Saturday, July 21, 2012

Happy 113 Birthday

Ernest Miller Hemingway, July 21, 1899 - July 2, 1961.
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Saturday, June 16, 2012


Happy Bloomsday to James Joyce fans.
Joyce's character, Leopold Bloom, roamed Dublin on June 16th in "Ulysses" and went into literary immortality.
In the second photo, Joyce is sitting with Sylvia Beach in the Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris. Ulysses was published by Sylvia Beach.
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Monday, May 14, 2012

Ernest Hemingway, The Reporter Years

Bill Schiller recounts the early years when Ernest Hemingway started out as a cub reporter for The Toronto Star.
He eventually became the Star's European correspondent.
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Sunday, May 06, 2012

More Flappers

During the "Roaring Twenties" shocking behavior was more interesting to the American public than moral behavior. Stories of the evil effects of jazz, the horrors of cocaine, the corrupt lives of movie stars, and the shocking behavior of Americans in Paris were guaranteed to sell newspapers.
We look back at thigh-high skirts, hip-pocket flasks, jazzy music, and flappers dancing the Charleston; kicking higher than mama would allow. Libby Holman sang "Moaning Low" and Bessie Smith sang about needing "a little sugar in my bowl, need a little hot dog for my roll." All over America it was bootleg scotch and bathtub gin; it was learning to kiss in the silent movies with the Sheik of Araby. And the cool singer said, "In olden days a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking. Now, heaven knows, anything goes."
Michael Reynolds, "Hemingway, The Paris Years"
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Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Flappers And Fitzgerald

A new breed of woman appeared on the world scene in the years after World War I.
After the war, Amercan social liberalism filled a void left in post war culture and behavior.
The new breed of women wore short skirts, cut their hair short, drank, smoked, drove cars, and viewed sex as a recreational pursuit.
They listened to jazz and rebelled against the established behavioral norms of their elders. American jazz epitomized this new culture and it quickly spread to Europe. The word "jazz" was used to describe more than music; it meant anything exciting or fun. The women were called "flappers." Flapper was a slang word whose definition could mean a young prostitute or a lively teenage girl. It came to be accepted for an immature girl, scantilly clad, and frivolous.
The American flapper population and its rebelliousness was fueled in part by Prohibition. Back alley speakeasies were popular and the public flaunted Prohibition; they ignored the law by their open consumption of alcohol and living the social life of the speakeasies.
F. Scott Fitzgerald helped to glorify the flapper lifestyle and made flappers appear to be attractive, rebellious, and independent. His wife Zelda was a prototypical flapper. In '20s Jazz Age Paris, they immersed themselves in the lifestyle.
Flapper fashion was mostly a result of French fashion, especially that of Coco Chanel. In French, a flapper was called a garconne ("boy" with the feminine suffix). Girls looked young and boyish: short hair, flattened breasts, and straight waists. Women wanted to look fit, sporty and healthy.
This was the world of Hemingway's Paris, and his "Lost Generation" compatriots.
Photos six and seven are of Zelda Fitzgerald.
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Monday, April 02, 2012

The Rotonde

Modigliani, Picasso, And Andre Salmon

Picasso And His Mistress Paquerette

In March, 1922, Hemingway wrote an article for the Toronto Daily Star called "American Bohemians in Paris." It was a scathing story about "the scum of Greenwich Village, New York" settling in that section of Paris adjacent to the Cafe Rotonde at the corner of the Boulevard Montparnasse, and the Boulevard Raspail.
"New scum rose to replace the old scum," making the Rotonde the leading Latin Quarter show place for tourists in search of atmosphere. The patrons dressed in Bohemian attire. He likened it to the birdhouse at the zoo. He said that you could find anything that you were looking for at the Rotonde except a serious artist. Serious artists resent and loathe the Rotonde, he said. Serious artists were replaced by people pretending to be artists.
The scum were there because there were 12 francs to the dollar. If that changed for the worse, the scum would all return to New York.
He made fun of the young men attending to large, rich women who picked up the tab, while he too was living on an older woman's income - Hadley's.
Hemingway was new to Paris and considered himself a serious writer, one that worked at his craft. In a year or so, he too would be sitting in the cafes, dressed like the regulars at the Rotonde, nursing his drink, and conspiculously writing. The cafes were places where Hemingway could meet American friends to gossip, borrow money, and keep abreast of local news.
As a boy in Oak Park, Illinois, Hemingway wanted to be an explorer. His hero was Theodore Roosevelt and he wasn't completely comfortable with the image of a writer, so he fished, skied, hiked, sledded, boxed, went to bullfights, and bicycle races. He wanted his physical image to stand out from the rest of the literary crowd. He didn't want to look like James Joyce or Ezra Pound.
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Thursday, March 08, 2012

