[Marxism] Hemingway was a monster

Gary MacLennan gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com
Tue Aug 1 02:56:25 MDT 2017


I'm a vegetarian so you can guess what I make of all this mindless
slaughter.  But it is best to go back to the writing. Indian Camp is still
one of the best short stories I have ever read and the ending is pure
mystical brilliance about death.

comradely

Gary

On Tue, Aug 1, 2017 at 6:03 PM, Greg McDonald via Marxism <
marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

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> Sounds more like a typical redneck than anything else. Never been a fan of
> trophy hunting.
>
> On Mon, Jul 31, 2017 at 8:49 PM, Louis Proyect via Marxism <
> marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:
>
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> >
> > BOOKFORUM JUNE/JULY/AUG 2017
> >
> > Appetite for Destruction
> > Ernest Hemingway’s death trip
> >
> > by JOY WILLIAMS
> >
> > The unusually striking photograph on the cover of Mary V. Dearborn’s new
> > biography Ernest Hemingway shows the writer in his prime in 1933 sitting
> on
> > the cushioned stern of a boat, possibly his thirty-eight-foot cabin
> cruiser
> > the Pilar, and aiming a pistol at the camera. He always carried guns on
> > board to shoot sharks or, when bored or annoyed, seabirds and turtles. He
> > was thirty-four when this photo was taken and he had recently discovered
> > Key West and the fabulous Gulf Stream with its gigantic marlin, sailfish,
> > and tarpon. He fished and fished and fished, insatiable. There were the
> > heroic fighting fish, the trophy fish—some of which he used as punching
> > bags after they were strung up on the dock—but all provided pleasure.
> When
> > a colorful school of dorado appeared on the surface around the Pilar,
> > Hemingway and his party landed eighteen of them in five minutes. They’d
> be
> > used as fertilizer for his wife’s flower beds. He referred to this time,
> > the decade of the ’30s, as his “belle epoque,” for there was not only the
> > happy scouring of the Gulf Stream, but also the hunting in Wyoming for
> elk
> > and antelope (for lighter fare he shot prairie dogs from a moving car)
> and
> > the safari in Africa, where lions, leopards, cheetahs, and oryx could be
> > collected, though it rankled him when others killed bigger animals than
> he
> > did, or those with darker manes, bigger racks, or, in the case of rhinos,
> > larger horns.
> >
> > “I like to shoot a rifle and I like to kill and Africa is where you do
> > that,” he said.
> >
> > But killing could be fun anywhere. In Sun Valley, Idaho, he and two of
> his
> > young sons, Gregory and Patrick, visiting from school, shot four hundred
> > jackrabbits during one adventure. Years later, another son, Jack, would
> > reminisce that “one of the most memorable moments of my lifelong
> > relationship with my father” took place in Cuba on the roof of the Finca
> > Vigía, Hemingway’s home there, where they drank pitchers of martinis and
> > shot “great quantities of buzzards.” The highlight for Patrick, “the last
> > really great, good time we all had together,” was “dropping hand grenades
> > on turtles” from the deck of the Pilar during the bizarre sub-hunting
> days
> > of the ’40s, the acts “justified by the need to learn how long it was
> > between when you pulled out the pin and when it went off.”
> >
> > It is said that Hemingway never killed an elephant—he admired their
> > fidelities and social structures apparently—but his youngest son,
> Gregory,
> > the “troubled” child, the son who after several wives and eight children
> > underwent sex-reassignment surgery and died in a Florida jail as “Gloria”
> > Hemingway, shot eighteen elephants in a month. It’s possible he shot them
> > to annoy his father, whom he considered a “gin-soaked abusive monster,”
> but
> > he also claimed it was just damn relaxing to kill elephants. The activity
> > made him less anxious about things.
> >
> > Gregory wrote a book about “Papa.” So did his half-brother Jack. So did
> > Hemingway’s brother Leicester, and Hemingway’s fourth wife, Mary. In his
> > younger years he was quite charismatic and people who knew him then
> > remembered that and wrote about it. The bulls, the booze, the fresh air,
> > the slopes, the streams and war stories. And many other books have been
> > written about Hemingway—there is Carlos Baker’s chummy hagiography;
> Michael
> > Reynolds’s deep life; Jeffrey Meyers’s woundy thesis, the one that
> bothered
> > Raymond Carver so; Paul Hendrickson’s spirited, speculative boating
> party;
> > James Mellow’s scholarly and overblown production (“He had been at the
> > center of a cultural revolution unequalled in its wide-reaching effects
> on
> > Western culture except by the Italian Renaissance . . .”); Kenneth Lynn’s
> > psycho-hugie; Peter Griffin’s focus on the early, enchanted, good-looking
> > days. Even so, it’s been fifteen years since we’ve had a major new study
> of
> > the man. But now, with Dearborn’s grimly astonished book, we do.
> >
> > One approaches the life of Hemingway not with excitement but with an
> > anxious defensive duty. After all there are a great many writers who
> > learned a great deal from his work—the early work always—the cleanness of
> > the line, the freshness, the solemnity of the sentence, the discoveries
> > that restraint and omission allow. Gertrude Stein said that he looked
> like
> > a modern but smelled like a museum. I don’t smell museum. The word that
> > springs to my mind is fetor. The stench of death. Hemingway stared death
> in
> > the face again and again and was proud of it, but it was almost always an
> > animal’s death, an animal’s face, a creature’s face, the face of a nature
> > he repeatedly diminished, the light and life of which he would extinguish
> > over and over.
> >
> > He killed far more in life than he did in fiction, obsessively,
> > methodically, in the sanctified slaughter referred to as sport.
> >
> > (Behind a paywall. Contact me if you want the full review.)
> >
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