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Papa Cosa
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Posted: 04 February 2006 at 3:50pm | IP Logged Quote Papa Cosa

 

  Gotch ya!  Seriously, I've been dealing with alot of people lately who can't see Papa with his bad side.  It's great to love Hemingway but come on, you don't have to make him a man who never sinned.  His sins were part of his charm.  Sorry if I took it the wrong way.  I've been interested in the book for some time and will get to it eventually. 

  best,

  Papa Cosa

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hijo
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Posted: 04 February 2006 at 5:29pm | IP Logged Quote hijo

Bookman and Larry: no question we chafe at suggestions by others - even witnesses - who contend the foibles or faults of someone we consider a role model were beyond mere foibles or pecadillos (pecada being Spanish for "sin").

Still, now I've got to read the book to decide for myself if the tone is indeed "over the top."

Problem is, and Bookman feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but much of what I've read about the man has led me to believe that he was known to present (like most of us, I'll wager) a `public persona' that may or may not have actually reflected his private person.

I'm still guessing there'd be days I'd be happy to be in the man's company, and day's I'd wish he'd either leave me the hell alone or get the hell out of my way.

Once heard Robert DeNiro talking about how people feel they know celebrities to the point of shouting to them in the street: "Bobby! Hey, Bobby! Bo-bby!" the first time they ever see them in person.

I've met "famous" folk I couldn't stand to be around, because they seemed always in need of assuring you of their greatness; I've also met "famous" folk you would never know were famous until someone who did know told you. I prefer associating with the latter rather than the former.

All I can say ultimately is to quote another old professor of mine, an English prof in a small Wisconsin college: "Well," he'd say, pulling on his earlobe, "that's one view..."

`Angles are like wishes. Everybody's got one...'

Best,
hijo

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docnme
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Posted: 04 February 2006 at 5:39pm | IP Logged Quote docnme

Hi Hijo,

No way was I offended by what you wrote about Gregory... or E.H. either. Completely understand where you are coming from, and anyone can read all of your post and know it isn't in you to purposely offend and you did not.  I do not know anymore about him, probably not as much as many writing on this message board.  That is why I read it. I only know what I  have read; did happen to know some of the old time members of the family who had had been to Key West and  met him, they too had their story. To tell the truth, most of the things that they said about E.H. was the very same things that I read on this board. They were alot harder on him. They were here for a reunion in 1916, the only time that I have heard of.  I just think his children could have done better because their good breaks outnumbered the bad ones (in my opinion).

Look at your father, after what happened to him.  And look at you...(choice)

I think that I should read that book also... The rest of you are also right. A good writer does not make you a saint. I sometimes think that he did not ask for this, or want it, it just happened, others thought he was great and he cashed in. Think that might be so?

Best, Ramona



Edited by docnme on 04 February 2006 at 5:43pm


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bookman
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Posted: 05 February 2006 at 11:11am | IP Logged Quote bookman

I actually agree with both of you (Hijo & Papa C.) that what makes EH endlessly fascinating are his contradictions. He definitely did alot of posturing and cultivating of the Hemingway Myth, which the public and press eagerly accepted. I don't think he, as a man, should be confused with the Hemingway hero of his literature. But some biographers fall into the same trap of over-analysing him or his actions, based on his fictional charactors. ("Quick, lock up Stephen King before he murders again!")
Papa C's thread, "You know you've read too much...", is so popular because we do recognise Papa's frailities and can poke fun. I have contributed to it, and have entered "bad Hemingway" contests, something EH would disapprove of. He didn't like parody of his own work, but would use it against others(such as Sherwood Anderson). Another contradiction. He actually was incredibly thin-skinned when it came to criticism. (Remember the famous brawl with Max Eastman over his review, "Bull in the Afternoon"?)
Anyway, my opinion of the Whiting book is entirely my own, and Mr. Newman's is certainly as valid. I hope people read it and add to the discussion. That's what this board is all about.



Edited by bookman on 05 February 2006 at 11:19am
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hijo
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Posted: 05 February 2006 at 4:37pm | IP Logged Quote hijo

Ramona: thanks, as always, for your latest post.

You as well, Bookman, Mr. Newman and as always, Larry. I think in fact what we've just had is a very good discussion and it seems the conclusion is for us to all read this book and make up our own minds as to whether it accurately reflects our views of the personality of EH, may lend us another view to incorporate or abandon, or seems like yet another person putting Hemingway in a title to sell a book.

Or for such as yourselves who may have read the book to either reject it out of hand or consider it just another view of someone we ourselves never had (in most of our cases) the opportunity to meet and judge for ourselves.

However, much as I appreciate your always kind words and impression of my posts and thoughts, Ramona, I must note: I never mean to offend you purposely, nor most people. But that should in no way ever be construed to believe I never purposely offend. There is a time and a place, in my mind, for everything. If I don't offend anyone it is because I have no reason to. Given a reason, I must admit, much like it seems was the personality of the "boorish lout" we've been discussing, I can be quite offensive - and personal about it.

That's why this book interests me - because it does not purport to be a collection, say, of bad stories about Hemingway written by others, (as some biographies may be), but someone's personal take on an episode in someone else's life.

Again, for all I know, it could be "spot-on," as the Brits used to be wont to say. I'd hate to hear or read what some people who've met me at various times might have to say about the impression I made. Ex-girlfriends and ex-wives coming to mind first and foremost. Ex-friends next.

I do love this forum and Web site precisely because it is far more than a regurgitation of Hemingway biographical factoids. It is a place where writers, and readers, and fans, and friends and even relatives can weigh in with their personal impressions of the man's work, perhaps his method, as well as his personality and life - all of which seems personal to us individually, because it affected us in some way, at least to the point of joining the discussion.

When someone criticizes EH without cause - they've never read him, only about him, or they only spout what they've been told or they think will get them in with the latest literary or even social critics - I'm among the first to desire to knock them on their keesters.

But if someone is expressing their personal view, which they believe they can back with examples or experience, I am equally first among those to defend them and their right to expose their feelings and impressions without being trounced upon.

Because ultimately, writing I think is exposure of something it takes greater courage than most realize to reveal: an individual's thoughts, which no government agency can tap into without a warrant yet.

Indeed, "Lock up Steven King before he murders again!"

Allbest,
hijo
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hijo
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Posted: 05 February 2006 at 4:42pm | IP Logged Quote hijo

P.S.- as some old friends no doubt are happily aware, I have for more than 30 years been using deodorant, making me far less offensive than in my past...

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hijo
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Steve Newman
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Posted: 05 February 2006 at 5:28pm | IP Logged Quote Steve Newman

Can I say that I'm cheered by the responses that have come from these message boards in relation to Charles Whiting's book which, if nothing else, proves yet again how loved and respected Hemingway - man and writer - remains, and that for all his faults ( and there were many) he was both a hugely generous man, yet at the same time deeply disturbed (along with millions of others of course) as a result of his experiences, short as they were, in WWI.

And in many ways it is this disturbed imbalance in his complex character that Charles Whiting is getting at: an imbalance that showed, as I've said before, huge bravery that was nonetheless coupled with an almost pathological recklessness.

There was also a huge amount of resentment from the average grunt serving in the ETO during the latter stages of WWII toward such men as Hemingway, men (and Hemingway wasn't the only one) who often played the soldier without the authority to do so; which again is something Whiting brings to his lively and virile text.

 

   

  



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