7. Ernest Hemingway

1. Biography

Ernest Hemingway was born in Illinois in 1899. He spent his childhood in an active way hunting and fishing in the Great Lake region with his father boxing and playing rugby. In 1917 he worked as a reporter for the ‘Kansas City Star’. He started learning and mastering the rules of pure objective writing. 

As America decided to enter the Great War, Hemingway tried to join the army but he was rejected for military service. In 1918 he volunteered as an ambulance driver on the Italian front, he received a silver medal and decoration from the Italian government. 

In 1924 he published his first collection of short stories ‘In Our Time’. He started writing the novel ‘The Sun also rises’ and published ‘Fiesta’. 

In 1929 he published ‘Farewell to Arms’ a love story set among the horrors and sufferings of the war. He would lead to many stories such as ‘The Snows of Kilimanjaro’, ‘The Green Hills of Africa’. During the Spanish Civil War he recorded in ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’. 

Hemingway’s post-war fiction led to appraisals: ‘The Old Man and the Sea’, ‘Across the river and into the trees’, ‘Islands in the stream’, ‘The garden of Eden’. 

In 1954 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. Hemingway suffered from hypertension, diabetes and acute depression. He feared physical decline and committed suicide in 1961. 

Hemingway wrote in an explicit autobiographical way. The key experience of his childhood was the encounter with nature in which man is rewarded for fighting with skill and courage. Life and death are presented as the driving and mysterious forces of existence. Life is identified with a set of actions which gives man the measure of his control over events. 

He is sensitive to the chaotic world he lives in the pain it inflicts and he wishes he were braver. He is able to live beyond the reach of ordinary human beings. 


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