Hemingway and the Mechanism of Fame: Statements, Public Letters, Introductions, Forewords, Prefaces, Blurbs, Reviews, and Endorsements
Ernest Hemingway was famous for being famous. He assiduously cultivated different and sometimes divergent personae--sportsman, soldier, aesthetician, patriot, drinker, womanizer, intellectual, anti-intellectual, sage, brawler, world traveler, war correspondent, big-game hunter, and even author--each chosen to foster his place in the American cultural consciousness and support the sales of his books. In every role he projected the insider's air of authority and expertise that was presumed credible, even when not wholly deserved. His success in these self-legendizing efforts to couple nonliterary celebrity with literary stature is evident in his continued fame among those familiar and unfamiliar with his books. Hemingway and the Mechanism of Fame assembles Hemingway's public writings about himself, all framed as documents of support for or criticism of other people and other products. Comprising fifty-four public statements and letters; twenty introductions, forewords, and prefaces; and twenty-nine book blurbs, reviews, and product endorsements, the collection chronicles the means by which Hemingway advanced his own standing through these literary and extraliterary writings. From his commercial endorsements for the Parker 51 pen and Ballantine ale to his Nobel Prize acceptance statement and commentary on President Kennedy's inauguration, Hemingway shows himself to be an expert marketing strategist, infusing each piece with thoughtfully crafted autobiography designed to engage his public and promote his image. Arranged in chronological order and spanning more than forty years, the selections in this volume map the development of Hemingway's most complex, studied, criticized, parodied, andcelebrated fictional character: Ernest Hemingway himself.
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