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Happy Birthday Ernest Hemingway

July 21, 2017

Happy Birthday Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway is a twentieth-century icon of masculinity and adventure, from his travels throughout Europe and Africa, to his writings set in similar locations. In life and in fiction, he was fascinated by death, love, and loss. He is well-known for his novels such as The Old Man and the Sea and A Farewell to Arms, but below are five facts about the author that you might not have known:

1. He survived two plane crashes in two days

On a sightseeing trip in East Africa, Hemingway and his wife were injured when a chartered plane they were on ‘cracked up’ and crashed near Murchison Falls. The next day they boarded a rescue plane, which exploded on take-off but all on board managed to escape, but Hemingway’s injuries caused him pain for the rest of his life. Many journalists assumed they had died in the first crash and newspapers erroneously published obituaries for the Hemingways before they were found alive.

2. He wrote standing up

Hemingway is famously quoted as saying, “writing and travel broaden your ass if not your mind and I like to write standing up”. Other writers who are thought to have done a lot of their work standing up include Virginia Woolf and Lewis Carroll.

3. He was part kangaroo

Okay, that is a reductive way of phrasing it, but it is fun to imagine a half-man, half-kangaroo Hemingway hopping along the plains. After a car crash in 1930, a doctor bound Hemingway’s broken arm together with a kangaroo tendon, so he spent the second half of his life with part of a kangaroo in his arm.

4. He wrote the original Men Without Women

You might recognise the title Men Without Women as a collection of short stories by Haruki Murakami which was first published in English earlier this year, but the title was first used by Hemingway for a collection of his own short stories in 1927.

5. He wrote 47 different endings for A Farewell to Arms

When asked why he wrote so many different drafts and endings, Hemingway simply replied, “Getting the words right.” A full collection of with all 47 endings was first published in 2012, and can be found here.

  • The Old Man and the Sea cover
    The Old Man and the Sea

    The old man has gone 84 days without catching a fish, everything about him is old except his eyes, they are the colour of the sea. He finally catches a fish, but this is no ordinary fish, nor is his fierce and determined response.

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  • A Farewell to Arms: The Special Edition cover
    A Farewell to Arms: The Special Edition

    In 1918 the author went to war. He volunteered for ambulance service in Italy, was wounded and twice decorated. Out of his experience came A Farewell to Arms. This title tells a love story of immense drama and uncompromising passion.

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  • Men Without Women cover
    Men Without Women

    Contains short stories, featuring men, who are bullfighters and boxers, hired hands and hard drinkers, gangsters and gunmen. Each of their stories deals with masculine toughness unsoftened by woman's hand.

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  • A Moveable Feast cover
    A Moveable Feast

    Featuring a personal foreword by Patrick Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway's sole surviving son, and an introduction by the editor and grandson of the author, Sean Hemingway, this edition includes a number of Paris sketches revealing experiences that Hemingway had with his son Jack and his first wife, Hadley.

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  • The Sun Also Rises cover
    The Sun Also Rises

    This new edition of The Sun Also Rises celebrates the art and craft of Hemingway’'s quintessential story of the Lost Generation—.

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