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Hemingway: 10 Fascinating Facts About the Complex Life of a Literary Icon

Ernest Miller Hemingway, the tough guy who hunted, fished, drank, and fished everywhere, the writer who said “man can be destroyed, but not defeated”, happy 124th birthday.

Hemingway’s works are still the classic books that students must read. His language is concise, accurate and restrained, and his novelettes are small and broad, only revealing the tip of the iceberg, but leaving readers with unlimited thinking about reality.

In the era that was about to enter the Great Depression, he revealed the truth that people are the “lost generation”. John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, commented on him: “Few Americans have had a greater impact on the feelings and attitudes of the American people than Hemingway.”

About Hemingway, behind his succinct words, is an extremely complex and multidimensional person. He is a Nobel Prize winner, a husband with four wives, a close friend of Fitzgerald and Joyce, and a spiritual Cuban who does not like New York… Just like he has more cats than we imagined, his life has a wider place besides words.

Here are ten questions about Hemingway that may be of interest to you. Let’s follow these answers and get to know this cool old man who is dashing, outspoken, and loves kittens.

Q 1: Is it true that only pupils’ vocabulary is used in writing?

Answer : no.

Hemingway and two sons

Faulkner was once asked to name the five most important American writers of our time.

His list was: “One, Thomas Wolfe, who was courageous and wrote as if he didn’t have much time to live. Two, William Faulkner. Three, Dos Passos. Four, Hemingway… He had no courage, never crawled out on one leg. He never used a word that required the reader to look it up in a dictionary to see if it was used correctly. Five, Steinbeck.”

The newspaper published the list, and Hemingway was furious when he saw it. “Hemingway only used elementary school vocabulary in writing” has also become a well-known joke.

However, Faulkner responded, pointing out that the newspaper abstract was taken out of context, with his own words:

“I think we’ve all failed (insofar as none of us have reached the heights of Dickens, Dostoevsky, Balzac, Thackeray, etc.). And Wolfe failed most brilliantly, because he had the greatest courage: the risk of making a bad-taste, clumsy, tedious, dull mistake: either it was a hit, or the torpedoes were all for nothing. Next came Dos Passos, because he sacrificed some of his courage to style. Then there was Hemingway, Because he didn’t have the guts to drag himself out on one leg, as other people do, and risk bad taste, unrestraint, dullness, and so on.”

At the same time, Faulkner also wrote a letter to Hemingway explaining the situation:

Dear Hemingway:

I’m sorry for the hapless stupidity. I just want to earn 250 yuan. I thought it was informal and not published, otherwise I would insist on seeing how it was written before publishing. For many years, I have always believed that all disasters of human beings come from the mouth, but I did not expect that I broke the precept and opened my mouth to speak. This may be my last lesson.

I hope this will not cause you any loss. But if it does or when and where, please accept my apologies again.

Hemingway and Faulkner won the Nobel Prize for Literature successively. Their quarrel is a well-known gossip in the history of literature. Although they compete with each other, they never hesitate to praise each other. Hemingway once said: ” I have great respect for Faulkner and wish him luck. But that doesn’t mean I can’t make fun of him. ”

As for Hemingway’s diction, his careful attention to diction and sentence construction never points to complexity and splendor. In a 1998 article in The New Yorker, Joan Didion wrote: “The grammar of Hemingway’s sentences determined, or was determined by, a certain way of looking at the world, a way of seeing without joining in, of moving through without clinging, a romantic individualism evidently adapted to its time and source.”

For example, at the end of “A Farewell to Arms”, the writer wrote:

“After a while, I went out to leave the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the rain.”

Q2 : Always very feminine?

Answer : yes.

Hemingway with his wife Mary and friend Ivanki in Cuba

Fitzgerald once said that Hemingway had to change his wife every time he wrote a great work.

Hemingway had four wives in his life, as well as countless girlfriends and lovers. The evaluation of “Fa Xin” seems to be an indisputable fact.

His first wife was Hadley Richardson. In fact, without her, there would be no writer Hemingway. Hadley once relied on her inheritance of $50,000 to support her husband’s writing career, and often helped him organize cultural salons to spread his fame.

Hemingway and first wife Hadley Richardson

However, Hemingway began an affair with his wife’s friend, Pauline Pfeiffer, an editor of a fashion magazine in Paris. The latter’s humor made Hemingway abandon his old-fashioned wife and married Pauline more than four months after the divorce.

