Ernest Hemingway, 1899-1961, is renowned as one of the best writers of the 20th century for his journalism, short stories and novels. Hemingway won the Pulitzer Prize for his novella, The Old Man and the Sea in 1953 and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954 for his “mastery of the art of the narrative.”
Hemingway’s literary inspiration seems to derive from three sources: his fishing and hunting adventures as a sportsman; his experience with love and his several different marriages (four to be exact); and his work as a correspondent in World War I, the Spanish Civil War, and World War II.
Hemingway grew up hunting and fishing. Soon after sustaining injuries during World War I at the age of 20, Hemingway arrived in Paris where he became close friends with famous artists and writers such as Pablo Picasso, Gertrud Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald and James Joyce. A perpetual thrill seeker, Hemingway would frequent the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.
Hemingway spent much of the 1930’s deep sea fishing in Florida and hunting in Africa. Hemingway also had a winter vacation home at a farm just outside of Havana, Cuba. During World War II, Hemingway was present as a correspondent during D-Day. At this time, Hemingway met another correspondent, Mary Welsh, which led to Hemingway’s third divorce and fourth marriage.
Hemingway suffered from a multitude of health issues. He was seriously injured during World War I and was a heavy-drinker for most of his life. In addition, while he was in Africa in 1954, Hemingway survived two successive plain crashes. First, his aircraft struck a utility pole. The next day, soon after boarding an aircraft to receive health care in Entebbe, the plane’s engines exploded, causing Hemingway to suffer serious burns.
Hemingway committed suicide on July 2, 1961.
In my next segment, I am going to review The Old Man and the Sea, which Hemingway described as, “The best I can write ever for all my life.”
About the Author: Jake Blumstein was a Spanish Major at Florida State University and is currently in his second year of law school at the Shepard Broad College of Law. Jake spent nine months in Spain working as a teacher and loves to spend his spare time reading and traveling.