Cover image for Hemingway on war
Title:
Hemingway on war
Author:
Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961.
Publication Information:
New York : Scribner, [2003]

©2003
Physical Description:
xxxvi, 344 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780743243261
Format :
Book

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PS3515.E37 A6 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

Ernest Hemingway witnessed many of the seminal conflicts of the twentieth century, and he recorded them with matchless power. Now, this landmark volume brings together Hemingway's most important writings on war.Edited and with an introduction by Hemingway's grandson Seán and featuring a personal foreword by the author's only living son, Patrick, this volume includes selections from Hemingway's first book of short stories,In Our Time,as well as fromA Farewell to Arms, his towering novel of World War I. Excerpts fromFor Whom the Bell Tolls,Hemingway's indelible portrait of life and love during the Spanish Civil War, along with his only full-length play,The Fifth Column,brilliantly evoke the tumultuous war-torn Spain of the late 1930s.Passages fromAcross the River and Into the Treesvividly portray an emotionally scarred career soldier in the twilight of life as he reflects on the nature of war. Classic short stories, such as "In Another Country" and "The Butterfly and the Tank," stand alongside captivating selections from Hemingway's war correspondence during his nearly twenty-five years as a reporter for TheToronto Starand other papers. Among these journalistic pieces are the author's coverage of the Greco-Turkish War of 1922, a legendary early interview with Mussolini, and his jolting eyewitness account of the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944.Hemingway on Waris a compelling collection of Ernest Hemingway's best writings about the devastating impact of human combat. Brought together for the first time, these works represent the author's penetrating and frank accounts of courage, fear, perseverance, depression, and hope in the midst of war.


Author Notes

Ernest Miller Hemingway was born in the family home in Oak Park, Ill., on July 21, 1899. In high school, Hemingway enjoyed working on The Trapeze, his school newspaper, where he wrote his first articles. Upon graduation in the spring of 1917, Hemingway took a job as a cub reporter for the Kansas City Star.

After a short stint in the U.S. Army as a volunteer Red Cross ambulance driver in Italy, Hemingway moved to Paris, and it was here that Hemingway began his well-documented career as a novelist. Hemingway's first collection of short stories and vignettes, entitled In Our Time, was published in 1925. His first major novel, The Sun Also Rises, the story of American and English expatriates in Paris and on excursion to Pamplona, immediately established him as one of the great prose stylists and preeminent writers of his time. In this book, Hemingway quotes Gertrude Stein, "You are all a lost generation," thereby labeling himself and other expatriate writers, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, T.S. Eliot, and Ford Madox Ford.

Other novels written by Hemingway include: A Farewell To Arms, the story, based in part on Hemingway's life, of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse; For Whom the Bell Tolls, the story of an American who fought, loved, and died with the guerrillas in the mountains of Spain; and To Have and Have Not, about an honest man forced into running contraband between Cuba and Key West. Non-fiction includes Green Hills of Africa, Hemingway's lyrical journal of a month on safari in East Africa; and A Moveable Feast, his recollections of Paris in the Roaring 20s. In 1954, Hemingway won the Nobel Prize in Literature for his novella, The Old Man and the Sea.

A year after being hospitalized for uncontrolled high blood pressure, liver disease, diabetes, and depression, Hemingway committed suicide on July 2, 1961, in Ketchum, Idaho.

(Bowker Author Biography) Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. He is one of the towering authors of the twentieth century.

