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Showing posts from April 2, 2012

Ernest Hemingway and World War Two

Ernest Hemingway likened the New Orleans built LCVPs (Landing Craft Vehicles & Personnel) to "damned iron bathtubs" as his own LCVP - commanded by a young US Navy Lieutenant, Robert Anderson - headed relentlessly toward the increasingly smoke-shrouded Omaha Beach as a deadly assortment of high-explosive shells (fired from the guns of the old First World War battleships Texas, Arkansas, and Nevada) screamed overhead.
As Hemingway observed the beach activity through his field-glasses the pain in his head was excruciating. It was his own fault, he knew that, but to have gone back into hospital to have the fifty-seven stitches removed, as the doctor advised, would have meant missing the invasion.
And as he watched the almost continuous explosions of shells from the battleships hitting the German positions Hemingway vowed never again to take a car ride in a blacked-out London, especially with someone whose driving skills had proven to be inferior to their drinking skills. When …

Ernest Hemingway and the Spanish Civil War

During the spring of 1937 Paris became the great staging area for journalists on their way to the Spanish Civil War, and a centre for thousands of disaffected artists and intellectuals, mainly from Germany and Italy, who had no intention of going anywhere further south than a cafe table on the Boulevard du Montparnasse.
After arriving in Paris with the bullfighter, Sidney Franklin, Ernest Hemingway spent most of his time at the American Embassy trying to persuade the rather bored representative of the State Department to issue Franklin with a visa for Spain. Hemingway told the bullfighter not to worry, that everything would be okay.  Disappointed, the two men then headed for a lunch date with the journalist Janet Flanner, and her lesbian lover, Solita Solano (one time theatre critic, Sarah Wilkinson) at La Coupole. Flanner always remembered that Franklin, because of a recent goring in Mexico, sat rather gingerly on the edge of his chair as he pecked, like some small exotic bird, at…