Talk:Ernest Hemingway

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Featured article Ernest Hemingway is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on June 23, 2010.
Wikipedia CD Selection
WikiProject icon Ernest Hemingway is included in the Wikipedia CD Selection, see Ernest Hemingway at Schools Wikipedia. Please maintain high quality standards; if you are an established editor your last version in the article history may be used so please don't leave the article with unresolved issues, and make an extra effort to include free images, because non-free images cannot be used on the DVDs.

American Socialists?[edit]

I don't see why this list needs to be linked to at the bottom of this page or why he's on it. Hemingway associated with socialist movements during the Spanish Civil War, but I don't believe he was ever a socialist himself, and the article mentions nothing of the sort. Calling him a socialist is like calling J.R.R. Tolkien a fascist. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:45, 19 December 2016 (UTC)

Hello there, I agree - no need to add 'socialist' here. He is a lovely author. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:28, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

It bears pointing out that "socialist" is not a pejorative term, it's a simple statement of fact. Whether Hemingway was or was not a "socialist" has nothing to do with whether he was a "lovely" (skilful?) author. The point is not pedantic; we deal in facts here, and conflating them with value judgements ("socialist good/socialist bad") threatens that work. (And, on-point: there is in fact no evidence that Hemingway adhered to any socialist party.) Laodah 19:45, 24 January 2017 (UTC)

Mayo Clinic[edit]

It should be referred to as "Mayo Clinic," not "the Mayo Clinic." Like "Wikipedia," not "the Wikipedia" or "Rockefeller Center," not "the Rockefeller Center." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:48, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

Recent addition to the Spanish Civil War section of Ernest Hemingway[edit]

I reverted a clause added in good faith to the Spanish Civil War section (added phrase in italics):

In 1937, Hemingway agreed to report on the Spanish Civil War for the North American Newspaper Alliance (NANA),[86] arriving in Spain in March with Dutch filmmaker Joris Ivens., visiting cities like Madrid and Valencia, among others.

I thought it best to revert the edit—the cited source is a blog—almost all the references in this featured article are citations to well-regarded Hemingway biographies. In addition, the added clause doesn't really work. If Hemingway had a particular experiences in Valencia and Madrid, then it might be worth adding a sentence or two if Wikipedia reliable sources can be found—otherwise, no. — Neonorange (talk) 16:50, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

Hi Neonorange I'd have to dig out my books and trawl through to see what's written about that period and weave something together. Can't get to it immediately, but remind me in case I forget. Thanks, Victoriaearle (tk) 21:18, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

This edit introduces repetition. The issue is addressed in the previous paragraph and cited to high quality sources. For reasons that require a long explanation, Hotchner is not always considered a reliable source. It's better to rely on scholarly biographies, which is what's been done. If this continues, will someone please report the edit warring. Victoriaearle (tk) 18:18, 8 March 2017 (UTC)

A new source for the claim? Johnvr4 (talk) 19:03, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
See below. Essentially we need to use scholarly biographies, which is what's being done in the article. If you're interested in why it's best not to use Hotchner, I'll explain, but my time has been somewhat limited recently. Victoriaearle (tk) 20:28, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
Who is Hotchner and what is Hotchner's relevance to the link I provided above? Johnvr4 (talk) 21:03, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
Although i do not have this book to verify, the source for the material I added appears to be Nicholas Reynolds and not Hotchner:

"Hemingway committed suicide in 1961. Reynolds believes his later letters reveal the writer was haunted by his Soviet connections.“He says, ‘You know, I did confidential things for the Soviets. And if that came out now, I’d be a candidate for the gallows,’” Reynolds said; “You think that worry was weighing on him?” Mason asked; “I’m pretty sure it was. And on the last night of his life, he looks over at the next table and he says, ‘Those two guys over having dinner, they’re from the FBI,’” Reynolds said.

