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Leo 168
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Posted: 24 March 2006 at 9:59pm | IP Logged Quote Leo 168

Hi Paul,

Those powwow drums are great--kind of like the feeling ya get when a bagpipe band fires up, no?

  Did Hemingway ever give Debba's age? I assume she'd be around 70 if she were still alive...

  If you get time, could you please let me know where I could find that photo of Hemingway and Debba--I can't recall seeing it in any of the bio's I've read.

Cheers,

Leo Gillis

ps your eagle feather looks beautiful--do you know if it came from a juvenile, or a full-grown eagle? In this part of the world (Pacific Northwest) it is easy to see bald eagles every day. I had a strange 'incident' with an eagle several years ago, but I won't be able to talk about it in 'public' (too special, too bizarre).

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Paul Hammersten
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Posted: 26 March 2006 at 4:55pm | IP Logged Quote Paul Hammersten

Leo

I have only one photo of Papa with Debba. It is a copy of a photo I believe appeared in the Fall 1999 issue of " The Hemingway Review ". It is neat!

Best

Paul



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Leo 168
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Posted: 27 March 2006 at 7:56pm | IP Logged Quote Leo 168

re: photo

Okay, that's good to know. Thank-you, sir!

Cheers--Leo

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Paul Hammersten
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Posted: 28 March 2006 at 4:14pm | IP Logged Quote Paul Hammersten

Leo

What about Papa's ' obe's '?

Have you looked into this subject?

Forgive me if you have posted about this on the message board before. I don't remember.

I find much about this concern and interest in Hemingway's African writings ...specially his AFRICA BOOK/TRUE AT FIRST LIGHT/UNDER KILIMANJARO and someday I hope to have the time and energy to write about Hemingway and ' obe's '.

Best

Paul

 



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Leo 168
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Posted: 29 March 2006 at 11:39pm | IP Logged Quote Leo 168

Hi Paul,

I’m only on page 200 of Under Kilimanjaro, but peeking ahead to p.220, Hemingway writes that he had once believed that his soul had been blown out of his body (when the mortar hit). But, that was back when he was a “boy” and when he was “very egotistical”. Then he writes that he couldn’t believe that their souls would fly off somewhere (if they’d been killed by the lion). They would all just be dead. Then he leaves us with, “But if people had souls they must have them.” (pp. 220-221 Under Kilimanjaro). Pure Hemingway!

  

  Was he really test-driving his beliefs, or was he just taking the readers on an interesting journey? His speculations might sound strange for a guy who took comfort in going to church (at least in the 20’s and 30’s), but perhaps he is mostly questioning the nature of the soul and not its existence? Also, it reads like a memoir, but he is throwing in as much fiction as he feels like.

  

   Regarding the book you’d like to write—I’d certainly read it, but Hemingway didn’t seem to refer much to what his soul had been up to. Maybe there’s more material in some unpublished letters (if they are viewable at the Kennedy Library, a good excuse to go to Boston and see a game at Fenway…)? Maybe he had more strange experiences, but didn’t talk much about them? It’s still not advisable these days to express a belief in things ‘woo woo’ if you are a best-selling writer (or a professor, scientist, etc.), unless your books are aimed at that audience—and it was probably worse back then.

  

   Now, if only J.D. Salinger would publish again—I enjoyed all of his books and stories. If I remember correctly, he had admitted a little bit of what his soul had been up to and he regretted talking about it. Apparently he and Hemingway met briefly in Paris after WWII (unless I’m thinking of someone else).

Cheers.

-Leo



Edited by Leo 168 on 29 March 2006 at 11:46pm
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Paul Hammersten
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Posted: 31 March 2006 at 4:28pm | IP Logged Quote Paul Hammersten

Leo

When I read first TRUE AT FIRST LIGHT, what Hemingway wrote on page 25 prompted me to become interested in this subject [ Obe's and his African writings ]. The passage is found at the beginning of chapter two of UNDER KILIMANJARO.

" There is always mystical countries that are a part of one's childhood...they are as fine in the night as they ever were if you have the luck to dream of them. "

Best

Paul



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hijo
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Posted: 31 March 2006 at 8:50pm | IP Logged Quote hijo

Paul, Leo:

Could be his soul went on a "spirit journey" - not that different from what used to be referred to as "astral travel."

Similar experiences are described by people who meditate deeply or for long periods of time. And of course there is the "spirit quest," like I participated in for a few days and nights in the woods of Wisconsin in 1978, when one fasts and goes off alone in search of, among other things, one's name/spirit (in Lakota tradition).

Dreams, visions, hallucinations, souls traveling, it may sound "woo woo" to many, but lots of folks swear by "near death experiences" of similar description. If so, mine went once to a time I was deep sea fishing off KW and hearing of Philip Caputo having chartered a boat for a week to do the same, and I was in the fighting chair and the boat was pulling away from a flat spot in the blue water where a wahoo had spit the hook, and I was seeing all this from above and watching the boat pullling away as I was being revived and my eyes were streaming tears.

Obe? Maybe. Duende? All sorts of religions swear by them - and not just Christians.

Best,
hijo
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Leo 168
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Posted: 31 March 2006 at 9:25pm | IP Logged Quote Leo 168

That first paragraph of chapter 2 (Under Kilimanjaro) is still an enigma for me--not sure what he means by, "If you ever go back to see them they are not there." I assumed that he meant that you can't go back to those places that your imagination took you to when you were a child, unless you're sleeping. I guess I'm analyzing too much! In any case, it is a nice set up for the next paragraph--a description of a place that has the same feel as those mystical countries of the imagination.

Hey, Paul or hijo or others...what did you think of page 129 of Under Kilimanjaro when he's wondering about the feelings of "the overaged aircraft", etc.  A lot of this book seems 'tongue-in-cheek' (I like it!).

Cheers,

Leo (hoping to catch big fish during sleep tonight).

 

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hijo
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Posted: 31 March 2006 at 9:49pm | IP Logged Quote hijo

Paul, Leo: In something I've been working on, I've been frequently remembering a story I read or was told in my childhood, about a man who is drowning in a flood in India (like the Tsunami, I thought when I first heard of the Tsuanmi) and he cries out to his god that he's too young too die, he hasn't lived, he hasn't met a woman, married, had children, grown old, anything.

He finds himself on land as the waters recede, and proceeds to live the life he wanted - he meets a woman, marries her, has wonderful children, and grows old. As he's lying on his death bed in his village hut, his loving family all around him, his chin feels wet from tears - and as you hear the rush of the water around the young man, you hear his god whisper "everything is Maya."

All the world, what we call the world, is illusion, according to the story. It is all what we are imagining.

I'm also frequently reminded of a line in the book "The Nowhere Men," which I stole from my father's library when I was in college and have never been able to locate since. It's about refugees between the world wars, in Europe. One of the characters apparently is a former doctor, and as he's looking in on a few of the residents he notes to someone next to him: "men look so peaceful when they're sleeping," which is certainly true compared to when we're awake...

Best, and good luck with that fish, Leo,
hijo
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Leo 168
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Posted: 31 March 2006 at 10:53pm | IP Logged Quote Leo 168

Thanks hijo, you've given me much to think about (and the Maya story reminds me of that Star Trek episode where Picard 'lives' an entire lifetime in a few days or so). And, to be honest, tonight if I'm out on a boat in the Caribbean I'd like a great fish to tell me what it's like to be a great fish and I'll slap it on the back and say, "thanks--your mate is waiting..." (I had salmon for dinner).

Happy travels--Leo

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