Talk:Ernest Hemingway

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Semi-protected edit request on 28 April 2014[edit]

In the image of the Hemingway Memorial in the section "Idaho and suicide", please close the quote in the caption. 99.26.131.34 (talk) 20:22, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Thanks for spotting the typo. I think, since the words are an inscription, rather than a quote, that italics are a better choice. If you thnk quotes are the better choice, please feel free to make another request. - Neonorange (talk) 21:27, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 29 May 2014[edit]

In the "World War II" section, it says "biographer Kenneth Lynn claims Hemingway fabricated accounts that he went ashore during the landings". However, Lynn's analysis refers only to third party hearsay. Lynn omits to discuss the primary evidence: Ernest Hemingway's article "Voyage to Victory" in which Hemingway details his experiences on D-Day without explicitly or implicitly claiming he went ashore. As Hemingway's version not only contradicts Lynn's and is the version he placed on the public record, rather than alleged private conversation, I suggest that the phrase about Lynn re Hemingway be deleted.

Also, if Hemingway's article is true, Meyer's description of Hemingway as "precious cargo" is misleading as Hemingway claims he cruised in close enough to Fox Green beach to land troops from a LCV(P) within range of German fire. So a qualifying phrase is needed like, "Hemingway claims his craft went close enough to land troops and take on wounded and he saw the faces of men diving out of a burning tank."

Resources: Hemingway, Ernest. "Voyage to Victory", Colliers, 22 July 1944. in White, William (ed). Hemingway: By-Line. London. Grafton Books. ISBN 0-586-20929-8.

Thank you for your consideration. This is my first edit request, so apologies for any formatting errors. Dr Hodder (talk) 05:58, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Hi, Dr Hodder thanks for posting and welcome to Wikipedia. You've managed to uncover one of the oddities of Wikipedia (and to an extent Hemingway too). For featured articles such as this, we tend to avoid primary sources and instead distill what the scholars and biographers say. For this particular request, Hemingway's piece in Colliers would be considered a primary source. The second consideration is that this article relies very little in what Hemingway himself had to say about his own exploits (for the obvious reasons). That said, I realize that Lynn's biography is perhaps less critically regarded than others and will take a look. Meyers is an acceptable biography to use, and I'd prefer to continue to lean on him, but will also investigate a bit more and see what Reynolds has to say about this incident and then edit accordingly. It may take a few days though. Victoria (tk) 17:08, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
I've deactivated the template while Victoriaearle looks into the request. That will take the request off the list of requests needing to be serviced. Regards, Older and ... well older (talk) 23:02, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
To add more to answer the request: I've looked into this found that Hemingway got on a landing craft but the craft was unable to land because the area hadn't yet been swept for mines and they came under German fire, so the craft returned him and the other passengers to the ships where all the journalists were forced to stay. So Meyers is right, and Lynn maybe right too (still waiting to read Lynn). They did not land - they did get close enough to Fox Green to be in some danger and to be in sight of the carnage on the beach. It's also worth noting that Hemingway had been in a fairly serious car accident about a week earlier, serious enough that he was reported to have been killed and to give him yet another concussion, which may or may not be worth taking into consideration. Anyway, once I read Lynn, I'll tweak the section a bit, but not to the extent suggested. Victoria (tk) 18:54, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
Hi, Victoria and Older and ... well older.
I appreciate your point about primary sources. However, you will find that Michael Reynolds paraphrases Hemingway’s article and so, by implication, accepts its claims as true. So does Robert Fuller: “He [Hemingway] watched American troops storm the Normandy beaches on D-Day and wrote about it for Collier’s after returning to England without ever having set foot on French soil.” (My emphasis. See “Hemingway at Rambouillet”, The Hemingway Review, Volume 33, Number 2, Spring 2014.) It would be fine to reference Reynolds and Fuller on this, yet it would mean that Wikipedia is going around in circles. Reynolds also accepts that Hemingway’s craft was under direct fire on D-Day (which I had missed). This does not fit Jeffery Myers’s description of Hemingway as “precious cargo”. Please also note, I suggested that the reference to Hemingway’s article be flagged with the phrase, “Hemingway claims...”, to alert Wikipedia’s readers.
Also, your assertion that Hemingway’s “craft was unable to land because the area hadn't yet been swept for mines" is misleading. As Reynolds says, “Later, when Navy destroyers blasted out some of the German guns, Hemingway’s landing craft finally got its men and supplies into the surf and quickly backed out again, picking its way through underwater obstacles tipped with mines.” (Reynolds, p98.) Your implication that Hemingway wrote his article while he was still suffering from concussion, and so accidently fabricated his account, is drawing a long bow, if it is not mere unsubstantiated speculation. Whatever, the point remains the same, Lynn’s allegation against Hemingway takes a circuitous route through hearsay and not primary sources which objective historians, like Reynolds and Fuller, reference.
There is also the possibility that Hemingway did go ashore at Fox Green Beach, which he later talked about in private conversations, only he was careful not to admit to this in his articles during the war because he would be arraigned (as he was later for a different reason) and would lose his credentials as a war correspondent. Kenneth Lynn’s sarcastic dismissal of the claims around Hemingway on D-Day is motivated by prejudice, not thorough research and a cogent evaluation of all the evidence.
I want to clarify that my argument re Lynn’s allegation is not “what Hemingway himself had to say about his own exploits” but, rather, what Hemingway did not say. Further, if Wikipedia is going to accept hearsay in place of primary sources then it runs the risk of allowing a straw man to be set up just so it can be knocked down, as Lynn does in this case. The significant point about Lynn here is that, in contradistinction to Reynolds and Fuller, he avoids referencing Hemingway’s article. The omission is glaring.
Regards, Dr Hodder (talk) 07:08, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, I had hoped to get a copy of Lynn's book sooner (still waiting!) but because the 70th anniversary is in a few days, had a look at Mellow instead. I've kept and attribtuted Meyer's remark about "precious cargo", because all the sources I've read mention he was still bandaged, reported dead a week or so earlier, and so really was "precious cargo". Nothing derogatory is implied, either in the article, or in my remarks above. I've quoted a bit of the Collier's piece from Reynolds. And I've hidden Lynn for now, but am interested in what he writes. Thanks for pointing to the recently published piece in the Hemingway Review - I have limited database access but will search.
Reynolds says (p. 97-98): "The coxswain could not decide if the route into the beach was clear of mines, the lieutenant was not sure if this was Fox Green or if they should put ashore. Finally confused and frustrated they began the run into the beach where Hemingway could see that [Hemingway quote here] … [cont on page 98] When the German machine fire picked out their landing craft, Hemingway dropped down and the lieutenant took the LCVP back out to sea." Reynolds goes on to say that later the LCVP "got its men and supplies into the surf and quickly backed out again." He goes on to say that EH was returned to the Dorthea Dix.
Mellow says, (page 533) - "Like most of the correspondents on that first day, Hemingway was not allowed to land on the beaches," and also says he was returned to the Dorothea Dix. Mellow goes on the say (same page) that EH did in fact claim to Colliers that he landed "with 57 stitches in my head".
Unfortunately unless his private conversations were subsequently published in reliable sources so we can verify, they can't be used here. Yes, it does sometimes seem as though we go in circles here but we try our best.
When I've had time to find and read Fuller and Lynn, I may swing through and smooth a bit more, but hopefully this clarifies for June 6th. Thanks, Victoria (tk) 02:23, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