In Germany 1922

In Schwarzwald

Chink Dorman-Smith

Black Forest

Gasthaus Rossele

Paris was very hot and humid in the Summer of 1922.
In August, Ernest got a passport for himself and Hadley for travel to Germany. They were going to go on a hiking tour and fishing trip in the Black Forest region where they hoped that it would be cooler.
They invited Bill Bird and his wife Sally, and Lewis Galantiere and his fiance, Dorothy Butler to come along.
The dollar was being exchanged at 605 marks to a dollar, so Ernest was counting on a vacation that wouldn't break the household funds. He was also hoping to get some material for a story that he could sell to The Star.
Earnest and Hadley decided to fly from Paris to Strasbourg to save eight hours of travelling by train. Hadley was eager for the adventure of her first flight and took the two and a half hour flight in such stride that she fell asleep before the landing.
The six hikers met in Strasbourg on August 3rd and crossed into Germany. They headed to Triberg to fish, but they were not pleased with the crowds of Germans - who were not pleased with them. Ernest thought the Germans to be loud, rude, and rough with women. They managed to get some fishing in away from the crowds of German hikers. Hadley was becoming quite skilled at catching trout.
One day near Oberprechtal the thirsty and hungry hikers stopped at an inn for rooms and food. The innkeeper refused to serve them. He was still bitter towards foreigners because Germany had lost the war. They hiked an additional four miles of "hot, white road" until they came upon the Gasthaus Rossele or Inn of the Pony. It seems that the pony is the favorite symbol of Black Forest inn keepers. Here they were given rooms and they were served food and beer.
By mid-August, the Birds, Galantiere and Dorothy Butler were heading back to Paris. Ernest and Hadley continued alone down the Rhine to Coblenz. There they met Eric "Chink" Dorman-Smith, a friend of Ernest's since 1918 when they met in Italy. (He would become the godfather of the Hemingway's first child. Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas were the joint godmothers.)
Hemingway managed to get three stories forThe Toronto Daily Star: "German Inn-Keepers," "A Paris-To-Strasbourg Flight," and "German Inflation."
The Hemingways returned to Paris by train on August 31st.
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Thursday, February 23, 2012


Ernest and Hadley sailed for Paris on December 8, 1921. They left from New York on the steamship Leopoldina, an old French Line vessel. It would be a ten day voyage to Europe.
Ernest suffered from a bit of seasickness, but was soon involved in the social activities on the boat and enjoying his adventure. It was his third sea voyage. He was impressed that this ship had elevators and a swimming pool and everyone spoke with an English accent.
Hadley learned how attractive Ernest was to other women on the voyage. She hated it, but accepted it, knowing Ernest's love for her. She also was getting her fair share of admirers on board. The Leopoldina had pianos on every deck, and hadley played for hours on end. Three Argentinians "are in love with her" Ernest wrote home.
When he discovered that a French woman and her child had been deserted by her husband, Ernest decided to organize a exhibition boxing match to benefit the woman.
Fellow passenger and boxer, Henry Cuddy, agreed to a three round match. Hadley sat in Ernest's corner and wiped his face with a towel between rounds.
Ernest would later brag that he won the match, but it was most likely a draw.
The Leoploldina made a four-hour stop in Vigo, Spain where Ernest watched the giant tuna jumping out of the water in the bay. He was fascinated by the thought of what a fight a fish of that size and strength would put up; what stamina it would take to land it.
The Hemingways arrived in Le Havre on December 22nd, and took a train to Paris.
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