It that not the majority opinion of the reliable high-quality sources? Or is it simply a repetition that is in several reliable sources or it it too much speculation about the cause of ones suicide or illness? (FBI was following him, he believed it, Hotchner discounted the idea as paranoia and was surprised it was all true.)
Consider also Nicholas Reynolds' previous writings on the spying (and possible motivations in the source):

It is impossible to know; there is just not enough information, and that situation is unlikely to change unless his entire NKVD file becomes accessible or previously unknown Hemingway letters come to light. We are left with the irony that four organizations that could not agree on much—the NKVD, OSS, FBI, and Department of State—all arrived separately at the same conclusion: Ernest Hemingway may have wanted to be a spy, but he never lived up to his potential.

His recent book apparently adds the missing components of files and letters (doesn't it?). Thank you, Johnvr4 (talk) 22:24, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
Sigh. This is what happened. Hemingway had dinner at the Christiana Lodge in Ketchum (now torn down, I believe) and told his dinner companions the light was on in the bank across the street because he was under FBI investigation. It's an anecdote that been around since not long after his death and is documented in various biographies. At one point I had it in the article then removed it, but will trawl through the history. The issue is this: yes, we know he was under FBI surveillance and that information is in the article. But, he also suffered from paranoia to the point that his neighbors gave their young children very strict instructions to stay away from his house (that's not in a biography, but is true). Young children aren't FBI agents, but he'd pull a shotgun on just about anything that moved. The biographers, Baker, Meyers, Mellow and most recently Reynolds, interviewed everyone who knew him, make their life's work of writing scholarly biographies, and so are the best sources to use. Hotchner, being a long time good friend is iffy because like Hemingway's own words his words have to be taken with a grain of salt. That's not the job of Wikipedia editors; for an article like this ours is to choose the very best sources and stick to them like velcro. As far as I can tell Nicholas Reynolds is not a Hemingway scholar yet most of the information already exists in the scholarly biographies and it's in the article. We can add more material about the Crook Factory if everyone's in agreement - cited to the scholarly biographies. I'm busy in real life at the moment and can't get to the books immediately, but am happy to spin some of it out somewhat. That said, I don't think we should be citing a book by a non-Hemingway scholar published in 2017 and getting media attention. Happy to get thoughts from others. Victoriaearle (tk) 23:39, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
I believe that most of the primary research material was donated to the Library of Congress and made available to other researchers, historians and biographers within the last five to eight or so years. Newer interpretations of the correspondence letters or files, may no longer simply be the opinion of the original interpreter - in this case Hotchner or Vassiliev et al. (these may be appropriate external links to add to that section)
To simplify the addition of material, shall we focus on his wartime service(s) and hiatus from professional writing and why the FBI was following him and skip the suspected contributing causes (guilt, alcoholism, physical and mental illness) other than a quick mention of the surveillance relationship with foreign spying? Nicolas Reynolds (from 2009-present) very much seems to be a Hemingway biographer and appears to be citing letters from Hemingway (or perhaps others) for his conclusion(s) on the guilty feelings. Johnvr4 (talk) 13:55, 14 March 2017 (UTC)


I've boldly added and expanded this section diff. Please review my changes. Thank you. Johnvr4 (talk) 18:59, 11 March 2017 (UTC)

