A Hemingway Odyssey: Special Places in His Life

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9781581820249: A Hemingway Odyssey: Special Places in His Life

A must-read for Hemingway enthusiasts in the centennial year of his birth, A Hemingway Odyssey contains never-before-published interviews with people who knew him and observations of the special places he frequented, thus revealing how powerfully the waters Hemingway loved influenced his writing from his earliest days to his last novels.
Wherever Hemingway went--in Michigan, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Key West, Cuba, or Kenya--he managed to find special places that he plumbed both emotionally and with a hook and line. In this fascinating narrative, H. Lea Lawrence retraces the great writer's footsteps to these special places and records the recollections and insights offered by some of the people who recalled when Hemingway visited their town or fished with one of their relatives. Beginning with one of the writer's first short stories, "Big Two-Hearted River," which is reproduced in its entirety, an unmistakable relationship is established between Hemingway's angling experiences and various stages of his writing.
This unique approach to Hemingway's life sets it apart from the work of other biographers. Numerous photographs put readers in touch with his life, particularly with the waters where he loved to fish, from rushing trout streams to the Gulf Stream.

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About the Author:

H. Lea Lawrence is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in more than fifty magazines, including Audubon, Field & Stream, and Natural Wildlife. His other writings include The Fly Fisherman's Guide to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He lives in Franklin, Tennessee.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

No one knows what thoughts were going through Ernest Hemingway's mind on the July morning in 1961 when he ended his life. However, ironic as it may seem, they may have been more about living than dying.

The act itself was possibly premeditated. Over the years he had often talked about suicide. If it was deliberate, the sequence from the moment he awoke until the last second may have been virtually mechanical. Quite obviously, the motive would have been preservation of his dignity, the quality in life he considered to be the most important of all. With body and mind failing, it is logical to assume that he wanted to close the final chapter before this too was taken away.

He did not fear death. As a child, he claimed to be "'fraid of nothing," and he displayed this characteristic throughout his life. It was also an attribute he gave to many of the characters in his books and short stories. An example from one of his best-known works comes to mind.

In For Whom the Bell Tolls, El Sordo, the rebel leader, is wounded and trapped on a hillside from which there is no escape. He looks up at the bright, high, blue early summer sky and knows it is the last time he will see it. But he is not afraid:

Dying was nothing and he had no picture of it nor fear of it in his mind. But living was a field of grain blowing in the wind on the side of a hill. Living was a hawk in the sky. Living was an earthen jar of water in the dust of the threshing with the grain flailed out and the chaff blowing. Living was a horse between your legs and a carbine under one leg and a hill and a valley and a stream with trees along it and the far side of the valley and the hills beyond.

That was Hemingway's philosophy via El Sordo, but as anyone familiar with his life and works knows, living was also dropping a kicking grasshopper into the clear, cold water of the Fox River and feeling the sudden tug on the line as a trout took it; standing hip-deep in the swirling waters of the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone with the jagged peaks of Pilot and Index as a backdrop; hiking through the beech forests of the Pyrenees to the headwaters of the Irati River; or watching a marlin make its slow majestic rise from the electric blue waters of the Gulf Stream.

Of the many sporting activities he enjoyed, none was more satisfying or enduring than fishing. As a child, after having been dressed and treated as a daughter by his mother since birth, fishing provided Hemingway with the first opportunity to display his maleness. By conducting one-on-one contests with trout, he was able to get away from those things that bothered him. The angling adventures of his youth also served as an inspiration for some of his early stories and forged an enduring bond between fishing and his writing. Later in life, fishing became even more important when it served as a release from the pressures and challenges of his profession. He said that the time spent on the water served to recharge his mental batteries and start the "juices" flowing again.

Living and fishing and happy times in Hemingway's life are what this book is about. Yet it is more than just a chronicle of his adventures and experiences and what he had to say about them. Included also are my observations and impressions gathered in the rather lengthy odyssey that took me to the special places in his life. It is a meld of the two views that provides an overview of the then and now.

A century has passed since Hemingway came into the world, and nearly forty years since he departed it. Many things changed during his lifetime, and many have occurred since. Surprisingly, though, I discovered in my travels a few places where time seems to have stood still. Relatively so, at least.

It is likely that the idea of writing about Hemingway was implanted in my mind long before I became aware of it. I read "Big Two-Hearted River" as a teenager and related to it strongly. Some years later, after my world had expanded and I'd finished a hitch in the service, I read the short story again and found that I had even greater affinity with it. Like Hemingway, I grew up fishing for trout, except instead of Michigan, the southern Appalachians of North Carolina and Tennessee were my territory. When I was discharged from the army, one of the first things I did was spend several days camping on one of my favorite streams. I savored the freedom and the solitude, and the image of Nick Adams returned sharp and clear. The difference was that I had not been traumatized by war, unless serving as a guinea pig in a series of atomic bomb tests in the Nevada desert somehow qualifies. At any rate, no personal demons interrupted my homecoming outing.

