Biography of Ernest Hemingway
"Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter. You will meet them doing various things with resolve, but their interest rarely holds because after the other thing ordinary life is as flat as the taste of wine when the taste buds have been burned off your tongue." ('On the Blue Water' in Esquire, April 1936)
A legendary novelist, short-story writer and essayist Ernest Miller Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, in the village of Oak Park, Illinois, close to the prairies and woods west of Chicago. His mother Grace Hall had an operatic career before marrying Dr. Clarence Edmonds Hemingway. While growing up, the young Hemingway spent lots of his time hunting and fishing with his physician father, Dr. Clarence Hemingway, and learned about the ways of music with his mother, who was a musician and artist. He was the second of Clarence and Grace Hemingway's six children. He was raised in a strict Protestant community that tried as hard as possible to be separate themselves from the big city of Chicago, though they were very close geographically. Both parents and their nearby families fostered the Victorian priorities of the time: religion, family, work and discipline. They followed the Victorians' elaborate sentimental style in living and writing. He attended school in the Oak Park Public School system and in high school, Hemingway played sports and wrote for the school newspaper. At Oak Park and River Forest High School, Ernest reported and wrote articles, poems and stories for the school's publications largely based on his direct experiences. Hemingway was awarded the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature. He was unable to attend the award ceremony in Stockholm, because he was recuperating from injuries sustained in an airplane crash while hunting in Uganda. In July, 1961, he ended his life in Ketchum, Idaho.
Hemingway may have been a homosexual in denial. His determination to keep up his manhood's "good name" may have been a decoy to hide his true homosexuality. As a Rolling Stone article notes, his son was in fact gay. Perhaps he got it genetically from his father, Ernest Hemingway. Many things were repeated in that family. Hemingway, the depressed drunk, committed suicide just like his father. However,...
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...the death struggle in his mind - it is very explicit in books such as A Farewell to Arms and Death in the Afternoon, which were based on his own experience.
Modern investigations into so-called Near-Death Experiences (NDE) such as those by Raymond Moody, Kenneth Ring and many others, have focused on a pattern of empirical knowledge gained on the threshold of death; a dream-like encounter with unknown border regions. There is a parallel in Hemingway's life, connected with the occasion when he was seriously wounded at midnight on July 8, 1918, in Italy and nearly died. He was the first American to be wounded in Italy during World War I. Here is a case of NDE in Hemingway, and I think that is of basic importance, pertinent to the understanding of all Hemingway's work. In A Farewell to Arms, an experience of this sort occurs to the ambulance driver Frederic Henry, Hemingway's alter ego, wounded in the leg by shellfire in Italy. Hemingway touched on that crucial experience in his life – what he had felt and thought - in the short story ‘Now I Lay Me’ (1927): "my soul would go out of my body ... I had been blown up at night and felt it go out of me and go off and then come back".