I've reverted it. It's in the previous section, where it states, "A 2009 book suggests during that period he may have been recruited to work for Soviet intelligence agents under the name "Agent Argo".". Looks like this material has been in the article since 2009 and that's really all we need to say in this article. Victoriaearle (tk) 20:58, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
I disagree. That source, mentions new sources such as an upcoming new (in 2009), improved version of his memoir, A Moveable Feast; and the opening of a digital archive of papers found in his Cuban home and Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America that based on notes that Vassiliev made in the 90s from Stalin-era intelligence archives in Moscow (in the Library of Congress since 2009[2] see also:this author interview @00:30:00). The sources do not suggest he may have been recruited. They say he "he was recruited in 1941 before making a trip to China." It states he was "given the cover name 'Argo'" (not "Agent Argo"). It mentions he met Soviet agents in Havana and London in the 40s and this continued through the decade (last meeting 1945??). That restored passage seems inaccurate given the source that supports it and highly insufficient given there are two at least books and numerous reliable articles on the subject. The current passage lacks quality and six years is too long for that particular passage to be left in a featured article.
Commenting on your prior edit explaining the revert diff:
The word "scholarly" does not appear at Wikipedia:Featured article criteria. It says, "well-researched: it is a thorough and representative survey of the relevant literature. Claims are verifiable against high-quality reliable sources and are supported by inline citations where appropriate;"
You actually unknowingly deleted two edits as I was clarifying the first with another when it was reverted-no biggie but the Crook Factory also needs mention
The current featured article skips his life from 1940 to 1945. Are all of the so-called scholarly sources deficient of relevance to this article during this period of his life (during the alleged espionage for four separate spy agencies that are mentioned in numerous sources and books or during his war-related service)?
Is the entire featured article outdated and inconsistent with currently available reliable sources? I think you are wanting to keep stability for a FA but there are already by your own admission in the previous section edits wars for the well-needed inclusion of this material that are also going to be problematic. Perhaps you'll need newer sources on your bookshelf!
In your next diff you added the blurb for the source being used for those edits-Which sounds pretty darn scholarly!:

"About the author: Nicholas Reynolds has worked in the fields of modern military history and intelligence off and on for forty years, with some unusual detours. Freshly minted PhD from Oxford University in hand, he joined the United States Marine Corps in the 1970s, serving as an infantry officer and then as a historian. As a colonel in the reserves, he eventually became officer in charge of field history, deploying historians around the world to capture history as it was being made. When not on duty with the USMC, he served as a CIA officer at home and abroad, immersing himself in the very human business of espionage. Most recently, he was the historian for the CIA Museum, responsible for developing its strategic plan and helping to turn remarkable artifacts into compelling stories. He currently teaches as an adjunct professor for Johns Hopkins University..."

Is this not a high quality source?
Is this book problematic as a high quality source?
Your last diff deleted all of your previous concerns and now it does not make any sense given the concerns I've raised above about the current deficiencies in the article. Johnvr4 (talk) 21:35, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
I don't believe it's a good quality source, no, and the other is a primary source. The article says that during the years 1940 to '45 Hemingway thought he was out of work as a writer and we need to follow the scholarly sources. As I mentioned above, as soon as I get a moment, I'm happy to haul out the biographies and bulk up that section. I was reading earlier about the Crook Factory in Mellow, and yes, that's something that can added in. The reason I deleted most of my post is that the info about Agent Argo is already in the article. I don't think we need an entire section about espionage activity cited to a television station. Again, I welcome comments from others. Victoriaearle (tk) 23:39, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
Thank you for clearing that up. I certainly did not intend to argue. I did add another thought that I tried to sneak in before your last edit but failed. I'm sorry about that. I did breeze through the archives and should have probably made a formal proposal for my changes. Johnvr4 (talk) 23:49, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
No, I shouldn't commented and then changed the comment, but I didn't expect a reply to the deleted comment. Anyway, I've looked through the history and see that this sentence, "The FBI had, in fact, opened a file on him during World War II, when he used the Pilar to patrol the waters off Cuba, and J. Edgar Hoover had an agent in Havana watch Hemingway during the 1950s.[147]" has been there since 2009. I thought I'd added the bit about that conversation at the Christiania but it's really anecdotal and in the end might not have hit save; if I did, I deleted it soon after. Don't have time this moment to look through all the edits. But essentially I believe the material regarding the FBI file is covered adequately. Again, we should get a consensus. Victoriaearle (tk) 23:55, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
It was not an issue as I make mistakes or change my mind all the time. We understood each other in the end.
I forgot to mention that the Guardian source refers to the El Pilar for his boat.
There is also a C-SPAN presentation Ernest Hemingway as a World War II Spy (February 22, 2012) Smithsonian Resident Associate Program was part of the series “Great Spies of World War II: Garbo, Baker, de Clarens...and Hemingway?” held in collaboration with the International Spy Museum. with Nick Reynolds on the espionage subject but it's 1.5 hours long. Johnvr4 (talk) 00:36, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
very rough index (there is a transcript and clips at the link):
00:05:00 Hemingway family involved in intelligence more than known. Ernest, Lester, Bumby, growing up, influences
00:16:00 The Blue Stream looks for Nazi subs depots with Lester. ONI
00:20:00 Ernest in US intelligence in Cuba, Crook Factory
00:35:00 ONI outfitted El Pilar, hunts subs cover under oceanographic research for US museum natural history, hooligans navy
00:40:00 OSS rejection, war reporting in France, patrol missions
01:00:00 KGB secret files, motivations, Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America
01:18:00 Q&A including, Why did he kill himself?, July 1944 missions in Europe Johnvr4 (talk) 15:50, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Their Man in Havana?, an article announcing the 2009 release of Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America, has excerpts from the KGB file. Johnvr4 (talk) 21:44, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