(Publisher Provided)


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Edited by his grandson, Sean, this collection of Hemingway?s best, and sometimes most obscure, short stories, novel excerpts, and war correspondence chronologically traces the author?s account of modern war and its aftermath through the first half of the 20th century. The book includes portions of his popular war novels, A Farewell to Arms and For Whom the Bell Tolls, and his less acclaimed Across the River and Into the Trees, and only play, The Fifth Column, interspersed with short stories. The editor has gathered, among others, pieces from his grandfather?s first published collection of short stories, In Our Time, as well as some of his first dilettante-ish attempts at writing, like ?The Mercenaries,? which was written in 1919 but only appeared in 1985 in the New York Times Magazine. Although the collection emphasizes fiction, the combat-hardened author?s preferred medium, it also comprises decades of war correspondence, like the classic 1937 dispatch from Madrid, ?A New Kind of War,? a 1922 exclusive interview with Mussolini in ?Fascist Party Half Million? and a reflection on growing tensions in the Pacific from a 1941 trip to Japan and China in ?Russo-Japanese Pact.? The foreword by Hemingway's son, Patrick, is full of anecdotal memories of the author, such as his unhappy lunch with FDR, during which the President lectured the recently returned veteran on the Spanish Civil War, and his collaboration with Naval intelligence to arrest German agents disembarking in Cuba during WWII. Sean Hemingway?s introduction provides a biographical context for the pieces and additional nuggets of personal correspondence. In one letter, Hemingway explains how he tries to write a balanced portrayal of war, ?taking it slowly and honestly and examining it from many ways.? This collection illuminates many sides of Hemingway?s thoughts on conflict, even if the reader may come no closer to understanding war itself. (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Foreword I am sure Ernest Hemingway would be pleased with the selection his grandson Seán has made from his grandfather's writing on war. Any selection implies just that: some things have been left out, but more than enough has been left in to give the twenty-first-century reader the true gen on war as it was waged in the last hundred years. Hemingway was born in 1899 and had he lived as long as it is possible for a man to live, he could have borne witness to the whole of the deadliest and most war-torn century of which we have a historical record. Sadly, his health began to fail at mid-century and drastically worsened when he was forced to choose by the Cold War between his beloved Finca Vigía and his country. He died just short of completing the second third of the twentieth century. How much did his going to the wars affect his health and shorten his life? In my opinion, a great deal. As a fortunate American, he chose to go to war rather than, as an unlucky Spaniard or an even unluckier Pole, have it inevitably come to him. James Joyce, perhaps the greatest writer of the twentieth century, neither went to war nor wrote about it in any way but he did not have Hemingway's initially robust constitution and would not have lasted very long in war. Writers who write of war from personal experience have to have special qualities, and I am not sure any of them succeed without strong drink. I like to think that Karl von Clausewitz would never have made it through the Jena campaign without potato schnapps and we know Ulysses S. Grant needed both cigars and corn whiskey to get him through the Wilderness. About the earlier wars: the Italian front in 1918 and the Greco-Turkish War in the 1920s I know only from what my father wrote in such stories as "A Way You'll Never Be," but I do remember when I was ten years old in 1938 and in the fifth grade being beside my father at the top of the stairs on the second floor of our home in Key West when he opened and read a telegram informing him of the start of the last big offensive of the Spanish Republic which would end sixteen weeks later in disaster on the Ebro. Papa left us for Spain at once. That was the year my mother, my younger brother, and I went to war, three whole years before Pearl Harbor. My family was, as they say, prematurely antifascist. Martha Gellhorn, who was a protégée of Mrs. Roosevelt, arranged an invitation for Hemingway to the White House when it was by then very clear that Spain was about to fall to Franco and his German and Italian allies. I remember my father's conversation after that visit, all of us enjoying an excellent meal at the long eighteenth-century Spanish table downstairs in our Key West house in the dining room with the big painting by Joan Miró of his farm outside Barcelona. Papa was telling us that he had come away from his White House evening with a confirmation of his previous dislike of the President. Things had gotten off to a bad start, from my father's point of view, when