Hemingway and the Mechanism of Fame: Statements, Public Letters, Introductions, Forewords, Prefaces, Blurbs, Reviews, and Endorsements

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University of South Carolina Press, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 145 pages
A compendium of 103 public statements by Ernest Hemingway celebrating Ernest Hemingway. 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. 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, and celebrated fictional character: Ernest Hemingway himself.

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User Review  - alanteder - LibraryThing

Hemingway-iana for the Hemingway-phile. This is not for the casual Hemingway reader, but if you are enough of a Hemingway-phile that you've read that he wrote introductions to such books as Kiki of ... Read full review

About the author (2006)

Ernest Miller Hemingway was born in the family home in Oak Park, Ill., on July 21, 1899. In high school, Hemingway enjoyed working on The Trapeze, his school newspaper, where he wrote his first articles. Upon graduation in the spring of 1917, Hemingway took a job as a cub reporter for the Kansas City Star. After a short stint in the U.S. Army as a volunteer Red Cross ambulance driver in Italy, Hemingway moved to Paris, and it was here that Hemingway began his well-documented career as a novelist. Hemingway's first collection of short stories and vignettes, entitled In Our Time, was published in 1925. His first major novel, The Sun Also Rises, the story of American and English expatriates in Paris and on excursion to Pamplona, immediately established him as one of the great prose stylists and preeminent writers of his time. In this book, Hemingway quotes Gertrude Stein, "You are all a lost generation," thereby labeling himself and other expatriate writers, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, T.S. Eliot, and Ford Madox Ford. Other novels written by Hemingway include: A Farewell To Arms, the story, based in part on Hemingway's life, of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse; For Whom the Bell Tolls, the story of an American who fought, loved, and died with the guerrillas in the mountains of Spain; and To Have and Have Not, about an honest man forced into running contraband between Cuba and Key West. Non-fiction includes Green Hills of Africa, Hemingway's lyrical journal of a month on safari in East Africa; and A Moveable Feast, his recollections of Paris in the Roaring 20s. In 1954, Hemingway won the Nobel Prize in Literature for his novella, The Old Man and the Sea. A year after being hospitalized for uncontrolled high blood pressure, liver disease, diabetes, and depression, Hemingway committed suicide on July 2, 1961, in Ketchum, Idaho.

Matthew J. Bruccoli, Emily Brown Jefferies Professor of English at the University of South Carolina, is the leading authority on F. Scott Fitzgerald and the authors of the House of Scribner.

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