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Showing posts from August, 2015

Hemingway Meets Salinger, Paris 1944

Salinger sipped his champagne as Hemingway went over his ideas for the novels about the war, but this time he introduced a new theme, that of an old Cuban fisherman who knew little or nothing about the war in Europe, but had his own war to fight in trying to catch the big old marlin he knew was out there, somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico. Hemingway explained that it was a good allegorical theme that could weave its way in and out of the three war novels. What did Salinger think?
“ Well, Mr Hemingway...”
“ Call me Ernest, Jerome.”
“ Well, Ernest, I think it is a story that should stand alone. It has no place within the other books. Although it is a good allegory for man's endeavours in this troubled world, I feel you should write it as a straightforward story, pure and simple.”
There was a long silence. Salinger knew he'd overstepped the mark. Christ he'd only just met the man and here he was giving one of America's greatest novelists advice. The champagne turned to poison in his mouth.