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Monday, January 14, 2013

Hemingways Boat

Reading a book called Hemingway's Boat. Sort of strange a book should be devoted to the boat Ernest Hemingway owned but it is really about the years he spent down in the Florida Keys. And what is interesting is that you would think this guy had it made. Here he was. Famous. His second wife is loaded and he has just bought this boat to go fishing for Marlin. Basically all he had to do was write and fish and drink in between. Not a bad life.

But Hemingway had his  troubles. He was not swimming in money. In fact he was all over the Editor Arnold Gingrich the Editor of the then new magazine, Esquire, to front him money for his boat. He literally took the check from Gingrich's office and bought the boat. But then he was broke again and while Pauline had plenty of money it seems Hemingway was very touchy about his own earning capacity. He talks about how people don't think he's working when he's writing a novel. This sounds very familiar to any writer. How Paulines mother has an attitude about him as a man who doesn't work.

And the fishing is not good. He goes out all the time and gets skunked a lot. His boat breaks down. He quarrels with the people he takes out. He screams at people when they lose a fish. He goes to Cuba and fishes there and his boat breaks down again. His hand gets infected. He has slowed down in his writing. His brother gets lost at sea and Ernest has to go find him. Reviewers are rassing him for his Green Hills of Africa book. He is restless. His relationship with his wife is not great.

He takes out a hitchhiker fishing who wants to be a writer. He asks Hemingway  if he thinks he will be a good writer some day. Hemingway cant answer that. He says if you have the talent then maybe. The hitchhiker goes back home and never really recovers from his time with Hemingway. He never became a writer and died in obscurity. His one claim to fame was going fishing with Ernest Hemingway.

The man who would be king.

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Books by William Hazelgrove