Quality sources[edit]

Wikipedia policies[edit]

(underlined phrases indicate emphasis added)

1. Good and unbiased research, based upon the best and most reputable authoritative sources available helps prevent NPOV disagreements. The CBS Sunday Morning interview with Nicholas Renyolds, author of Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy does not meet the requirements of this policy.This segment, by Anthony Mason, is a cultural item—and part of a new book publicity tour by Renyolds. As such, it is at the entertainment—or soft news—end of the spectrum. This CBS Sunday Morning segment isn't suitable as a reference for this Wikipedia article (or a similar article in any encyclopedia) on a subject for which a large body of scholarship exists. The segment is primarily entertainment—it makes no attempt at balance and broad sourcing, nor are these necessary. The phrase "a file smuggled out of Russia" has no provenance, and no follow-up question from Mason. Regardless of the quality of W,S,S,S., the Sunday Morning segment fails #this Wikipedia policy.

(I placed this in another subsection to avoid falling into TLDNR. I intend to add more to this section, but since I'm using an iPad at the moment, I'll add more later.) — Neonorange (Phil) 08:31, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

2. Further—what makes a high quality, reliable source?

In this case, perhaps I can't do better than quote from Mellow in his NYT obituary:
For Mr. Mellow, accuracy and atmosphere were paramount. He once wrote that the biographer "wants the life, against all the reasonable odds, to have the verisimilitude of a period photograph: the exact hour of a certain afternoon, the forgotten details in place, the casual smile or anxious look fixed forever in its particular time." He added, "In other words, everything."

3. Judgement is required to identify high quality, reliable sources. Not only the publisher, but the expertise and analysis of the author. For simple matters of fact, without analysis, the bar is lower. Very recent primary sources can be usable, but for Wikipedia, primary sources from events long past (a generation or more), not so much. See WP:No original research, in particular, which includes

Appropriate sourcing can be a complicated issue, and these are general rules. Deciding whether primary, secondary or tertiary sources are appropriate in any given instance is a matter of good editorial judgment and common sense, and should be discussed on article talk pages. A source may be considered primary for one statement but secondary for a different one, and sources can contain both primary and secondary source material for the same statement. For the purposes of this policy, primary, secondary and tertiary sources are defined as follows:[2] Primary sources are original materials that are close to an event, and are often accounts written by people who are directly involved. They offer an insider's view of an event, a period of history, a work of art, a political decision, and so on. Primary sources may or may not be independent or third-party sources. An account of a traffic incident written by a witness is a primary source of information about the event; similarly, a scientific paper documenting a new experiment conducted by the author is a primary source on the outcome of that experiment. Historical documents such as diaries are primary sources.