the President somewhat gratuitously remarked that he had not read any work of fiction since he was an undergraduate at Harvard. Hemingway must have then recalled to mind what he had written not long before in Green Hills of Africa, that all countries eventually eroded and that the only things that lasted were the people who had practiced the arts. The rest of the evening the President spent telling about, not listening to, what was going on in Spain. Furthermore, said my father, Mrs. Roosevelt, although undoubtedly a person with deep sympathies for humanity in general, was a poor housekeeper and he had never had to eat a worse meal than what was served him at the White House, especially the squab, which was tougher than rubber. Only a year or so later, when the great popular success of For Whom the Bell Tolls seemed to confirm the wisdom of his having ended his second marriage, Hemingway left Key West and started a new expatriate life in Cuba with Martha Gellhorn, and they both went as journalists to China and the British and Dutch colonies in the Far East. Marty, long after her marriage to my father had ended, wrote a wonderful memoir of their tour together and Papa at the time produced some of his most prescient military journalism, still very happy to work and live together with Marty as he had done during the Spanish Civil War. Ernest Hemingway loved the sea. He had seafaring ancestors from the age of sail and he and his kid brother, Leicester, once they left Oak Park, the landlocked Chicago suburb where they were born, always made their home within sight of salt water and owned boats, Leicester sail and Ernest power. So when Pearl Harbor brought America into World War II, Papa was uniquely situated to make a highly unconventional contribution to the war effort. From his experience in the Spanish Civil War, he had a wealth of information on the people who now made up the fascist government in that country as well as how they might behave in any Axis intelligence operation against the United States through Latin America, especially Cuba. Despite the snub he had received from President Roosevelt two years before, he contacted Naval Intelligence through the American embassy in Havana, and it accepted his help with intelligence work that led to the arrest of German agents as they tried to disembark in Cuba from Spanish vessels the Falangist political clubs in Spain had helped them travel through Spain to board, vessels which as neutrals could make port in Havana and other destinations in Latin America. Soon afterwards it gave him paramilitary status as captain of his sportfishing boat, Pilar, to play a small part in the large operation to contain and turn back Operation Paukenschlag, the all-out U-boat assault on American coastal shipping lanes in the first six months after America's entry into the war. By the middle of July 1942, the submarine war had mostly shifted to the North Atlantic and Papa felt it was safe enough to bring his two younger sons, Gregory and myself, to spend the rest of our summer vacation with him at Cayo Confites, the tiny offshore island then used by the Cuban military to keep watch on the narrow deepwater channel that separates the northeastern end of Cuba from the southern end of the Bahama Bank. Cayo Confites itself was exactly like that island cartoonists draw with the shipwrecked sailor, but it lacked even a single palm tree, with only the poor unpainted shack that housed the two soldiers who manned a two-way shortwave radio. Greg and I slept in the two forward bunks on the Pilar, which always came in to anchor by the island in the evening after the daytime patrols. During the patrols we were left ashore with our own small skiff, and one day we almost drowned when a summer afternoon line squall caught us goggle fishing a little ways south of the island, swamping our skiff and washing us up on what was, luckily for us, a sandy shore. Goggle fishing was what we called it back then, for the U-boat people had not yet even invented the snorkel, and I think Greg and I were the very first people in the Americas to hunt an underwater coral reef using swimming goggles that had been welded together to give a single plane of vision for both eyes. Marty and Papa's marriage began to fall apart that summer, and on through what passes for fall and winter in the northern tropics, with a great many home truths harshly expressed by both parties. Marty was probably right. With the buildup of shipments of men and materiel from America to Britain in order to launch the second front the Russians so desperately wanted, the U-boat battles now mostly being fought in the approaches to the British Isles, it was time for two veteran war correspondents to gear up and go to cover together the impending invasion of Western Europe. The trouble was Papa was a little more veteran and a lot more writer than Marty, for he was now an old forty-three years, wise to the ways of both art and warfare and with a bad case of piles, a very unpleasant handicap indeed under combat