Ernest Miller Hemingway was born on the 21st of July in 1899. He was brought up in Oak Park, Illinois, which is close to Chicago. His parents were Clarance Edmond Hemingway and Grace Hall Hemingway. His father worked as a country doctor and his mother gave music lessons to contribute to the family’s income. Ernest enjoyed outdoor activities such as fishing, camping and hunting, which he adopted from his father, to a great extent. He did not want to stay in Oak Park for the rest of his life and hence he left the city, which he once described as a place with ‘wide lawns and narrow minds’. After having graduated from school at the local highschool, Ernest worked as a reporter for The Kansas City Star. This experience helped form his style of writing, which is later referred to as paratactic, which means that he used short and succint sentences and often left out conjunctions.
The newspaper’s style guide had advised Hemingway in the following way: ‘Use short sentences. Use short first paragraphs. Use vigorous English. Be positive, not negative.’
After just a few months he quit his job with the paper and began to work 1918 as an ambulance driver at the Red Cross. He worked at the Italian front because he wanted to be as close as possible to the scene of events of the First World War. During one of his missions Ernest was wounded by the Austrian artillery. The Italian government later awarded him the Silver Medal of Military Valor. In 1921 he married Elizabeth Hadley Richardson. The couple went off to Paris where, Hemingway working for the Toronto Star and covering the Greco-Turkish War, they lived among the American expatriates. During this time he witnessed the massacre of the Armenians. The 1920’s were to become one of Hemingway’s most prolific years as a writer. His first succes was the novel Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell To Arms. In 1923 his first son was born. In 1927 his marriage ended and he married Pauline Pfeiffer. Ernest and Pauline spend most of their years together in Key West, Florida. A major blow struck Ernest in 1928 when his father commited suicide. Hemingway is said to have blamed his mother for this incident, which would explain their complicated relationship.
In the 1930’s Hemingway worked as a war correspondent in Spain, covering the Spanish Civil War. Hemingway is said to have helped the Republicans by having instructed soldiers how to use weapons This experience contributed to For Whom The Bell Tolls, which later was said to be his best book. Shortly after the book was published in 1940, he got divorced and married the war correspondent Martha Gellhorn. This marriage did not last very long and in 1946 he married his last wife Mary Monks, with whom he spent 14 years in Cuba. During this time he was awarded with the Pulitzer Prize, for The Old Man and The Sea. The following year, in 1954, he received the Nobel Prize.
On July 2, 1961 Ernest Hemingway commited suicide, after one previous, but failed attempt in spring of the same year, with a shotgun blast in the head.
Hemingway was a heavy drinker throughout his life and suffered from manic depression. Two of his siblings, his father and probably one of his granddaughters commited suicide. Even after his death lots of unpublished stories were found.
Hemingway belonged to the Lost Generation, which was an expatriate literary scene in 1920's and 1930's Paris. Among his role models were Ezra Pound, Getrude Stein and Marc Twain. You could call Ernest Hemingway also a master of omission. Hemingway often used autobiographic elements in his work as for instance in the Nick Adams Stories.
- To Have and Have not
- Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises
- A Farewell to Arms
- A Moveable Feast
- For Whom The Bell Tolls
- The Old Man and the Sea
- The Snows of Kilimanjaro (Short story)
- The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber (Short story)
- The Killers (Short story)
- Nick Adams Stories