Neonorange (talk) 15:45, 15 March 2017 (UTC)


Keep in mind that the current citation for the statement in the entry is a news article from the Guardian- which we could further support or replace entirely with better sources.
The high quality source question(s) in the above section relates to these high quality sources:
The issue being brought forth is that a large body of scholarship does exist on the espionage aspect of his life which is now available to all researchers (see my 3/14/17 edit in the above section).
The featured article is not comprehensive without the material and comprehensiveness is a primary requirement of all featured articles.
The "file smuggled out of Russia" is a fact of history and its legitimacy and accuracy has been established and it is not really something that is eligible for debate (see my recent edit in section above). The author, is an apparent authority given his C-Span interview. CBS News is pretty much always viewed a reliable source by Wikipedia standards, but the actual book, which I do not have, is obviously preferred. That source reviews all available information on the subject and is likely the very definition of "the best and most reputable authoritative sources available" on the subject of his covert work or espionage activity. Johnvr4 (talk) 13:47, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
See above. If you feel the need to use these online resources, consider a new article focusing on this aspect of Hemingway's life. And find additional material for balance, since there is a strong point of view expressed in the sources you have found, and it needs to be balanced. There is more than a whiff of conspiracy theory here. — Neonorange (talk) 17:31, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
Now let me ask some questions. What, exactly, does the CBS Sunday Morning segment offer as a usable source? Do you intend to read the Reynolds book? What exactly do the 65 year-old primary sources you list offer in the way of WP:RS? Do you intend to read the Reynolds book? It is mechanical to say that this or that source is "pretty much always viewed a reliable source". No, judgement is required. The Wikipedia policies I mention above could be a bit more clear and less ambiguous. No source is pretty much always considered reliable. Not CBS News, not the NYT. Why? Because there are different levels of investigation, cross-checking, and editorial control for different segments and stories. I'm not going to beat my head against a wall—I hope you will understand what I'm trying to convey—if not, well, I think any kind of agreement will be unlikely. Continuing to throw a mixture of dubious to middling sources against the wall, hoping something will stick is unlikely to even lead to a fruitful discussion. — Neonorange (talk) 20:52, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
@WP:MILHIST coordinators: Do you have input on whether his wartime 'work' for various agencies (ONI, KGB etc.), some of which was covert and only recently uncovered, notable enough to be included in a comprehensive featured-article biography and are these activities supported high-quality sources (the 2017 book text is not available online)?
Are Nicholas Reynolds or Alexander Vassiliev et al. respectable rock-solid sources for such material? Is there any hint of 'conspiracy theory'- especially in the context of the very highly researched Venona project? Do such 'facts' need balance or must they be give due weight in this article? Thank you, Johnvr4 (talk) 18:00, 14 March 2017 (UTC)


In the car today I heard this guy being interviewed, gasped at what he said, my eyebrows lifted so high they almost flew off my head, and I turned the radio off. Right now, as Papa rolls in his grave, Ezra is looking down, smiling his sly smile, and sez: "Ernie, you honest bastard, they finally nabbed you. The game'z up. You went to war for them as a 19 yr old kid, & had a mortar shell blow btwn yr legs, 200 pieces of shrapnel were yanked from your flesh, and yet you stayed true and good throughout it all, and for all the yrs after. But you can't trust the bastards because in the end they'll get you." Ezra knew this; Ernest was a little too honest for his own good.

So ... there's a media blitz on, this article pretty much sums up my reaction when I heard that the get-together at the Ritz bar after Paris was liberated was a carefully staged bit of theatre so Ernest could meet with and pass on information to an OSS agent. The only problem is that story has been debunked, but idiot that I am, I put it in Wikipedia. That Ernest knew an American in Paris, who worked for intelligence, when these guys and gals had known each other for two decades, drank together, went to the bullfights together, tried each and every one of them to keep their sanity in an insane world, became artists or artistes, some worked for the military, and here we are in 2017 and it turns out what's been debunked is resurrected and given a new life, a new story? But that's not really a surprise, because more than all of the rest of them, Ernest wrote his own story, then embellished, and embellished, and embellished, and started embellishing the embellishments to the point that who the hell knows what's true and what's not true and it's easy as hell to hang a story on every little event.

