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“He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.”
He lived. Primarily in the first half of the 20th century. Then for a while in the last half. He shot things (such as children), wrote things (such as grocery lists), and drank things (such as tea). He had a beard. He married more than his fair share of rich women. He once owned a tiny Jewish slave named Windemere. Let us examine this complex man and his complex works. Without neglecting his complexity.
Ernest Hemingway was sat at the small table at the Café Select when a poule walked by and caught his eye. She walked over to sit at his table. She was really a very pretty girl, but when she smiled he noticed her dentures. He guessed that was why she didn't smile such a hell of a lot. The waiter came and Hemingway asked for two absinthes. The waiter went away. "So what do you do?" The girl said. "I'm a writer. I write." Said Hemingway. "Oh, how perfect!" said the girl. She was wearing a wide-brimmed hat, and she pulled it up over her face. She was really a very pretty girl when she didn't smile. The waiter came back with the absinthe and two glasses on a tray. The girl lifted her absinthe and poured it into a little water in her glass and Hemingway watched as it went cloudy and the girl popped out her dentures and put them in the other glass. "I was gonna drink that," Hemingway said. "Oh Soh-ee," said the poule, and sipped her absinthe. "What's your name?" Hemingway said. "Delphine," said the girl, looking out down the Montmatre. "Let's have another absinthe." Said Hemingway. "Ok, sure," said the girl. The waiter came back with two absinthes on a tray and they drank the cloudy mixture. "Let's have another absinthe." Said Hemingway. "Ok, sure," said the girl. The waiter came back with two absinthes on a tray and they drank the cloudy mixture. "Let's have another absinthe." Said Hemingway. "O-hic-k, sure," said the girl. The waiter came back with two absinthes on a tray and they drank the cloudy mixture. "Let's have another absinthe." Said Hemingway. "O..k.. shhure," said the girl. The waiter came back with two absinthes on a tray and they drank the cloudy mixture. "I'm a little tight," said Hemingway, "better get some breakfast." "Uhhhh..." said the unconscious girl. Hemingway lifted her in his arms and hailed a cab. The man stopped and Hemingway told him to drive over to the Café Select. "But monsieur, we are at the Café Select." The chauffeur said. "Is it a good café?" Hemingway said. "The best." "Well, ok." The girl slumped closer to him on the backseat. She turned her face up to be kissed, but he said "No. Forget about that." "Uhhhh?" The girl said. "Will you get out, monsieur?" Said the chauffeur. "Is this the Café Select?" "Yes, monsieur." "How does one eat at the Café Select?" "Very well, monsieur." "Dammit! With a knife and fork?!" "Oh, oui monsieur." "Take us there then." Twenty minutes later they pulled up at the Café Select. The Duchess of York, J. D. Salinger and The Sultan of Dubai were already there, and a couple of drinks ahead of him. He'd have to do his best to catch up now, or risk being a couple of drinks behind them all night long. The Duchess, Camilla Parker-Bowles, waved to him on the way in. "Where did you get her?" She said, nodding over to where the poule was slumped over a table in a puddle of her own sick. "Picked her up in the Select." Hemingway said. "She's perfectly darrrling," Camilla said. Hemingway smiled. He very really was very quite in love with her. He made his way over to the bar and ordered eight bottles of wine and some scrambled eggs for breakfast. The band was playing. Jerry and The Sultan stood up for a dance. The Sultan really was a very good mover, and Jerry did his best to keep up. Hemingway sat at the bar and drank a couple bottles of wine whilst Jerry and the Sultan twirled and danced on the wide floor. He looked over at Camilla whose face shone in the light that came in through the big front window from the Montmatre as she swayed her head slightly to the beat the nigger drummer was pounding out on the little kit. It was very hot. It was hot and sweat dripped off the roof and onto Hemingway's head. He took a long drink on his sixth bottle of wine when Jerry came over. "Have a drink?" Jerry said. "Sure." Jerry bought a bottle of Cognac and the Sultan joined