conditions. He was also well aware that Jim Joyce, who had never heard a shot fired in anger, was sitting out the war in Switzerland and was likely to be hailed as the greatest writer of the twentieth century. Later he would joke about such thoughts to his friends in the 4th American Infantry Division, calling himself Ernie Hemorrhoids, the Poor Man's Pyle, but Marty had to use pretty strong words to get him to take up again the war writing burden and he never forgave her. World War II was the last war that Ernest Hemingway covered. When asked by his two youngest boys what he had done in that war, he told us he paid for it. This was a sardonic reference to the confiscatory income tax he paid on the sale of For Whom the Bell Tolls to the movies. Just as he had been unfortunate in his prescient but premature antifascism, selling the movie rights to his best-selling novel just at the moment the income tax rates rose to over 80 percent for high income brackets in order to instill a real feeling of sacrifice in the home front people and corporations that stood to profit at last, after twelve dry years, from a war economy, left him dangerously exposed financially. He had turned over the domestic income from his first big success, The Sun Also Rises, to his first wife, Hadley, at the time of their divorce. He was paying a high alimony rate for the support of his second wife, Pauline, and their two young children, and his foreign rights income had been cut off by the war. Most of his profits from A Farewell to Arms had gone to setting up trust funds after his father's suicide for the support of his mother, unmarried sisters, and kid brother, generously added to by G. A. Pfeiffer, Pauline's very rich uncle. His finances had reached their lowest point after the poor sales of Across the River and Into the Trees, when my wife, Henrietta, suggested he and his fourth wife, Mary, could make big money reporting on Mr. Truman's war in Korea. To his credit, he did not throw us out of the Finca Vigía, where we were visiting at the time. It was during these same years that poor Robert Capa, whose only profitable trade was photographing war, finally bought the farm in Indo-China. Papa made a remarkable comeback from his arduous journalistic coverage of the Normandy invasion, the liberation of Paris, and the combat horrors of the Schnee Eifel with The Old Man and the Sea, to this day his best-selling book. He was always healthiest and happiest at sea. It pleases me to leave him standing with his last wife, Mary, the only one of his wives who really loved the sea, on the flying bridge of the Pilar, out in the Stream off the Moro wearing only a sun hat, white pressed shirt, and black tailored Bermuda shorts that show off his elegant eighteenth-century calves, a cool drink in his left hand, his right hand on the wheel, his head turned back toward the stern, watching the two outrigger baits bounce in the blue water on each side of the boat's twin curling white wake for the first sight of a marlin's wagging bill, dark gray dorsal fin, or scythe-shaped tail, jumping down to the stern deck to snatch the rod from its holder, slacking the reel drag to feed line, then tightening down the drag and hauling the rod back hard four or five times to set the hook that sends the reel screaming and the huge fish high into the air for its first jump. Patrick Hemingway Bozeman, Montana April 2003 This compilation copyright (c) 2003 by John, Patrick, and Gregory Hemingway Foreword copyright (c) 2003 by Patrick Hemingway Introduction and bibliography copyright (c) 2003 by Seán Hemingway Excerpted from Hemingway on War by Ernest Hemingway All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Foreword
I am sure Ernest Hemingway would be pleased with the selection his grandson Seán has made from his grandfather's writing on war. Any selection implies just that: some things have been left out, but more than enough has been left in to give the twenty-first-century reader the true gen on war as it was waged in the last hundred years.
Hemingway was born in 1899 and had he lived as long as it is possible for a man to live, he could have borne witness to the whole of the deadliest and most war-torn century of which we have a historical record. Sadly, his health began to fail at mid-century and drastically worsened when he was forced to choose by the Cold War between his beloved Finca VigÍa and his country. He died just short of completing the second third of the twentieth century.
How much did his going to the wars affect his health and shorten his life? In my opinion, a great deal. As a fortunate American, he chose to go to war rather than, as an unlucky Spaniard or an even unluckier Pole, have it inevitably come to him.
James Joyce, perhaps the greatest writer of the twentieth century, neither went to war nor wrote about it in any way but he did not have Hemingway's initially robust constitution and would not have lasted very long in war. Writers who write of war from personal experience have to have special qualities, and I am not sure any of them succeed without strong drink. I like to think that Karl von Clausewitz would never have made it through the Jena campaign without potato schnapps and we know Ulysses S. Grant needed both cigars and corn whiskey to get him through the Wilderness.
