, to Normandy, to Africa, to Key West, to Florida, to Cuba, Hemingway had likely seen it all. Maybe he saw much more than he could handle? He had a seasoned life, and sadly he still never seemed to peg down true happiness. He had several brushes with death throughout his lifetime. A couple were close calls. It was sad for me to learn tonight that after escaping a dark fate so many times, his life was ultimately ended by his own hands. In 1961, Hemingway moved from Cuba to Idaho and killed himself. It is strange that though I started reading his works as a middle school student, I never knew that? This was indeed a tragic loss to the literary world. With any luck for this amazing man, they allow whiskey dreams in heaven!

The Hemingway Papers http://ehto.thestar.com/

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11 Comments on “Whiskey Dreams: Inside the Mind of Hemingway”

  1. Rhonda Says:

    Flujan, I didn’t see another place to post a thank you to you for visiting my Boys To Men blog and liking my post Woman…Raise Thyself. So I hope you don’t mind my doing it here.

    The story on Hemingway, yes tragic. Definitely our loss. I knew when I was young that he was a suicide…he was always one I pictured in my mind when thinking of the tortured, artistic soul. Very sad thing.

    • flujan Says:

      Thanks Rhonda— of course that is fine! Thanks for stopping in- I like your site! Hemingway reminds me of my human needs and my need to connect to special things through writing.

      • Rhonda Says:

        That is an interesting perspective on him. We each get what we need from our most treasured source. It’s too bad his indulgences and passions could not fulfill the human need he was looking for, we may have had him a while longer. Then again, he may have been a completely different writer. Is this a paradox? I certainly don’t know, but he was special.

  2. robert87004 Says:

    I think James Mitchener paints a somewhat different picture of Hemingway. He was a friend of his and writes of him in “Iberia”. He comes across as someone trying to live up to his self-image.

    • flujan Says:

      Yes- he did seem obsessed with self-image. One reason to stay away from that type…
      Iberia ha? Interesting… Thanks for the visit Robert.
      ***Felicia

  3. spoonbeams Says:

    Hi — My mouse passed over your square on someone’s blog and “archivist” popped up and I had to look further. I organized the EH papers at the JFK library back when. It seems like so long ago, but it still is a highlight in my life. Seems like you enjoy archiving as much as I. Yes, it’s quite possible he wrote that many letters — maybe more.

    • flujan Says:

      Wow!! You get a gold star for being the first person attracted by the word “archivist!” What is your name? Haha! You actually processed the Hemingway Papers? How cool is that? And in the JFK Library??? Wow!!! I can’t believe it?!! If I didn’t believe in signs- I would think it strange we have crossed paths. JFK and Hemingway— two signs of mine that are now fading— two historical figures I have connected to and now unfortunately I seem forced to disconnect from them. I would have loved to process those papers. I can’t believe you have found me?? It was meant to be. I work in New Mexico (a state repository). I am the Archives Bureau Chief, and have been with the agency for well over a decade. I do adore being an archivist and I am obsessed with history and the arts. It was my calling. You were a lucky woman to get to work in such a great library and on such a great collection. What are your thoughts on Hemingway? Was he insensitive? You- if anyone would have an up close and personal perspective on a great writer through his correspondence. Did he really love Martha G?

  4. spoonbeams Says:

    Yes, processing Hemingway was a blastt — and working at the JFK Library was special. It’s been a long time tho since I’ve been immersed. I left the library in ’83 and moved on to other things. I do think he was very sensitive and easily offended, but I wonder if he ever truly thought about the sensitivities of others. And yes, I do believe he really loved Martha and all his wives and perhaps a few other women, but not necessarily faithfully or for long. I’m so surprised that there is a movie now about Martha and EH. I was on leave of absence from the library when she came and removed all her letters to him from the collection because she did not want to be connected with him in any way. I heard it was quite dramatic. I know lots of others like us who really love being archivists and getting deep into a topic. He was certainly an exciting topic! Thumbs up on today’s Canvas of an Artist

    • flujan Says:

      Oh…. I can only imagine! That sounds so very interesting. Technically, you are still practicing a form of immersion through the art of conversing. That is really sad to hear about Hemingway, though I knew that would likely be your response. I’ll bet I could talk to you for hours?! If you are ever in New Mexico, look me up and we can have coffee. Your last comment has me thinking of exploring what it means to be a soul mate. I do wonder? If we change and grow as people, it may explain Hemingway’s continual search for his perfect match. Maybe there is more than one? Maybe a soul mate depends on what someone connects to or does not connect to at a particular time in their life? I think too much obviously! It’s just sometimes things are so very hard to understand? Why would such a great man kill himself? I was amazed to learn what you told me about Martha requesting a deaccession of her letters from the Hemingway Papers. I also find it interesting that you specifically say that “she did not want to be connected with him in any way.” Poor Martha- she was obviously just upset with him and so she made the dramatic scene. The sad part about that is no matter how hard she tried to erase all the physical and paper connections to him, there was still the one connection that she likely took to her grave in 1998— it was the one in her mind. Thank you for your preservation work on letters which will expose the real man behind the public persona. Without a doubt his personal letters shed light on his love affairs, and some very intricate souls. Also thank you for provoking my thoughts. I love that!

    • flujan Says:

      Oh— and you will also need to check out this post when you have some time. Thanks again.
      Felicia

      https://myvoyagethroughtime.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/the-hemingway-archivist-connection-and-disconnection/


  5. […] words (Read~ Pain: A Writer’s Inspiration; Analysis of and Symbols in Hemingway and Gellhorn; Whiskey Dreams: Inside the Mind of Hemingway; Wakeless Love, Tragedy and Words; The Hemingway Archivist: Connection and Disconnection.) This man […]


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