them for a few glasses. "Have another?" "Sure." They all drank another glass of the Cognac. It was smooth and fiery, and hit the back of the throat. "How's the book?" Hemingway asked Jerry. "Writing's bad at the moment. too much machismo around. Can't focus. That and this damned heat." "Have a drink?" "Thanks." "It is good to have the good things in life." said The Sultan. "Yes that is good." said Hemingway. It really was very good. Just then Camilla came over. She was drinking a dry Martini without the olive. "Darling, leave with me." She begged, gripping hard to Hemingway's sleeve. Jerry and The Sultan had gone back down to the dancefloor for the slow dance, so they were alone at the bar. "Get me out of here. Leave with me now." Camilla said. "Sure." said Hemingway. He bought a bottle of wine for the drive. Outside, he hailed a cab and told the driver to go to his apartment. "Do you love me so very much?" Camilla asked as they were driving. "Yes." said Hemingway. "But I'm marrying Charles." She said. "I know." "Oh, it's all so horrible." "Couldn't we just get away? Go away, just you and me? Go bullfighting." "No, it isn't possible." "Yes." "Oh, kiss me." Hemingway kissed her. "Oh, don't. You turn me all to jelly when you're here." "Ok." They got to the apartment. "Come up for a drink?" said Hemingway. "Sure." said Camilla. They kissed in the lobby. "Don't. Oh, don't." She said. They went up to the apartment and had a drink. They kissed and then Camilla said she had to go. "I can't," she said, "Darling. I'm marrying Charles." "Sure." said Hemingway. Camilla left. Hemingway went over to the bed and sat down. The room span when he closed his eyes so he played Nintendo. He looked over at the clock. It was 11am. He had been drinking for half an hour. He started to cry. He really very was really quite very was in love with Camilla. After a while he stopped crying and sat up in bed. He sighed. Well, he thought, maybe one of these days I will write a novel about it.
edit Early Years
Hemingway was born in the United Spades. His father was an Amish magician. His mother was not. He cried a lot when he was a baby. Babies cry a lot. Sometimes it is because they have crapped their pants. Sometimes it is because they cannot have "fine" French wine. Even as a baby Hemingway could tell a good wine from a bad one.
Hemingway cried. Because he could not have decent French wine. He would have it later. But right now he did not have it. The house did not have indoor plumbing. It would have it later, when Ernest was 10. When he turned ten he would be fascinated with the hot and cold taps. He would call it a Big Two-Heated River. He would wish the taps would pour out whiskey and absinthe. But they did not. And, besides, his house did not have plumbing yet. While he was looking for a place to poo he would often shoot at things.
His mother hoped that her son would develop a hamster-like body. He did not. Hemingway adopted his father's figure, that of a humpback whale. This helped him to swim and to fish. He used the balleen to fish. He also developed a love of guns. Perhaps from his experiences shooting at the family slave, Windemere. When Windemere escaped Hemingway would shoot at him. When Hemingway escaped Windemere would be shot. It was a hard life. Windemere turned to absinthe for relief. But the story was not about Windemere. Perhaps later it would be.
One day Hemingway got so drunk that he could not find his way home, he went to the wrong house and up-chucked on their doorstep. He then slept in his chunder. His parents were very upset. Not because he could not find his way home, but because he missed the welcome mat.
He would drink absinthe and lick Windemere. Literally.
edit Love and the Young Man
Hemingway volunteered for the Army before WWI started. He was unprintable and wanted to unprintable some of the other prime soldiers with their ripe unprintables. He did believe in it very much. But it was a tough war. And he liked that sort of thing. Perhaps there would be people or animals to "do", he thought. There would be many people and animals to "do" later, but right now he did not know how.
"I will have an absinthe before the war" he said to the waiter in Portuguese. The waiter brought him the absinthe and a glass. There was a sugar cube too and a spoon. Also, there was water. These are all the things one needs to have absinthe.
