Happy Birthday, Mr. Hemingway!
This man is such a delight to read. Despite his topsy-turvy life, both as a civilian and an author, he went on to gather such wealth of life pearls that reading just a single interview of his’ opens new vistas of perception for me. He faltered much in his journey; fame dancing like a fleeting cloud on his skies. But he sustained the weathers and drew his umbrella without ado.
His writing is passionate and blunt, just how a prisoner allowed to take intermittent walks in free air, might talk.
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
There you go! A man who bled and left his marks long after he was gone. My first brush with his writing came a few years ago when ‘A Farewell to Arms’ somehow fell into my lap. Not having any idea about the author’s background, I read it with a clean slate and unbiased vocation. And I remember, being taken in by his comprehensive inclusion of war decays and judicious exclusion of emotions that might have marred the delicate emotional strand he had woven in this historical fiction setting. Subsequently, after many years, I read ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ and found the hunger of story-telling intact. It is documented somewhere that this work was written from a dark corner, by a shadow of Hemingway. If a shadow can weave this story, hell!, I wonder what concoction might be swirling inside this jocular, keen, satirical mind.
Arriving at the conclusion that he was a writer of undiminished courage, one who could have risen from the ashes, is not difficult – the innumerous articles and publications written about his life and craft are concrete testimonial of the same. However, the faintest of doubts, if any, vanishes in thin air when the man himself says:
“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.”
He certainly was proud of his scars. So am I.
[Image courtesy http://www.biography.com ]