Silver Medal of Military Valor[edit]

Material, attributed to Lynn (1987), "a claim disputed by Kenneth Lynn who notes that Hemingway received the Italian Silver Medal of Bravery with only a vague citation, not the gold medal that such a feat would have merited" was recently inserted into this article. I reverted the insertion, as another assertion by Lynn is currently under review. A quick look at the medal as awarded in World War I leads me to question the assertion: the Gold Medal of Military Valor was awarded only 368 times, while the Silver Medal was awarded 38,614 times. I'd argue, from these figures, that 'carrying an Italian soldier to safety' fits the Silver Medal award better than the Gold (even upon reading the description at http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2006/spring/hemingway.html, "Hemingway carried a wounded Italian soldier to safety and was injured again by machine-gun fire", the Silver seems a fit), and the assertion should be discussed on this talk page. - Neonorange (talk) 02:29, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Thanks Neonorange, yes the Putnam piece is a strong source and has the benefit of being available online. That he received the Silver Medal of Honor is not disputed. Here's what Meyers has to say about the event:

According to a contemporary Red Cross report, probably written by Hemingway's superior Captain Jim Gamble, "Hemingway was wounded by the explosion of the shell which landed about three feet from him, killing a soldier who stood between him and the point of the explosion and wounding others." Ted Brunswick, in a letter to Ed Hemingway written on July 14, six days after the event, stated that Hemingway, though badly wounded and nearly killed had acted heroically. "An enormous trench bomb hit within a few feet of Ernest while he was giving out chocolate. The concussion of the explosion knocked him unconscious and buried him with earth. There was an Italian between Ernest and the shell. He was instantly killed while another, standing a few feet away, had both legs blown off. A third Italian was badly wounded and this one Ernest, after he had regained conciousness, picked up on his back and carried to the first-aid dugout." (Meyers, Jeffrey. (1985). Hemingway: A Biography. New York: Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-333-42126-0, 30-31)