He did not get a gun though. Mainly because he was too drunk to pick one up. Had he known that this would happen maybe he would not have drank the absinthe. He was sad. "I'm not worth a damn" he murmured. This state of depression could not be repaired by any normal means. It would take a strong dose of that green bitter spirit to fix this. He opened his flask.
But again, he was drunk. Had he known it was a grenade he probably would not have tried to open it. But he did not know that it was a grenade. He thought that it was his flask of absinthe. And so he opened it. His arms were asploded. His legs were also asploded. His absinthe survived the blast, but he could not drink it. Because he did not have arms. He later used this for his war novel A Farewell to Limbs.
He had his limbs replaced with guns. So that he could shoot things. When he walked, he would shoot. But he also shot when he tried to shake hands. People did not want to shake hands with him much. He did not know why.
His gun limbs came in handy in the next war. This was the Spanish Civil War. America was not involved in this war either. But it was a good excuse to shoot at people. And drink absinthe. And so he went to this war. He liked the war so much he wrote a book about it. Unfortunately he got drunk one night. He lost Spain to Franco in a bet on a bullfight. If he had known he would lose he probably would not have made the bet. But he did not know that. He later used this experience to write his book The Sun Also Rises in a drunken haze.
He decided Spain was not worth a damn. He joined World War II, the sequel. He was not supposed to be in this war either. But he went anyways. The Nazis had occupied his favorite bar. His favorite bar was the Ritz Paris. He did not believe the allies would liberate it fast enough. So before the allies invaded, Hemingway and his friends did. For a time, France was divided between the Vichy regime, the Nazis, and Hemingway.
He liked this. Because the bar had liquor, you see. He got this idea from Shaun of the Dead. And he held up inside the bar until the zombies/Nazis killed his good friend Kurt Cobain. Then he went to live in Cuba. Because there were many things to shoot in Cuba. Like leopards. Or beer cans he'd emptied. Or Fulgencio Batistas.
edit Literary Genius
Hemingway began writing after the war. There was nothing to do and no one to shoot. There was not much absinthe either. But you could get it if the people knew you. Those men over there are customs officers. You can't have the spoon and the sugar cube anymore. If you do they will know what it is.
Post-war Paris was a hotplate of artistic innovation. Matisse had just shot the Prime Minister full of horse. Toulouse Lautrec was gnawing the very ankles of the Establishment. Gertrude Stein was in hot pursuit of Alice Toklas. Her chase would lead into dark labyrinths of madness and chlamydia. F. Scott Fitzgerald had just finished his first movie. Emma Ovary's poetry was the toast of every breakfast. But not for Hemingway. His breakfast toast was not toast at all. It was made of rye, yes, but this rye was liquid. And not in bread. It burned and warmed as it went down. Bread does not do that.
Hemingway wrote a book. It was about a man who killed things with guns and got drunk. It was a marvel. People wondered where he found such material. To try to explain it he wrote The Sun Also Arises As Well. This did not work. In fact, it was not worth a damn.
Hemingway was controversial. Many people did not like him. They said things about him. Some of the things were not nice. Many point out that he did not like gays. He was a manly man. And gay people are not very manly. Also, he always wore flannel. Flannel is the natural enemy of gay.
Some believe this was to cover up his own homosexuality. They point to his obsession with ramming phallic objects into a bull. They also mention that all of his marriages fell apart. But if Hemingway was gay, where did all these little Hemingways come from? And why did they all kill themselves?
Some have said that Hemingway's prose style isn't good. They claim it is too bland. That it is not intellectually stimulating. They are wrong. If they knew how stimulating his prose style was, they would not say that. But they did not know. They would know if they drank more whiskey.
Many mention that Hemingway treated women like trophy hunts. This is not true. He had sex with women more often than animals. Except when it was required by the bullfighting tradition. It is okay to do whatever you like with an animal after you fight it. For instance, the internet is rife with videos of Britney Spears' donkey fighting competitions. Only after she defeats them in battle will she be permitted to make love to them. Donkeys are marvelous for fighting as they are less dangerous than bulls or women. They are the least dangerous game.
