Hemingway, Ernest Miller (1899 - 1961)
Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Illinois, a small provincial town near Chicago. His adolescence was made difficult by the intensity of his own character, the complexity of his family relationships, the Spartan demands of his physician father conflicting with the rich artistic aura his mother attempted to cast over the family. He rebelled all his life against his domineering assertive mother, and he worshipped his father, a knowledgeable sportsman who initiated him into the rituals of hunting and fishing. The restless boy was rebelliously independent. A romantic liar, he possessed the power of self-dramatization, hence there was a very thin line between fact and fiction all his life.
He started writing when a schoolboy. He took to newspaper reporting. Rejected for army service in World War I because of poor vision, he volunteered to serve as a driver for an American Red Cross Ambulance unit in France. Hemingway was then transferred to duty on the Italian front where he was severely wounded. For many years he worked as a newspaper reporter in Canada, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, France, Asia Minor. He reported all the biggest battles of the century, lived a tempestuous life and wrote heaps of marvelous books
. Throughout his life Hemingway was an industrious pupil seeking knowledge, a searcher, empirist, and collector of knowledge, preoccupied with method. He was always interested how to do a thing. This was one of his primary attitudes toward experience.
The principal instrument of his literary apprenticeship was journalism. An omnivorous reader, he learned from Turgenev, Chekhov, Tolstoy, Dostoevski, Stendhal, Balzac, Flaubert, Mark Twain, Thomas Mann, Joseph Conrad, James Joyce. When living in Paris in the 1920s, he heavily relied upon Gertrude Stein's judgments, and freed himself from conventions. "You are all a lost generation", Gertrude Stein said to Hemingway. The term had been taken to...