I think that's fairly indisputable and the edit you reverted changed the meaning of the cited material.
I don't have a copy of Lynn's book but will try to get it from the library. I've thought for a long time this article needs a top-to-bottom rewrite (it's been four years since achieving FA) and so I'll put that on my to-do list and with the rewrite will most likely add a scholarship section where I can address the various biographers (including Lynn). Sorry for being longwinded, but it's best for people to see the cited material directly. Oh, and I'll try to get to the edit request above this weekend, but it really only needs a bit of tweaking. Victoria (tk) 15:23, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
Michael Reynolds' Hemingway: The Early Years (part of his five-volume biography, still the most authoritative account of Hemingway's life) also dismisses the story that Hemingway carried a wounded soldier on his back, and explains how Hemingway got the myth started. (He also points out that Hemingway in effect retracted the story when Frederic in The Sun also Rises explicitly denies performing any heroic act like the one Hemingway earlier attributed to himself.) No biographer since Meyers treats the story as anything other than Hemingway's invention. Why should WP continue to endorse exploded myths? I hope an editor who works regularly on this page will look at Reynolds and revise accordingly. - Macspaunday (talk) 01:58, 9 June 2014 (UTC
"(A)n editor who works regularly on this page": that could be Victoria (tk) (see article history); in fact, that's the editor to whom you just replied. I am sure this can all be worked out, after, what, nearly a century, ten days is ... - Neonorange (talk) 03:21, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
I've tweaked it slightly, [1], and cited to James Mellow (1992). Mellow says, (page 60-61), "Hemingway would describe the event in several fictional and factual accounts of his baptism by fire, most of them contradictory and many of them elaborated over the years. He once claimed that the depiction of Frederic Henry's wounding in a A Farewell to Arms came closest to the truth. There, except for the fact that the three wounded soldiers, one of whom was dead, were depicted as four Italian ambulance drivers, Hemingway's account seems to jibe with the official citation for his receiving of the Medaglia 'd Argento al Valore … "Gravely wounded by numerous pieces of shrapnel from an enemy shell, with an admirable spirit of brotherhood, before taking care of himself, he rendered generous assistance to the Italian soldiers more seriously wounded by the same explosion and did not allow himself to be carried elsewhere until after they had been evacuated."
Re Reynolds (four volumes, by the way), yes, he explains the perpetuation of the myth, which to a degree had to do with Scribners PR efforts. I think some of that material should probably go to A Farewell to Arms, which is still in need of full expansion. One more thing, as the "editor who works regularly on this page" (1600 + edits), I found the tone a little demeaning. Just saying. Victoria (tk) 15:58, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
Wait, wait! I, at least, absolutely was NOT referring to anyone in particular when I wrote "an editor who regularly works on this page," meaning, of course, any one of the many editors who would inevitably have worked on a page as extensive as this one. Someone else identified that phrase with a particular person, but it never even occurred to me that that meaning could have been drawn from the phrase. I was simply showing respect to the editors who regularly work on this page, just as I hope that visitors to pages that I work on would defer to those who regularly work on it. Please look again at the comment, and you'll see that nothing even remotely demeaning could have been intended by it.
I'm appalled at the thought what was (I thought) clearly intended as statement of deference to those who work here could have been taken as anything else. (Incidentally, it never even occurred to me until two minutes ago to look at the history of the page to see who has edited it; it's clear to anyone that a page about a major writer would have had many editors over the course of time. It's simply not the case that anyone who offers a single edit to a page like this would take the time to study the edit history of the page. To the casual visitor, what matters is what's on the page, not the history of how it got that way.) - Macspaunday (talk) 02:05, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Hi Macspaunday, it's probably not worth belaboring, and, as you've explained, is perhaps a simple misunderstanding or an issue of indenting. I thought in this post you were responding to my previous post in the thread. Had that been the case, then yes, replying to the person who does make a lot of edits here along the lines of "Why should WP continue to endorse exploded myths? I hope an editor who works regularly on this page will look at Reynolds and revise accordingly", can be read as asking for someone else to take a look, revise, review, fix, or whatever. But anyway, I've tweaked, I hope to your satisfaction, and let's just leave it at that. Thanks, Victoria (tk) 20:25, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
I finally understand how my comment could have been taken as a comment on the preceding post, because, thanks to the indentation, it appears on the page as if it's an indented comment on it. But in fact I wrote my comment nine days after you wrote yours, and, when I wrote it, I didn't take the trouble to look back at what came before; I was simply adding another bit of evidence after reading Reynolds' book. And I indented simply so that there would be a visible distinction between contributions, not with any idea of responding to the immediately preceding text. My comment was simply adding to what I remembered of the thread, not responding to anything specific. This is why I was puzzled to read that I had "responded" to anyone's post, because I wasn't responding at all - I was merely coming back and having my say. Anyway, I'm glad to know that no offense has been taken because nothing of the sort was ever intended. - Macspaunday (talk) 02:07, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

Ancestry[edit]

Why is the origin of his family never discussed in the opening article? What nationality were his parents? Were they Italian, German, English, French, Dutch, Spanish? Both of his parents last names are English but that is just a guess. I would like to see his ancestry listed in the article as is the case with most notable people on wiki. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.42.116.19 (talk) 07:58, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

Yes, okay. I have information about this in sources and will add a sentence or so. Victoria (tk) 21:47, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

where are the archives?[edit]

clearly there are older versions of this talk page that have been archived, however unlike any other site where this is the case, there is no link to any of the archived content. someone mind creating them? i have no idea how --92.193.26.186 (talk) 10:22, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Huge thanks for pointing that out! Comments are archiving but who knows where! It will take some untangling, that's for sure. This weekend's project. Victoria (tk) 16:47, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
The archive box was missing, now added, please see the top of this page. --Mirokado (talk) 22:26, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Phew! Thanks, Mirokado. That was easy. Victoria (tk) 03:04, 23 August 2014 (UTC)