After all, this second dull 13-year marriage did not last long. After all, before the two divorced in 1936, Hemingway met an outstanding female war reporter Martha Gellhorn, who was his later third wife.

I originally thought that such a woman who is both a novelist and a war reporter must have a lot of resonance with Hemingway, but her rebelliousness caused Hemingway a headache. Even once, Hemingway was injured while reporting on the European battlefield, and Martha was still on the front line. He was very angry and wrote in a letter to his son Patrick: “When my head hurt and my headache was splitting, what she did for a man was not even as good as what we did for a dog.” Perhaps since then, Hemingway was afraid of strong women, and the fourth wife he chose, Mary Wales, was a gentle and considerate field nurse.

With regard to Hemingway’s wonderful womanhood, Mary jokingly refers to Hemingway’s ex-wife and his countless lovers as “women in Hemingway’s school”.

Hemingway and his third wife Martha Gellhorn

Q3 : How dedicated are you in writing?

Answer : “Rewritten fifty times.”

After graduating from high school, Hemingway refused to go to university, and worked as a reporter for the Kansas City Star and the Toronto Star successively in the United States. Thanks to this job, he moved to Toronto, Chicago, and finally went to Paris on the recommendation of his writer friend Sherwood Anderson.

George Plimpton, editor-in-chief of The Paris Review, once asked Hemingway about this experience in an interview: Would you advise young writers to work in newspapers? Did your training at the Kansas City Star help you?

Hemingway replied: To work at The Star, you have to learn to write simple declarative sentences, which can be useful to anyone. Journalism isn’t harmful to young writers, and it can be good if you get out in time.

Hemingway’s 1923 passport photo

Although in many interviews, when talking about the job of reporter, Hemingway did not appreciate it that much, but it cannot be denied that it was this job that developed his later signature style-short, powerful and fluent sentences .

It can be said that Hemingway took the reporter’s creed as the criterion for his writing and work all his life.

In 1934, after Fitzgerald published the novel Tender Is the Night, he wrote to seek advice from his friend Hemingway. Hemingway was outspoken and replied with an extremely sincere letter, which talked about creation and truth.

I both liked and disliked this book. The story starts out with a great description of Sarah and Gerald, and then you start teasing them…you can’t do that, Scott. If you write with reference to real people, you can’t make them do anything they wouldn’t do…you can’t write a person as someone else. Creation is good, but you can’t create anything that won’t actually happen.

…to write truthfully, no matter who or what it hurts, and not make these stupid compromises.

No one knows more about Hemingway’s devotion to his writing than the duo’s editor and close friend, Maxwell Perkins.

Hemingway, Perkins said, was relatively prone to overrevising, overcorrecting. The gold medal editor recalled his experience with Hemingway: ” He once told me that he wrote some parts of “A Farewell to Arms” (published in 1929) fifty times. ”

Hemingway often traveled around with his wife for several months, but once he returned to work, he would set a time limit for himself, writing for six hours a day, and revising for six to ten hours a day.

” Writing is hard work, ” he wrote Perkins, though he added that nothing made him happier.

Perkins said Hemingway needed help in the early stages of writing, even after he became famous, “because he wrote as boldly as he lived”.

Max, Ernest and the booty, Key West, 1935. Every year Hemingway tried to persuade the busy editor to leave his desk and join him on vacation adventures, but only a few times did he succeed. The photo, which captures himself taking s of Max, speaks for itself.

As the novel For Whom the Bell Tolls (published in 1940) was nearing completion, Hemingway suddenly lost his usual strict writing habits. On weekends, he hangs out with friends and indulges in alcohol. After several weekends like this, Hemingway finally wrote the end. “These days don’t go fast enough to be damned,” he wrote to Max to report on his writing and ask Max to allow him the occasional inconsistency in his work.

Max wrote back to encourage him: “In short, endings have always been very difficult to write.”

In the end, he met Perkins’s hard deadline and sent him the first 512 pages of the manuscript, tentatively titled For Whom the Bell Tolls .

Hemingway often scoured the titles in anthologies of English literature. He plunged into his copy of the Oxford Anthology of English Essays and decided he had found the right title when he saw the end of John Donne’s Prayer No. 17, which began with “Nobody is an Island.”

Hemingway felt that it had the “magic” it must have as a title, and that the book itself would make the title widely quoted. If Perkins thinks otherwise, the author has thirty or so topics to choose from.

Perkins telegraphed back: “Overwhelmed by all. Absolutely brilliant, novel… Beautiful title, congratulations.”