In terms of Wikipedia policy etc: it's best not to canvass; if there is question whether the assertions from a recently written book (that no one's yet read) has to be added for comprehensiveness, then by all means let's send this to FAR to be delisted; we don't rely on primary sources; we don't follow the most recent news and so forth. Onwards Victoriaearle (tk) 21:52, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

We are talking about whether we must put facts for NKVD recruitment, OSS rejection, and Office of Naval Intell work in Cuba and that he went on "missions" in France. These are facts and are necessary for a comprehensive bio. We can get into the verifiable missions later.
There is no media blitz against Hemingway lasting from 2009-2017 nor is this is "Media Blitz" II... Wikipedia editors need not be concerned with a subject rolling over in his grave.
This article calls each topic of covert work of this subject an "allegation" which they clearly are not and the word 'alleged' appears four times in it. For example (note the question mark), "Other evidence? That during the Second World War he set up a counterintelligence bureau in Havana. The American diplomat Robert Joyce told Hemingway’s biographer Carlos Baker that Hemingway was willing to pay for it himself. It is further alleged that he set up the Crook Factory, to keep an eye on enemy aliens in Cuba, and put his beloved, 38-foot fishing vessel Pilar out to sea as a scout for German U-boats." Then this critic claims the book "unearths a wealth of amiable nonsense about Hemingway’s life as a double agent, and the only surprise may be that Papa stopped at doubles when quadruples were on the horizon.​*"
I have not read the book but after seeing the conclusions of the books authors in previous interviews and work as well as the clearly evident lack of any results by Hemingway from all other researchers, I seriously question whether there is any legitimate allegation concerning "the life of a double agent" in that book other than the possible application as a technicality when defining the term. Johnvr4 (talk) 19:02, 15 March 2017 (UTC)

Also note that the criticisms and weasel words in that review (the only negative review of the book) is by the author pushing his own book: "Andrew O’Hagan’s The Secret Life: Three True Stories is due in the summer." Johnvr4 (talk) 16:41, 30 April 2017 (UTC)

RfC about covert work section[edit]

There are borderline neutrality-issues with this RfC.Overall, there is a strong consensus that the sources are weak and not suitable to include the proposed information.Hence, the proposed inclusion is opposed.Winged Blades Godric 09:01, 14 April 2017 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Are the topics of Ernest Hemingway's NKVD recruitment, OSS rejection, Office of Naval Intelligence work in Cuba (Crook Factory), and participation in "missions" in France undisputed facts that are necessary in a comprehensive biography? Johnvr4 (talk) 21:26, 15 March 2017 (UTC)

Alternatively, are the topics allegations that are author opinions that require due weight and multiple expressions of doubt?
The topics are currently presented in the article with the following text, "A 2009 book suggests during that period he may have been recruited to work for Soviet intelligence agents under the name "Agent Argo."Reference# 101
Follow-up questions based upon previous discussion:
  • Which high-quality sources should (or should not) be used for these topics? The current source for this material is the Guardian
  • How much information should be used from these sources?
  • Should the categories American Spies and/or American spies for the Soviet Union be added? Johnvr4 (talk) 22:12, 24 March 2017 (UTC)


Comment I can only comment on the 'recruited by Soviet agents' allegation. The Guardian source is pretty sceptical: Was he only ever a pseudo-spook, possibly seeing his clandestine dealings as potential literary material, or a genuine but hopelessly ineffective one? The latter reading would chime with his attempts to assist the US during the second world war in his fishing boat El Pilar, patrolling waters north of Cuba in search of U-Boats, making coded notes but only one sighting. I see no reason to not include properly weighted this 'allegation', though it hardly amounts to that since no one seems to be claiming that he actually DID anything EVER and being willing to help USSR in early '40s when it was an ally of the West, does not seem very extraordinary. Giving some detail of his 'exploits' (or lack of) as an agent would seem more worthwhile than his 'code name', which gives a spurious legitimacy to the story. … … ps, 'Spy' categories Q. below, definitely not. Pincrete (talk) 19:34, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

