Skip to comments.Hemingway, Hounded by the Feds
Posted on 07/03/2011 8:22:29 PM PDT by Palter
EARLY one morning, 50 years ago today, while his wife, Mary, slept upstairs, Ernest Hemingway went into the vestibule of his Ketchum, Idaho, house, selected his favorite shotgun from the rack, inserted shells into its chambers and ended his life.
There were many differing explanations at the time: that he had terminal cancer or money problems, that it was an accident, that hed quarreled with Mary. None were true. As his friends knew, hed been suffering from depression and paranoia for the last year of his life.
Ernest and I were friends for 14 years. I dramatized many of his stories and novels for television specials and film, and we shared adventures in France, Italy, Cuba and Spain, where, as a pretend matador with Ernest as my manager, I participated in a Ciudad Real bullfight. Ernests zest for life was infectious.
In 1959 Ernest had a contract with Life magazine to write about Spains reigning matadors, the brothers-in-law Antonio Ordóñez and Luis Miguel Dominguín. He cabled me, urging me to join him for the tour. It was a glorious summer, and we celebrated Ernests 60th birthday with a party that lasted two days.
But I remember it now as the last of the good times.
In May 1960, Ernest phoned me from Cuba. He was uncharacteristically perturbed that the unfinished Life article had reached 92,453 words. The contract was for 40,000; he was having nightmares.
A month later he called again. He had cut only 530 words, he was exhausted and would it be an imposition to ask me to come to Cuba to help him?
I did, and over the next nine days I submitted list upon list of suggested cuts.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
While the man was a genius with the pen, he was definitely a man who cared not what God would think about him blowing his brains out.
Well look what they did to poor Richard Jewell. He was the security guard that was actually a hero in the Atlanta Olympic park bombing but the FBI got it into their head that he was a suspect and they hounded that guy for months and months. I am suprised he did not commit suicide. It was really horrible.
I know he had health problems and felt hounded by the FBI but he was an alcoholic, and that breeds depression.
The FBI followed him and tapped his phones. Everyone reacts differently.
Do not judge. God (and the church) have compassion for people who destroy themselves when they're mentally ill.
Compare Hemingway’s FBI interference with what, say, Sara Palin endures. The FBI didn’t cause his depression, decline and demise. It was incidental.
I wonder if God is more forgiving than you are?
I was told by by English teacher that he killed himself because of his health, depression, and that he was impotent. He could no longer enjoy all the “good things” in life, so he saw no point in continuing.
“The FBI followed him and tapped his phones. Everyone reacts differently.”
Especially when drinking heavily on a regular basis. Drinking makes your problems overwhelming.
Enjoyable film now playing.
May God, in His infinite mercy, give you severe depression, and may it last until you see your arrogance and develop compassion.
or in severe never ending pain,Hemingway had cancer supposedly
Aboard the Pilar, now a Q-Ship, Hemingway's crew was charged with sinking German submarines threatening shipping off the coasts of Cuba and the United States.
Hemingway came under surveillance by the FBI both during World War II and afterwards (most probably because of his long association with marxist Spanish Civil War veterans who were again active in Cuba) for his residence and activities in Cuba.
"....the Hemingway account "The Shot"[ is used by Cabrera Infante] and others as evidence of conflict between Hemingway and Fidel Castro dating back to 1948 and the killing of "Manolo" Castro, a friend of Hemingway.
He was receiving treatment in Ketchum, Idaho for high blood pressure and liver problems, this may in fact have helped to precipitate his suicide, since he reportedly suffered significant memory loss as a result of the shock treatments.
In a particularly gruesome suicide, he rested the gun butt of the double-barreled shotgun on the floor of a hallway in his home, leaned over it to put the twin muzzles to his forehead just above the eyes, and pulled both triggers. The coroner, at request of the family, did not do an autopsy. Other members of Hemingway's immediate family also committed suicide, including his father, Clarence Hemingway, his siblings Ursula and Leicester, and his granddaughter Margaux Hemingway.