In fact, although Hemingway enjoyed life very much, he also devoted himself to the work he did. Hemingway usually puts his manuscripts aside for a few weeks, then rereads them for a new perspective. So Max will have to wait a few more months before he can review the manuscript.

He was always scrupulous, with a deep aversion to imprecise, deceitful, deluded, half-finished ideas.

Hemingway’s principle in dealing with life and literature is never to evade the facts.

Hemingway at La Consuela estate in Malaga, Spain, 1959.

Q4 : How do you live when you are poor ?

Answer : starve, go to the park, see Picasso…

In the small book “A Moveable Feast”, Hemingway, who had become the greatest writer in the United States and even the world at that time, recalled his embarrassing and poor days when he was young, and the happiness that was hard to replicate.

Nearly sixty years old, he recalled his time in Paris when he was young——

“Paris is a very old city, but we are young, and nothing is simple here, not even poverty, windfall money, moonlight, right and wrong, and the breath of the man who sleeps beside you under the moonlight.” (“A False Spring” )

In 1920, the 21-year-old Hemingway was like many “hidden poor people” today: young, good-looking, and came to the city he yearned for with dreams; in comparison, it seemed even more unrealistic that Hemingway decided that he would definitely become a great writer, so he sat in a small cafe in Paris and wrote novels.

In 1921, Hemingway was a regular customer in the cafe outside the Ritz Bar in France.

In a short article called “A Good Cafe in the Place Saint-Michel”, he described his attire at the time:

It’s a cozy café, warm, clean and friendly, and I hang my old raincoat on a hanger to dry, put my old weather-beaten felt hat on the rack above the benches, and order a coffee with milk.

His pen describes the customers observed in the cafe as follows:

A girl walks into a café, . . . she is very handsome, with a fresh face, like a freshly minted coin , if one mints coins with smooth flesh and skin freshened by the rain .

At that time, he only had enough money to order a cup of coffee, and he drank it for a day.

With no regular income, he and his wife, Hadley, can only live in a small rented room temporarily. I borrowed books from Shakespeare and Bookstore. As for meals, I either went to the rich Miss Stein’s house to “eat and drink”, or went to the park for a stroll, and when my hunger subsided, I went home and pretended to have eaten.

Hemingway in front of Shakespeare & Company, Paris, France, 1962.

Interestingly, Miss Stein also taught Hemingway ways to save money so he could afford paintings he liked. Miss Stein said: “Don’t pay attention to your clothes, and you don’t have to worry about fashion at all. Just buy clothes for comfort and wear, and you can spend the money on clothes to buy paintings.”

The 21-year-old Hemingway is a straightforward boy, he answered honestly:

” But even if I don’t buy new clothes, I won’t have the money to buy the Picasso I want! ”

If that’s not poor enough, the stronger evidence is the article “Hunger Is Good Exercise.”

In Paris, if you don’t get enough, you get hungry because all the bakeries have such good stuff in their windows, and people eat and drink outside at tables on the pavement, so you can see and smell the food.

So after leaving the Luxembourg Gardens, he would go to the Luxembourg Museum to look at the famous paintings, “When you are hungry, those famous paintings will appear more vivid, clearer and more beautiful. From this, you can understand Cézanne better . ”

Hemingway was hungry a lot during this period, and he even summed up some philosophies about hunger: Whenever you have to reduce your diet, you must control yourself well, so that you will not become hungry all day long. Hunger is good exercise and you can learn from it .

Perhaps it was this experience of living in poverty that inspired him to write his later novel “The Rich and the Poor”. In it he wrote:

“I don’t know who made the law; but I know no law that says you must starve.”

Q5 : Is it true to be ungrateful?

Answer : yes and no.

Hemingway in Paris in the 1920s, drinking coffee with friends

After all, the relationship between Hemingway and his friends was somewhat special. He has a side that is not kind to his friends, but also a side that treats them carefully and fights for them.

According to some biographers, the character of Robert Cohen in The Sun Also Rises was based on Harold Robert, a friend who went to Spain with Hemingway to watch a bullfight in the summer of 1925. Harold Robert is a Jew and also a writer. He went to Spain to pursue a beautiful and sexy English woman named Dove Tuston. Hemingway didn’t think so.

Some critics have taken this incident as an example of Hemingway’s ingratitude, on the grounds that Harold Robb, who admired Hemingway so much that he helped him connect with a publishing house, now became his villain. Harold Robert himself read “The Sun Also Rises” on the spot, before breaking off his friendship with Hemingway.

