Ernest Hemingway/Things Turn Sour

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2.Things Turn Sour

He divorced Hadley and married Pauline. Because of his Catholic faith, some conscientious conflicts arose, but were finally overcome. In the 100 days Hadley ordered him to stay away from Pauline, "Men Without Women" was created. Afterwards, he married for the second time, his conscience seemed to be cleaned maybe due to his writing, but the next hurt was already under way. His father committed suicide because he couldn't bear the burden of his incurable illnesses any longer. The cowardice in this action must have been a great shame for somebody who is as convinced of the "grace under pressure" doctrine as Ernest. Maybe the sensational suicide of Harry Crosby affected him, too, the founder of the Black Sun Press was a friend of his in Paris.

His books sold very well and were approved by critics, but with Hemingway's success came his bad behavior. He told Scott Fitzgerald how to write his own novels, and Allen Tate that there was a fixed number of orgasms a man had. He also claimed Ford Madox Ford would be sexually impotent, maybe a hint to his own sexual neurosis. In return, he, too, was criticized and hurt. The journal "Bookman" attacked him as a dirty writer, McAlmon, the publisher of his first, non-commercial book said, according to Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway would be "a fag and a wife-beater"(Burgess (9.), p. 57) and that Pauline was lesbian. Even Gertrude Stein criticized him. In her book "The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas", she claimed Hemingway had derived his style from her own and from Sherwood Anderson's, this shameful origin would be "yellow"(Burgess (9.), p. 64). Most insulting got Max Eastman, who asked Ernest to "come out from behind that false hair on the chest"(Times 1961 (15.), p. 6), and who wrote an essay entitled "Bull in the Afternoon" as a satire on "Death in the Afternoon", a book Hemingway definitely would not joke about.

It is worth noting that this attacks on his pride and talent were accompanied by the already mentioned injuries (/The Time in Between) which kept him almost constantly in bad shape.

next: /The Endless Dark Nothingness