Interesting facts from the life and work of the famous Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway is considered to be the literary titan of the 20th century, who transferred his life and military experience to paper, creating genius works, including For Whom the Bell Tolls, Farewell to Arms and the novel The Old Man and the Sea (Pulitzer Prize) … Here are 10 little-known facts about this undoubtedly outstanding writer.

Ernest Hemingway
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1. He is awarded the Italian Silver Medal “For Valor” and the Bronze Star of the USA

During World War I, Hemingway served as an ambulance in Italy. In July 1918, 19-year-old Ernest came under mortar fire, was wounded, but managed to save the Italian soldiers. For this feat he was awarded the Silver Medal “For Valor”. Nearly 30 years later, he received an American Bronze Star for his courage as a World War II journalist.

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2. Hemingway was considered a war criminal (but was later acquitted)

After D-Day 6 June 1944, when Hemingway (as a civilian) was prevented from landing on Omaha Beach in Normandy, he led a group of Resistance fighters in Rambouillet. The problem was that war correspondents did not have the right to lead armed groups under the Geneva Convention. In the end, Hemingway was acquitted.

Hemingway in Milan
Hemingway in Milan in 1918 Photo Wikipedia

3. The godmother of his son Jack was Gertrude Stein

In 1903, the famous American writer moved to Paris and regularly hosted meetings for literary bohemians. She was visited by Pablo Picasso, poet Ezra Pound, Francis Scott Fitzgerald and, of course, young Hemingway. In 1923, he invited Gertrude Stein to become the godmother of his firstborn.

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4. Hemingway was allegedly a KGB spy, but his job didn’t work out

When Collier’s magazine sent legendary war correspondent Martha Gellhorn to China in 1941, her husband, Ernest Hemingway, went with her. Several sources suggest that during this period Hemingway may have been recruited by the KGB under the codename “Argo”. However, he did not provide any useful information and for a while was simply listed as agents.

5. Hemingway measured Francis Scott Fitzgerald’s penis in the men’s room

Hemingway described his life in Paris in his memoirs, in which he recalled a memorable meeting with Fitzgerald. The author of The Great Gatsby allegedly complained to Hemingway that his young wife Zelda was laughing at his manhood. Hemingway offered to check it on the spot. He took Fitzgerald to the toilet at Michaud’s in Paris to inspect his organ. In the end, Hemingway assured Fitzgerald that he was of a perfectly normal size.

6. He wrote a memoir after finding his old luggage at the Ritz.

Hemingway began writing “A holiday that is always with you” in 1956, when he settled at the Ritz Hotel in Paris. He was then reminded of the suitcase he had left back in 1928. The writer opened his forgotten luggage and saw personal letters and two stacks of written notebooks almost thirty years ago. Impressed, Hemingway began work on his memoirs.

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7. The famous legend of children’s shoes is most likely a myth.

The story commonly associated with Hemingway was probably just legend. Allegedly, one evening over a drink, Hemingway argued with his comrades that he would create a complete story of six words, and then scrawled “For sale: baby shoes, never worn” on a napkin. Alas, there is no evidence or evidence that this situation was real.

Hemingway in Milan 3
Hemingway, 1954
Photo Wikipedia

8. The writer nearly died in a plane crash

In 1954, Hemingway and his fourth wife, journalist Mary Welch, were in the Belgian Congo when their tour plane caught a pole and crashed. While trying to get to the hospital, they boarded another plane, which crashed immediately on takeoff, and Hemingway suffered burns and a concussion. The spouses, with grief, drove to the hospital in a truck and learned that the journalists had already reported their death, so Hemingway had the pleasure of reading his own obituary.

9. Hemingway dedicated a book to all his wives

After each divorce, the writer almost immediately entered into a new marriage, but he always left his wives as a gift one of his works. The dedication to The Sun Also Rises went to Hadley Richardson, his first wife; Death in the Afternoon to second wife Pauline Pfeiffer; “For Whom the Bell Tolls” – to the third wife Martha Gellhorn; and the novel Beyond the River in the Shade of the Trees for Mary Welch’s latest companion.

10. The Hemingway Museum in Key West, Florida has a urinal from a bar

In this house, the writer created several cult works, including the novel “To Have and Not to Have.” Here he also made a fountain from a urinal brought from the local Sloppy Joe’s bar, which was his favorite resting place. When the bar was being renovated, Hemingway took one of the urinals as a souvenir, claiming that he had already invested enough money in it to take it home with full right.

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