Later, Hemingway wrote the deafening voice of the times “You are all a lost generation” in the preface, and the inappropriateness of selling friends’ privacy has become an indelible stain in the history of his friendship.

Hemingway (left) and Joyce (right)

But Hemingway also had a sincere side to his friends. He and Joyce had a very good friendship. It is rumored that when Hemingway was still working as a side reporter for the “Star” in Paris, although his income was limited and he was not rich, as long as he had a surplus in the manuscript fee, he would often go to the bar for a drink with his friends. Both he and Joyce were regulars at the Ritz Bar, and the boss trusted them with credit.

Later, when Joyce moved to Switzerland, Hemingway overheard his boss complaining that Joyce owed 50 francs for wine. He wanted to pay back the money immediately, but after thinking for a while, he chose to come back in a few days.

A few days later, Hemingway handed 50 francs to the boss, saying that Joyce left in a hurry and did not settle the account in time, so he specially sent the money back from Zurich to pay it back. The boss readily accepted.

Hemingway may treat his friends as he said of Ulysses:

“That’s Joyce’s weakness. Daedrus in Ulysses is Joyce himself, so he sucks. Joyce is so romantic and intellectual about him. He made up Bloom, and Bloom is amazing. He made up Mrs. Bloom. She’s the greatest character in the whole world.”

Criticize and dismiss what he hates or doesn’t care about, but also go out of his way to support what he agrees with.

Q6 : How “iron” is Fitzgerald?

Answer : Downgrading him from Scott to Fitzgerald while angry.

Hemingway and Fitzgerald together

In 1930, the Great Depression hit the world.

The most successful author of the year for Perkins (Hemingway’s editor) was Ernest Hemingway, a fame that Charles Scribner Sr. (owner of Scribner Press) could never have dreamed of.

The Great Depression did not prevent “A Farewell to Arms” from becoming a smash hit and eventually topping the bestseller list. Max wrote to Hemingway that the Great Depression “probably affected average book sales more—it certainly did—than a work as good as A Farewell to Arms.”

As a celebrity for the first time, Hemingway became the focus of gossip in literary circles. The strangest stories come from Robert McCammon, whom Hemingway recommended to his editor, Perkins. At the dinner table, McCammon spoke so badly about the person who introduced them that Max was dumbfounded. As soon as he came up, he made a bad comment on Hemingway’s writing. Rumors spread a little later that Fitzgerald and Hemingway were gay.

Such rumors have not subsided over time, and later generations still raise this conjecture from time to time. In fact, when the two met for the first time, they had a very strong chemical reaction.

In A Moveable Feast, Hemingway recalls:

“I wanted to get to know him then, so it seemed very strange that Scott Fitzgerald should come here after a long day’s work…Scott went on and on, and as he was embarrassing me with what he said—about what my work was and how great it was—I just stared at him, just looking instead of listening to what he had to say.”

In the 1920s, the Hemingway couple and the Fitzgerald couple frequented each other

After that, the two got closer and closer, and made an appointment to travel together.

Hemingway described the trip for the two as an “unpleasant nightmare”. They agreed to meet the next day and take the express train to Lyon that started in the morning, but Scott missed the train and Hemingway left alone.

“I had never heard of an adult miss a train, but I learned a lot on this trip.” Hemingway complained about his friends. “I demoted him from Scott to Fitzgerald when I was angry. ”

In short, the trip was so unpleasant that Hemingway said to his wife after returning: Never travel with someone you don’t love. It is also here that Hemingway first speaks of Scott’s wife Zelda’s jealousy of their relationship.

And one of the most talked about anecdotes between the two is the “size problem” that Hemingway himself certified.

As we ate cherry tarts and drank the last bottle of wine, he said, “You know, I’ve never slept with any woman except Zelda.”
“No, I do not know.”
“I thought I told you.”
“No. You’ve told me many things, but not this one.”
“That’s exactly what I have to ask you.”
“Okay. Let’s go on.”
“Zelda said that a man like me was never going to please any woman, that that was what upset her. She said it was a matter of size. I’ve felt differently since she said that, so I must know the truth.”
“Let’s talk in the office,” I said.
“Where is the office?”
“The bathroom,” I said.
We went back to the dining room and sat down at the table.
“You’re perfectly normal,” I said. “There’s nothing wrong with you. There’s nothing wrong with you. When you look down at yourself from above, you appear shortened. Go to the Louvre and see the human figures, and then go home and look at yourself in profile in the mirror.”
“Those statues may not be accurate.”
“Really well carved. Most people will be satisfied with that.” (“A Moveable Feast”)

As for saying Hemingway was gay, that’s somewhat far-fetched. But looking at it now, at least among all Hemingway’s same-sex relationships, the friendship with Scott, from acquaintance to becoming a close friend, from the two talking to each other and almost severing contact in the end…how precious it was at the beginning, and how regrettable it ended in the end.