Hemingway might have liked to fight animals. He did not fight women. They were not fair game. Because they were small. Women would look silly mounted next to a lion. On the few occasions he shot women he simply took their breasts as trophies. But he did not put them beside the lion. It would have looked silly. He did not want to look silly.
In conclusion, Hemingway did not look silly. He was a real man. He wore flannel. And had a penis.
edit The Later Years
Hemingway lived a life of hunting and wine. He would also fish. And drink absinthe. Sometimes he fought with bulls and then drank whiskey. He also liked women and possibly men. We do not know. Except that we do. But we can not tell you. That would not be nice. What we do know and can tell you is that this life wore on him. Maybe it was the (no joke) fifteen margaritas in one sitting. Maybe it was the two plane crashes. One of the plane crashes paralyzed his ass. He claims to say it hurt.
Because of this he became crazy and sad. His only solace was in electrocuting himself. And liquor. After being zapped to shit the doctors decided he was okay. They sent him home with a shiny new gun to help him forget about his troubles. The gun was purchased from Abercrombie & Fitch. Guns are a good way to forget your problems. Especially when your problem is your wife and there is a shovel on the other end of the gun. But Hemingway did not have a gunshovel. Nor was his problem with any of his four wives. If it had been, he might have needed a gunshovel.
edit Failure VS Death Check, Success VS Accuracy Check
As F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said, Hemingway was impossible to kill. Bulls, wild animals, other authors, planes, Nazis, nationalists, wives and absinthe all tried. The reason is that Hemingway had a +13 Gold Shield. And a +5 Mace. Nothing could pierce his thick leathery hide.
Fitzgerald, being a crafty bastard, finally made a bet with Hemingway. By this time the shock treatments had taken their toll. Hemingway had taken up the nickname "mama". He lived in Cuba for a time with Fidel Castro, who was known by the islanders as papa. They began a folk group, but it was not worth a damn. The writing was no good.
Fitzgerald did not know that his scheme would succeed in killing Hemingway. But he had to try. He could not stand to hear “California Dreamin'” again. Yes, he would try. He bet Hemingway a margarita that he couldn't kill himself. So Hemingway performed a critical hit on himself by firing a shotgun into his mouth. But it didn't do anything. The coroner's report found that he had to reload and fire again three times before he went down.
Hemingway is the most dangerous game.
edit Writing Style
He wrote books. The writing was good. But he had to follow up. If you don't follow up it's not worth a damn. In order to write like Hemingway it is necessary to have many things. Here are some of the things:
- A wife who is sort of a lesbian.
- Whiskey and water.
- A glass. So you can put the whiskey and water in it.
- Ice. So the whiskey and water will be cold.
- Spain or France. This is why Hitler and Franco took over both countries.
- Paper, maybe.
Here is an example,
We all had absinthe at the cafe, no one was drunk so we decided to have dinner. We ate lamb with a few bottles of wine and then fourteen more bottles for dessert. Hal showed up, fresh from the states. He had just finished his book so we soaked a cat in gin and ate it. Hal is a writer... as is his wife Judy, whom I’ve slept with. I slept with Judy’s book too and it was lousy.
The waiter came by and we dosed him with port and drank his blood. I was starting to feel a bit drunk so I went outside for some air. I waxed poetically about how fucking awesome Paris is for a paragraph. Then the blond that I was in love with waved at me from across the street. I nodded and she made her way towards me, fucking and drinking her way through the crowd. I had a few dozen whiskeys while I waited.
Hemingway would be drunk when he wrote. He usually had at least two lesbians crawling on him. Sometimes it was Toklas and Stein. Sometimes it was not. When he wrote For Whom the Bell Tokes it was Toklas, trying to eat some brownies out of Gertrude Stein's hooha. But he was focused on the writing. The writing and his whiskey. So he did not know that it was Toklas and Stein at this time. He would know that later. When he was not writing anymore.
Because he was so distracted, his sentences were always very lengthy and full of big words. He did not like to be concise. Perhaps later he would. But when he wrote he did not. Consider this excerpt from his novel Mrs. Dalloway's Adventures in Absinthe and Lesbianism on the Riviera.