About the earlier wars: the Italian front in 1918 and the Greco-Turkish War in the 1920s I know only from what my father wrote in such stories as "A Way You'll Never Be," but I do remember when I was ten years old in 1938 and in the fifth grade being beside my father at the top of the stairs on the second floor of our home in Key West when he opened and read a telegram informing him of the start of the last big offensive of the Spanish Republic which would end sixteen weeks later in disaster on the Ebro. Papa left us for Spain at once. That was the year my mother, my younger brother, and I went to war, three whole years before Pearl Harbor. My family was, as they say, prematurely antifascist.
Martha Gellhorn, who was a protégée of Mrs. Roosevelt, arranged an invitation for Hemingway to the White House when it was by then very clear that Spain was about to fall to Franco and his German and Italian allies. I remember my father's conversation after that visit, all of us enjoying an excellent meal at the long eighteenth-century Spanish table downstairs in our Key West house in the dining room with the big painting by Joan Miró of his farm outside Barcelona. Papa was telling us that he had come away from his White House evening with a confirmation of his previous dislike of the President. Things had gotten off to a bad start, from my father's point of view, when the President somewhat gratuitously remarked that he had not read any work of fiction since he was an undergraduate at Harvard. Hemingway must have then recalled to mind what he had written not long before in Green Hills of Africa, that all countries eventually eroded and that the only things that lasted were the people who had practiced the arts. The rest of the evening the President spent telling about, not listening to, what was going on in Spain. Furthermore, said my father, Mrs. Roosevelt, although undoubtedly a person with deep sympathies for humanity in general, was a poor housekeeper and he had never had to eat a worse meal than what was served him at the White House, especially the squab, which was tougher than rubber.
Only a year or so later, when the great popular success of For Whom the Bell Tolls seemed to confirm the wisdom of his having ended his second marriage, Hemingway left Key West and started a new expatriate life in Cuba with Martha Gellhorn, and they both went as journalists to China and the British and Dutch colonies in the Far East. Marty, long after her marriage to my father had ended, wrote a wonderful memoir of their tour together and Papa at the time produced some of his most prescient military journalism, still very happy to work and live together with Marty as he had done during the Spanish Civil War.
Ernest Hemingway loved the sea. He had seafaring ancestors from the age of sail and he and his kid brother, Leicester, once they left Oak Park, the landlocked Chicago suburb where they were born, always made their home within sight of salt water and owned boats, Leicester sail and Ernest power. So when Pearl Harbor brought America into World War II, Papa was uniquely situated to make a highly unconventional contribution to the war effort. From his experience in the Spanish Civil War, he had a wealth of information on the people who now made up the fascist government in that country as well as how they might behave in any Axis intelligence operation against the United States through Latin America, especially Cuba. Despite the snub he had received from President Roosevelt two years before, he contacted Naval Intelligence through the American embassy in Havana, and it accepted his help with intelligence work that led to the arrest of German agents as they tried to disembark in Cuba from Spanish vessels the Falangist political clubs in Spain had helped them travel through Spain to board, vessels which as neutrals could make port in Havana and other destinations in Latin America. Soon afterwards it gave him paramilitary status as captain of his sportfishing boat, Pilar, to play a small part in the large operation to contain and turn back Operation Paukenschlag, the all-out U-boat assault on American coastal shipping lanes in the first six months after America's entry into the war.
By the middle of July 1942, the submarine war had mostly shifted to the North Atlantic and Papa felt it was safe enough to bring his two younger sons, Gregory and myself, to spend the rest of our summer vacation with him at Cayo Confites, the tiny offshore island then used by the Cuban military to keep watch on the narrow deepwater channel that separates the northeastern end of Cuba from the southern end of the Bahama Bank. Cayo Confites itself was exactly like that island cartoonists draw with the shipwrecked sailor, but it lacked even a single palm tree, with only the poor unpainted shack that housed the two soldiers who manned a two-way shortwave radio.