Q7 : Does the work really reflect “misogyny”?

Answer : no.

Hemingway and supermodel Jean

In Hemingway’s works, men always appear as “tough guys”, but his handling of female characters is often criticized by later generations. In A Farewell to Arms, the heroine Catherine dies of dystocia; in A Foreign Land, the major’s wife dies of pneumonia; always, women are often absent or “executed.”

According to feminist critic Leslie Fiedler, the women in Hemingway’s books fall into two broad categories: vixens with strong desires to dominate, such as Mrs. Brett in The Sun Also Rises; Hemingway is best at dealing with men without women, and tends to take a uniform approach to women in his works.

There is a point of view to defend this: although Hemingway admired “tough guys”, he was not “misogynistic”. Also taking “A Farewell to Arms” as an example, Catherine’s mysterious prediction of her own death was actually hinted at in her conversation with Frederick:

“Why are you afraid of the rain?”

“Well, I’m afraid of the rain, and that’s because sometimes I see myself dying in the rain.”

“Will not.”

“Sometimes I see you die in the rain, too.”

Later in the novel, after Catherine’s haemorrhage surgery, she says to Frederick, “I’m going to die,” and after a while, she says, “I hate to die.”

Later, when the doctor called Frederick out, she reassured him, “Don’t worry, dear. I’m not scared at all now. It’s just a silly game.”

Through the dialogue between the two, Catherine is portrayed as a brave woman.

As Janice Walker points out in “The Abandoned Women in Hemingway’s Writings,” (the women in Hemingway’s writings) “a positive outlook on life keeps the male protagonists from their debilitating wounds, the exact opposite of Hemingway’s ‘misogyny’ rhetoric.”

And in the short story “Cat in the Rain”, the author even substitutes a female perspective, subtly satirizing the husband’s perfunctory and neglect of his wife in marriage and sexual relations, as well as the emptiness and emptiness of men who are neither pragmatic nor romantic.

Q8 : Spiritual Cuban?

Answer : It is true.

Hemingway entertaining friends at Lookout Heights

Hemingway didn’t like New York very much. He once said that “New York is a place where no bird falls . ” So unless he had to go there as a last resort, it was hard to see him in New York.

Hemingway lived in Cuba from 1939 to 1960. He enjoyed the leisure and relaxation of Havana, and also experienced the Cuban Revolution. He referred to Cuba as his “destined home”.

Hemingway’s third wife, Martha Gellhorn, found a manor near Havana. In 1940, Hemingway bought it for about $18,000 and lived there for 20 years.

Hemingway with his wife and children

Hemingway mentioned repeatedly in his letters that Cuba was the place where he wrote, and many of his famous works were indeed written here.

“I’ll make more money by going to Hollywood, or writing crap. But I’m going to keep writing as well as I can, as honestly as I can, until I die. I hope never to die. I’ve been writing in Cuba so I don’t get distracted by letters, telegrams, subpoenas and stuff like that, and actually work. It’s going well.”

“Everyone is not anxious for my proofs to arrive. The relevant Cuban agencies are all anxious for me.”

“In Cuba, I wrote from 8:30 in the morning to 2 or 3 in the afternoon. I haven’t written in such a good way in my life. It can be said to be the best.”

The Old Man and the Sea, which won the Nobel Prize for Literature for Hemingway, was written in Cuba. The story was inspired by a casual chat with an old fisherman: Before the storm came, the old man caught a big marlin, but was dragged across the sea by the prey with a fishing line. When the sharks attacked, the old man repelled one with his oar and killed several with a short hook, but he couldn’t stop his marlin from being bitten to nothing but a skeleton.

Hemingway donated the original manuscript of “The Old Man and the Sea” to a Cuban magazine, and dedicated the Nobel Medal to the Shrine of Our Lady of Cuba, which shows his deep affection for Cuba.