Some believe that certain members of Hemingway's paternal line had a hereditary disease known as haemochromatosis (bronze diabetes), in which an excess of iron concentration in the blood causes damage to the pancreas and also causes depression or instability in the cerebrum.
Best of all he loved the fall
The leaves yellow on the cottonwoods
Leaves floating on the trout streams
And above the hills
The high blue windless skies
Now he will be a part of them forever
Ernest Hemingway - Idaho - 1939
You do not know much about Hemingway to make that kind of a statement, do you—
or read the short version above...
those of us who have suicide in our families might find you insensitive
I saw the Woody Allen film and although it was a highly imaginative film, the leftie politics and cheap shots against conservatives hurt.
Hemingway was mentally ill at the end of his life..
I found the posted comments interesting, as pretty much all of them make the assumption that FBI surveillance of Hemingway was unjustified or tyrannical.
In actual fact, not only was he a strong Communist sympathizer, it appears he was a KGB agent for quite a number of years and was finally dropped by them for lack of productivity, not resigning himself.
IOW, he was a conscious and voluntary secret agent of a foreign power dedicated to the subversion and overthrow of the United States Constitution. What was inappropriate at all about the FBI keeping an eye on him?
Hemmingway was either in or associated with the Lincoln Brigade. Mostly American lefties.
Hemingway was an opportunist wherever he went. He was a piss poor journalist during WW II. He boozed it up with lefties everywhere he went during the war.
I didn't say the FBI's actions were justified. My posting was not to have a defense of Hemingway or the FBI.
Though, if he was a traitor working for Cuba, it would have been a major victory in the FBI proved it. Though, I didn't see it in the FBI files, perhaps the Cuban are more reliable.
Some of Hemingway's actions[Commie journal] in the past, contributed to much US Gov't embarrassment and FBI investigation.
Hemingway was an agent of the USSR, not Cuba. His suicide came only a short time after the commies came to power in Cuba, anyway, and he was already very sick when they did.
I meant USSR, the archives are in Cuba.
Not everything can be blamed on Hoover. Even the biggest conspiracy theorists must admit Hemingway spent most of his life shooting off his mouth.
Papa Was a Communist Sympathizer
Released: 7/14/1999 12:00 AM EDT
Source: University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
FOR RELEASE: TUESDAY, JULY 13, 1999
CONTACTS: Keneth Kinnamon, professor of English literature
UA English Office: (501)575-4301
Allison Hogge, science and research communications officer (501)575-6731, email@example.com
PAPA’S POLITICS: UA PROFESSOR’S RESEARCH EXAMINES HEMINGWAY’S COMMUNIST TIES
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — As the 100th anniversary of Ernest Hemingway’s birthday approaches on July 21, literary fans across the world will be paying homage to a writer acclaimed as the leading voice of the Lost Generation. But a University of Arkansas professor claims these fans have mis-characterized the famous author.
A new study of Hemingway, conducted by Dr. Keneth Kinnamon, indicates that the author’s social activism and leftist politics leave him far from “lost” and even dissociate him from the generation of post-war writers he supposedly founded.
In fact as Hemingway aged, said Kinnamon, his political involvement grew more radical, culminating in donations to finance the rise of the Communist Party in Cuba.
Over the past 5 years, Kinnamon has conducted an extensive study of Hemingway’s personal letters and correspondence — examining the author’s own arguments and self-descriptions to gain a complete understanding of Hemingway’s social views and personal politics.
As part of his research, Kinnamon had portions of Hemingway’s FBI file declassified. The file documents nearly a decade of continuous surveillance that began in the 1950s as a result of the author’s political activities.
Kinnamon will present his findings later this month at a conference in Oak Park, Ill., where Hemingway was born. In addition, he has published an essay entitled, “The Early Development of Hemingway’s Political Consciousness,” in a publication of the Center for Culture in Valencia, Spain, called Hemingway in Our Time.
“Hemingway was very protective of his political views. More than many of the writers of his time, he shied away from didacticism in his work and made his political points subtly,” said Kinnamon.