She stiffened a little on the kerb, waiting for Durtnall's van to pass. A charming woman, Scrope Purvis thought her (knowing her as one does know people who live next door to one in Westminster); a touch of the bird about her, of the jay, blue-green, light, vivacious, though she was over fifty, and grown very white since her illness. There she perched, never seeing him, waiting to cross, very upright. Then; she lesbianed the charming Scrope Purvis (who enjoyed absinthe very much on a cool summer day, such as this) up the; carnation pink wazoo, and; she did it very well.
edit Major Novels
- A Farewell to Limbs, a grim account of a quadruple amputee rowing across Lago Lomondo by holding the oars in his teeth. His girlfriend expires of an overdose of pathos, and he ends up in a Swiss sanitarium.
- A Farewell to Arms, a novel describing the life of a war veteran who lost both his arms in the war.
- Across the River and Under the Trees, the story of a heartsick American colonel who is fucked to death by his insatiable Italian mistress under the lovely shade of a forest, which obviously enhanced the performance.
- The Old Man and the Sea
- "The Sun Also Rises"
- Nancy Drew and the Mystery of the Wet Whistle, originally conceived as a young woman's struggle against contemporary mores and her determination to abort the child of a man she loved, but hastily rewritten when Hemingway needed some cash for smokes.
- True at First Light, released posthumously, this "fictional memoir" tells of a safari in Kenya undertaken by Hemingway. During the safari, Hemingway is preoccupied by his desire to tap a hot African honey named Laqueesha. It is generally considered to be Hemingway's best work.
edit Lesser Works
- Death in the Aftermath, an account of Spanish bullfighting as narrated by the amusing character "The Old Lady".
- To Kludge and Kludge Not, inarguably his worst novel. The protagonist makes love like a sea turtle and the pith gets everywhere.
- The Green Hells of Africa, his attempt to write "...a completely, absolutely, unflinchingly profitable book."
- A Moveable Fast, a memoir about starving in Paris. George Orwell was writing Down and Out in Paris and London at the same time and the two writers took bets on which would be more pathetic. Orwell won.
- The Goodies of Eden, a semi autobiographical story published posthumously. The story details an author who wants to get in a young Spanish girl's pants. But here's the twist: His wife wants him to get in a young Spanish girl's pants, too!
- Star Wars, Hemingway's little-known novelization of the 1970s box office flop about a boy who must kill his father. Was acknowledged for the crucial introduction of Midi-chlorians into the series
edit Short Stories
Hemingway, sometimes called "Spud" or "Poopoo", wrote several volumes of short stories. Some of the short stories have become classics (i.e. evergreen fodder for college literature courses), because they are short.
- The Snow Leopard of Kilamanjaro with its glorification of "writing" and its dreamy death-metaphors is a favorite of buxom, weepy co-eds from small towns.
- A Clean, Well-Lighted Restroom speaks to the insomniac in us all. Especially those of us with small bladders.
- The Quick, Happy Death of Francis McCucumber is another Hemingway chestnut. It has all the good stuff: guns, truly true things, charging lions, beer, and head wounds.
- Hills Like White Turds is a story, in which more of the story happens NOT during the story, than during the story itself.
edit Collections of Short Stories
- In Our Time: a collection of hard core erotic tales where Hemingway audaciously sponsors homosexuality as the new frontier of a brave new era of bravely poncy men.
- Winner Take Nothing: another collection of short stories where Hemingway suggests never to get involved into an homosexual relationship if you are not willingly to lose your virginity (take nothing) and thus be no winner. A very sophisticated conception indeed, widely acclaimed by the best critics of San Francisco. (We apologize for the wretched grammar just here. We got our winkie caught in our zipper and could not think clearly.)
Ernest Hemingway killed himself because he was a deserter in WWI. He did not want the Italian officers murdering him because of him being a deserter. He killed himself when he was drunk, high, and having sex with a random chinese infant. The End.
edit See also