Friday, September 6, 2013

Hemingway On Writing

As far as I know, Ernest Hemingway never wrote a "how to" on writing. The closest thing we have is George Plimpton's well-known interview Ernest Hemingway, The Art of Fiction No. 21, which appeared in the Paris Review, Spring 1958, issue number 18.

If you have time read it.

Plimpton starts the article with a quote from a Conversation in a Madrid café, May 1954:
HEMINGWAY: You go to the races?
INTERVIEWER: Yes, occasionally.
HEMINGWAY: Then you read the Racing Form . . . . There you have the true art of fiction.
I suppose this is Hemingway's way of saying,  just enough detail to allow one to bet on the winning horse.

Both author Hemingway and interviewer/author George Plimpton were grand storytellers, meaning they made things up to suit their needs. I haven't researched Hemingway's biography deeply, but I do know that in January of 1954, while in Africa, Hemingway was seriously injured in two plane crashes. In October he was notified, while at home in Havana, Cuba, that he won that year's Nobel for Literature, and he was unable to travel to Stockholm because of his injuries.

Perhaps, he was in a Madrid cafe in May of 1954, I just can't seem to prove it. Then again, does it matter?

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