|Posted: 04 April 2006 at 8:27pm | IP Logged
There are two books which deal with this, at least partly. One is new,
Hemingway And the Mechanism of Fame: Statements, Public Letters, Introductions, Forewords, Prefaces, Blurbs, Reviews, And Endorsements, edited by Matthew Brucolli.
and one is old, Hemingway's Art of Non-Fiction by Ronald Weber.
The reason why is simple but you must understand that many people focus on Hemingway's mean side. He was mean to his wives and mean to his friends and mean to people whom he thought to be literary competitors. Well sure he was, but he didn't get up in the morning and say "To whom shall I be mean today?" (He probably wouldn't have said "to whom..." in any case) Anyway, he was also kind to various people. He gave his Nobel Prize to the poor fishermen of Cojimar, Cuba. When Gerald Murphy's young son was dying, Hemingway would visit and bring him things and was teaching him to shoot. And when Ezra Pound was in prison after WWII, Hemingway sent money for his up-keep.
People would write to him and ask him to write intros to their work because they new that this would be profitable to them. "With an introduction by Ernest Hemingway" meant sales. Look at the value of Andre Malraux's novel on the Spanish Civil War, Man's Fate, without such a forward, on BOOKFINDER.COM. Now look at the value of Regler's novel, The Great Crusade. See the difference?
He did it because he was asked by a friend, and he did it without payment. It is part of the other side of Hemingway. The part that you must overlook if you want to describe him as a snook. This should be the crux of your paper on Hemingway's introductions.
Edited by Peter Krynicki on 04 April 2006 at 8:30pm