I have enjoyed Ernest Hemingway’s writing all my life. My library at home is filled with his works, starting with “The Apprenticeship of Ernest Hemingway,” a little-known biography of his early years as a newspaper reporter at the Kansas City Star. Though out of print, it is a gem.
A favorite that I read with my son is “The Nick Adams stories,” a collection of short stories about the formative years of an adventurous boy, including his experiences fishing and camping (but also helping to deliver a baby in “Indian Camp”). I have visited the Hemingway House in Key West, with the famous six-toed cats, when I worked in Miami. Hemingway’s death was tragic. The L.A. Times has a retrospective 50 years after his death on July 2 called rethinking Hemingway that provides some interesting insights:
Boozy, boorish and self-besotted, the world-famous writer in Woody Allen’s current hit film, “Midnight in Paris,” is kind of a clown. And, as played by actor Corey Stoll, he’s an instantly recognizable replica of the author of “The Sun Also Rises” and “The Old Man and the Sea.”
He is, of course, Ernest Hemingway. Or rather, he’s the Hemingway caricature handed down to posterity: a hard-drinking, womanizing, big-game trophy-hunting, fame-craving blowhard who pushed his obsession about writing in a lean, mean prose style to the point of self-parody.
But exactly 50 years after the Nobel Prize-winning writer committed suicide at his home in Ketchum, Idaho, on July 2, 1961, there’s another, more serious and respectable Hemingway still duking it out with this comic imposter in the ring of public perception. Marty Beckerman says that he had both Hemingways in mind while writing his just-published book, “The Heming Way,” a combination of loving tribute and tongue-in-cheek how-to guide for what Beckerman, 28, sees as today’s Facebook generation of timid metrosexual males.
“I think that everybody knows the Hemingway cartoon character, even guys who’ve never read ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ and ‘Farewell to Arms,’ ” says Beckerman, a writer for Esquire magazine whose book is subtitled, “How to Unleash the Booze-Inhaling, Animal-Slaughtering, War-Glorifying, Hairy-Chested, Retro-Sexual Legend Within… Just Like Papa!”
But Beckerman also wanted his book to remind people of the other Hemingway: intrepid war correspondent, colorful bohemian and virile man of action, whose muscular short stories and novels define modern writing the way Picasso’s paintings define modern art.
“I think there’s a lot of lessons that Hemingway taught that definitely could apply to modern guys,” Beckerman says. “I think that guys today aren’t really living on our own terms and have lost a certain passion. Everything we know comes from Wikipedia, and everything Hemingway knew came from adventure. Get off your iPad and get off your smartphone and go slaughter some bulls and some lions!”
The rest of the article is here.
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