Greg and I slept in the two forward bunks on the Pilar, which always came in to anchor by the island in the evening after the daytime patrols. During the patrols we were left ashore with our own small skiff, and one day we almost drowned when a summer afternoon line squall caught us goggle fishing a little ways south of the island, swamping our skiff and washing us up on what was, luckily for us, a sandy shore. Goggle fishing was what we called it back then, for the U-boat people had not yet even invented the snorkel, and I think Greg and I were the very first people in the Americas to hunt an underwater coral reef using swimming goggles that had been welded together to give a single plane of vision for both eyes.
Marty and Papa's marriage began to fall apart that summer, and on through what passes for fall and winter in the northern tropics, with a great many home truths harshly expressed by both parties. Marty was probably right. With the buildup of shipments of men and materiel from America to Britain in order to launch the second front the Russians so desperately wanted, the U-boat battles now mostly being fought in the approaches to the British Isles, it was time for two veteran war correspondents to gear up and go to cover together the impending invasion of Western Europe. The trouble was Papa was a little more veteran and a lot more writer than Marty, for he was now an old forty-three years, wise to the ways of both art and warfare and with a bad case of piles, a very unpleasant handicap indeed under combat conditions. He was also well aware that Jim Joyce, who had never heard a shot fired in anger, was sitting out the war in Switzerland and was likely to be hailed as the greatest writer of the twentieth century. Later he would joke about such thoughts to his friends in the 4th American Infantry Division, calling himself Ernie Hemorrhoids, the Poor Man's Pyle, but Marty had to use pretty strong words to get him to take up again the war writing burden and he never forgave her.
World War II was the last war that Ernest Hemingway covered. When asked by his two youngest boys what he had done in that war, he told us he paid for it. This was a sardonic reference to the confiscatory income tax he paid on the sale of For Whom the Bell Tolls to the movies. Just as he had been unfortunate in his prescient but premature antifascism, selling the movie rights to his best-selling novel just at the moment the income tax rates rose to over 80 percent for high income brackets in order to instill a real feeling of sacrifice in the home front people and corporations that stood to profit at last, after twelve dry years, from a war economy, left him dangerously exposed financially. He had turned over the domestic income from his first big success, The Sun Also Rises, to his first wife, Hadley, at the time of their divorce. He was paying a high alimony rate for the support of his second wife, Pauline, and their two young children, and his foreign rights income had been cut off by the war. Most of his profits from A Farewell to Arms had gone to setting up trust funds after his father's suicide for the support of his mother, unmarried sisters, and kid brother, generously added to by G. A. Pfeiffer, Pauline's very rich uncle. His finances had reached their lowest point after the poor sales of Across the River and Into the Trees, when my wife, Henrietta, suggested he and his fourth wife, Mary, could make big money reporting on Mr. Truman's war in Korea. To his credit, he did not throw us out of the Finca VigÍa, where we were visiting at the time. It was during these same years that poor Robert Capa, whose only profitable trade was photographing war, finally bought the farm in Indo-China.
Papa made a remarkable comeback from his arduous journalistic coverage of the Normandy invasion, the liberation of Paris, and the combat horrors of the Schnee Eifel with The Old Man and the Sea, to this day his best-selling book. He was always healthiest and happiest at sea. It pleases me to leave him standing with his last wife, Mary, the only one of his wives who really loved the sea, on the flying bridge of the Pilar, out in the Stream off the Moro wearing only a sun hat, white pressed shirt, and black tailored Bermuda shorts that show off his elegant eighteenth-century calves, a cool drink in his left hand, his right hand on the wheel, his head turned back toward the stern, watching the two outrigger baits bounce in the blue water on each side of the boat's twin curling white wake for the first sight of a marlin's wagging bill, dark gray dorsal fin, or scythe-shaped tail, jumping down to the stern deck to snatch the rod from its holder, slacking the reel drag to feed line, then tightening down the drag and hauling the rod back hard four or five times to set the hook that sends the reel screaming and the huge fish high into the air for its first jump.
Patrick Hemingway
Bozeman, Montana