A dozen or so years later, when I saw the Gulf Stream for the first time, the idea was pushed closer to the front of my mind. By then I'd read almost everything Hemingway had written, including an Esquire magazine article titled "On the Blue Water," which contained the nucleus for his Pulitzer Prize winning "The Old Man and the Sea." During the long run out from Oregon Inlet on North Carolina's Outer Banks, I recalled it and felt I could anticipate the "great river." I couldn't. When the iridescent, azure flow finally came into view, I was overwhelmed by its majesty. On the many occasions I've seen it since, the thrill has never diminished.

My original idea was to write an article about fishing around Bimini in the Bahamas and describe some of Hemingway's adventures in the surrounding waters. For reasons I don't remember, that plan failed to work out, but I continued to want to write about the great writer. The more I thought about it, the greater that desire became. I considered adding the Keys and Cuba to the story, but soon other locations--Michigan, Wyoming, and Idaho--started crowding for attention. Next were Spain, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy. There was no stopping this idea. It was a juggernaut that quickly moved far beyond the usual length considered appropriate for an article. Suddenly, instead of dealing with one segment of his career, I had all of it in tow.

Hemingway spent a lot of time fishing in many places, and from boyhood until his last years he constantly sought out new places to explore. Following his footsteps precisely is an impossible task, of course, because some of his angling haunts are not readily accessible. Cuba is one. (Fortunately, I was there before the travel ban was imposed by the U.S. government.) Kenya, which is covered lightly here, is another. Since I am familiar with other prime fishing areas in the nearby Indian Ocean, however, regions that offer opportunities similar to those found off Mombasa, I could easily relate to the African experience.

This project has been enjoyable in all respects and no doubt enviable. I came away from Hemingway's special places with a wealth of memories. It was also satisfying to find that a few are still remote, such as some mountain streams where one can still find privacy. Others, such as those in the Bahamas, offer a similar benefit, except here privacy is assured by the vastness of the open sea.

Hemingway insisted that a good story had to include three elements: the time, the place, and how the weather was. I hope the following pages will supply all of these.

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Book Description Cumberland House Publishing,US, United States, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.A must-read for Hemingway enthusiasts in the centennial year of his birth, A Hemingway Odyssey contains never-before-published interviews with people who knew him and observations of the special places he frequented, thus revealing how powerfully the waters Hemingway loved influenced his writing from his earliest days to his last novels. Wherever Hemingway went--in Michigan, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Key West, Cuba, or Kenya--he managed to find special places that he plumbed both emotionally and with a hook and line. In this fascinating narrative, H. Lea Lawrence retraces the great writer s footsteps to these special places and records the recollections and insights offered by some of the people who recalled when Hemingway visited their town or fished with one of their relatives. Beginning with one of the writer s first short stories, Big Two-Hearted River, which is reproduced in its entirety, an unmistakable relationship is established between Hemingway s angling experiences and various stages of his writing. This unique approach to Hemingway s life sets it apart from the work of other biographers. Numerous photographs put readers in touch with his life, particularly with the waters where he loved to fish, from rushing trout streams to the Gulf Stream. Bookseller Inventory # APC9781581820249

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Book Description Cumberland House Publishing,US, United States, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. A must-read for Hemingway enthusiasts in the centennial year of his birth, A Hemingway Odyssey contains never-before-published interviews with people who knew him and observations of the special places he frequented, thus revealing how powerfully the waters Hemingway loved influenced his writing from his earliest days to his last novels. Wherever Hemingway went--in Michigan, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Key West, Cuba, or Kenya--he managed to find special places that he plumbed both emotionally and with a hook and line. In this fascinating narrative, H. Lea Lawrence retraces the great writer s footsteps to these special places and records the recollections and insights offered by some of the people who recalled when Hemingway visited their town or fished with one of their relatives. Beginning with one of the writer s first short stories, Big Two-Hearted River, which is reproduced in its entirety, an unmistakable relationship is established between Hemingway s angling experiences and various stages of his writing. This unique approach to Hemingway s life sets it apart from the work of other biographers. Numerous photographs put readers in touch with his life, particularly with the waters where he loved to fish, from rushing trout streams to the Gulf Stream. Bookseller Inventory # APC9781581820249

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Book Description Cumberland House Publishing. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 212 pages. Dimensions: 8.9in. x 6.0in. x 0.6in.A must-read for Hemingway enthusiasts in the centennial year of his birth, A Hemingway Odyssey contains never-before-published interviews with people who knew him and observations of the special places he frequented, thus revealing how powerfully the waters Hemingway loved influenced his writing from his earliest days to his last novels. Wherever Hemingway went--in Michigan, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Key West, Cuba, or Kenya--he managed to find special places that he plumbed both emotionally and with a hook and line. In this fascinating narrative, H. Lea Lawrence retraces the great writers footsteps to these special places and records the recollections and insights offered by some of the people who recalled when Hemingway visited their town or fished with one of their relatives. Beginning with one of the writers first short stories, Big Two-Hearted River, which is reproduced in its entirety, an unmistakable relationship is established between Hemingways angling experiences and various stages of his writing. This unique approach to Hemingways life sets it apart from the work of other biographers. Numerous photographs put readers in touch with his life, particularly with the waters where he loved to fish, from rushing trout streams to the Gulf Stream. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9781581820249

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