Why live in Cuba? Hemingway’s answer was consistent:

“I’ve had good luck writing in Cuba. I moved here from Key West in 1938 and bought it when For Whom the Bell Tolls came out. I got up at dawn to work, then sat in the sun, drank a glass of wine, and read the paper. I miss those times when I went to the tavern and met my friends, but I lost about five years of my life’s work during the war, and I’m trying to get it back. I can’t hang out in New York while I’m working because I just can’t learn. I come to New York, like the old people Trekking cattle into Dodge City.”

Hemingway’s home in Cuba

García Márquez also mentioned in “On Hemingway” how the “spiritual Cuban” Hemingway left his soul in Cuba:

“Cojima, a small village near Havana that was home to the solitary fisherman in The Old Man and the Sea, has a plaque commemorating the old fisherman’s exploits, accompanied by a gilt bust of Hemingway. Figa de la Vigia, Hemingway’s sanctuary in Cuba, where he lived shortly before his death, and the house under the shady trees are still intact, containing his assorted collection of books, hunting trophies, writing desk, his gigantic portrait silhouette, and his travels The trinkets collected by the nations belong to him, but whatever he once owned, he endowed him with a soul, and after his death, he will live alone in this world with this soul.”

Q9 : Which book will be handed down?

Answer : (Welcome to add, which of his works do you most impress?)

When Hemingway died on July 2, 1961, NBC News anchor Edwin Newman delivered a brief obituary on the air. Newman said he had ” perhaps more influence on the style of fiction than any other writer of the 20th century, ” but added: “I think Hemingway’s place in literature is now uncertain. We don’t know which of his books will survive.”

The most well-known work to Chinese readers is the Nobel Prize-winning “The Old Man and the Sea”, which is still a must-read for elementary and middle school students.

Hemingway receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954

The “New York Review of Books” mentioned in a review of Hemingway’s works that his most influential works may be those anti-war novels. “The Sun Also Rises” describes the aftermath of war, while “A Farewell to Arms” sets the novel on the battlefield, showing the transformation under pressure, perfectly condensing the anti-war sentiment at the time, and reshaping the integrity of soldiers in new ways. These anti-war novels seem not only adapted to his time, but dependent on it.

In “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, “The Rich and the Poor” and the drama “The Fifth Column”, he gave the characters greater political thought and emotional space. He takes left-wing critics seriously, though he doesn’t publicly admit to it.

Works of the late 1930s, such as A Man Without a Woman, are considered by some critics to be his best novels, “free from the ambiguity of style prescribed by modernist fiction”.

Hemingway is often considered to be better at short stories, but Marquez said: “I think his most charming and humane work is his least successful novel: “Crossing the River and Entering the Woods”. As he himself revealed, this was originally a short story, but it was mistakenly turned into a novel. It is difficult to understand that with his excellent skills, there will be so many structural deficiencies and methodological errors. The extremely unnatural and even artificial dialogue comes from one of the great masters in the history of literature.”

Therefore, instead of entangled with which work is the most successful, it is better to look at Hemingway’s own response: Please read any work I write just for the pleasure of reading!

Q10 : “Good night, my little cat”, is it really the last words for cats?

Answer : no.

Hemingway the cat

Hemingway named his house in Cuba “Meow Manufacture”.

And the number of cats and other animals he raised may be far more than we thought. In 1950, “The New Yorker” interviewed Hemingway, who returned to the United States briefly, and described in detail his farm life in the Havana countryside with his wife, 9 servants, 52 cats, 16 dogs, hundreds of pigeons and three cows at the beginning of a long paragraph.

At that time, Hemingway retired to Cuba due to his increasingly serious mental illness, and the writer’s private life and colorful cultural image became the new focus of attention from the outside world.

Hemingway and his puppy on a farm in the Cuban countryside

On a July morning in 1961, Hemingway killed himself with a shotgun at his home in Idaho at the age of 62. The last words he left to the world before he died: “Good night, my little kitty”.

According to Michael Katakis, an American writer and manager of Hemingway’s literary estate, this was actually what he said to his wife Mary before going to bed the night before, not to the cat.

Later generations prefer to portray him as a cat slave who is a tough guy “a tiger sniffs a rose”, so this sentence is often quoted to describe his feelings for cats. Of course, his fondness for cats isn’t overstated.

After Hemingway’s death, proper arrangements for the family’s cats had already been made in his will. In accordance with his will, his home in Key West was converted into the Hemingway Museum, and the proceeds from the entrance fees were used for the living expenses of the cats. Dozens of cats, mostly six-toed, like Hemingway’s beloved first cat, still roam the courtyard today.

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