“By examining his letters, I’m finding a more candid statement about his personal beliefs — one that is more frank and open and gives us a better understanding of the man than if we viewed him exclusively through his fiction.”
What Kinnamon has uncovered are the written records of a man who not only held strong convictions about political and social issues, but who actively took part in them — often playing a dual role of journalist and soldier.
As a young man, Hemingway sympathized with the Socialist Part in America. His first and only vote was cast for Eugene V. Debs — a socialist leader who ran for presidency five times in the early part of the century. According to Kinnamon, the writer’s political opinions only leaned further left as he grew older.
In 1935, Hemingway went abroad as a news correspondent to cover the Spanish Civil War. But his sympathy for the people’s rebellion soon compromised his objectivity. By the close of the revolution, Hemingway had become involved with many of the socialist and communist volunteers in the resistance.
During World War II, the author took an even more active political role. He had his 38-foot fishing vessel, The Pilar, designated as an official Q-boat and equipped it with a crew to patrol the Caribbean for Nazi submarines. Later, he would accompany U.S. troops during the Battle of the Bulge and even lead his own guerilla force in the liberation of Paris.
But the political stand that would have the greatest impact in Hemingway’s life came after the war, when he had settled in Cuba.
Though his American citizenship made outright political activity impossible, the author continued to support his political interests covertly. Kinnamon’s research reveals that Hemingway channeled money through a Cuban friend to support the Communist Party in its rise to power.
Despite the threat of McCarthyism and the controversy of the Bay of Pigs Invasion, Hemingway remained a staunch supporter of Fidel Castro. When the author’s political loyalties came to light in the late 1950s, the FBI opened a file and began a program of surveillance that documented Hemingway’s activities up to his death in 1961.
“At times, Hemingway would be sitting in a restaurant and would say to his companion, ‘The man at the next table is an FBI agent.’ His friends considered it paranoia, but more often than not, Hemingway was right,” said Kinnamon.
OK, I’m officially confused. Why are Soviet KGB archives in Cuba, and why did Cuban officials give researchers access to them?
When producer David O. Selznick crowed that his wife, Jennifer Jones, was starring in “A Farewell to Arms” and he’d pay Hemingway a $50,000 bonus from any profits, the novelist wrote back: “If by some miracle, your movie, which stars 41-year-old Mrs. Selznick portraying 24-year-old Catherine Barkley, does earn $50,000, you should have all $50,000 changed into nickels at your local bank and shove them up your [bleep] until they came out of your ears.”
Darryl F. Zanuck, the boss of 20th Century Fox, was trashed when he asked Hemingway to shorten the title of “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber,” which starred Gregory Peck. Hotchner quotes Hemingway, “I said, you want something short and exciting that will catch the eye of both sexes, right?” He then reeled off the first letters of Hollywood studio names that together spelled out the F-word. “That should fit all the marquees and you can’t beat it as a sex symbol.” Zanuck titled the film “The Macomber Affair.”
Hemingway was one of the 5 most over rated American writers of all time.
It killed him anyway. The pressure destroyed him physically and he died at 44.
Hmmm.... something must have been in the water. Hemingway grew MORE leftist as he aged? Did he not notice what Cuba was becoming? Did he learn nothing from WWII? Steinbeck had the same problem, but I don’t know if he went full commie.
Too bad Obammy hasn’t an ounce of Papa’s testosterone,
There’s a fascinating story about what was done with the shotgun that Hemingway used to commit suicide. IIRC, to avoid its becoming a ghoulish souvenir, the executors had the gun’s metal parts chopped up and the wood parts burned then scattered and buried; the burial site of some of the parts has been rediscovered.
Recently another shotgun owned by Hemingway was auctioned for nearly $700,000.00.
Papa liked his guns. Wonder if he would have accorded the right to bear arms to the rest of us. Given his affinity for communism, I tend to doubt it.
From what I understood, Hemingway was a National socialist and socialism or the ideology of Marxism which is global socialism, was considered subserive to the constitutional Republic.
That was back when we had a constitution that meant something among the elite. Now Hemingway’s fellow travelers control the US, Europe and the global enterprise leaders.
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