  • Oppose Not "undisputed facts" at all, and some "sources" are rather fictitious in nature and appearance. [3] shows this as a book promotion. He definitely did do work for the Office of Strategic Services, which was not much of a secret. Did he ever meet with any Soviets? Sure. That did not make him a Soviet Agent, however. And his actual spy results seem to have been close to nil even for the OSS. By the way, a few Soviet agents were on the order of Our Man In Havana for effectiveness themselves, and likely added in "famous names" just to keep their paymasters happy. Collect (talk) 12:49, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Include mentions, otherwise ... - Yes, include some mention in the article. Just follow the cites, and convey what they say in WP:DUE weight of prominence. Inclusion should be determined by WP:DUE prominence rather than our passing any judgements of truth, and any contention or doubts in the sources out there are just part of the mention in article. I'll also note these seem separate items with notably different commonality -- the ONI more common than France, France more than OSS, and NKVD is by far less mentioned than OSS. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 19:21, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
    • Comment Deciding what and how to include additional material from Nicholas Reynolds' new work will be easier when there is more commentary on this very new book—published March 14, 2017 (the day this rfc was created). So far reviews have been few and short, with some skepticism expressed. Fortunately, this policy helps us out, as does, as you mention, WP:UNDUE. This sentence
A 2009 book suggests during that period he may have worked for the KGB under the name "Agent Argo".
is now in the article (and has been since 2013).
Wikipedia's Ernest Hemingway article is almost entirely sourced to scholarly, published sources. Nicholas' Reynolds new book will come under scrutiny that will evaluate its relation to the large body of Ernest Hemingway scholarly work. — Neonorange (talk) 00:45, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose OSS is undisputed. Everything else needs to be very well sourced. L3X1 (distant write) 04:35, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Support (involved editor) As was explained in the prior sections above: Recent Edits, Espionage, and Quality sources, the material is verifiable and repeated in numerous very reliable sources. The source I used in a bold edit was commentary on Nicholas book and current WP policy is that CBS news is not fictitious as was an assertion made above. Nicholas' book and CBS are not the only sources for the material. Our multiple reliable sources do not treat this as an allegation. Apparently many editors, despite our sources, incorrectly feel this material contains unfounded "accusations." For this particular view please see WP:Reliable sources and undue weight and WP:Alleged (WP:Words to watch) in dealing with accusations and due weight. Nicholas as a reliable source is not just due to his recent book see: [4] [5]. The Guardian article that is cited is an announcement for the publication of Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America (Yale University Press) which is another yet reliable source for this material. Nicholas' book is only the latest Reliable source. I don't feel that we must wait for new commentary on his book. He, as an EM biographer is a solid reliable source for the material and he seems to be the most reliable authority on the subject of EH's covert work. Last, WP:FACR requires the subject article to be both well-researched and comprehensive, neglecting no major facts, details, or context. A featured article would need the ONI work in Cuba, OSS rejection, NKVD recruitment and missions in France (with OSS association, killing the German soldier, leading the resistance, possible exaggeration of the story, etc.) material to comply. Johnvr4 (talk) 14:00, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Ernest Hemingway is a featured article with over forty sources and two hundred citations, mostly to recognized works by Hemingway scholars. This is to be expected for the biographical article of an important writer, winner of the Nobel Prize, who died more than 65 years ago. The life of such a person is investigated and written about extemsively. Wikipedia requires featured articles like this to use the best sources.
This "RFC", is malformed in that it asks Are the topics of Ernest Hemingway's NKVD recruitment, OSS rejection, Office of Naval Intelligence work in Cuba (Crook Factory), and participation in "missions" in France undisputed facts that are necessary in a comprehensive biography? as if there is disagreement. However, the disagreement is whether it is necessary to have high quality sources or is it necessary to include poor quality sources or primary sources which have not received scholarly attention in the sixty-five years since Hemingway died.
The one recently published source, Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy by Nicholas Reynolds, was published on the day this RFC was initiated. So far there have been no significant reviews (i.e. longer than a few paragraphs) of this book (and one of those short reviews, in Publishers Weekly, is more than skeptical 'This thoroughly researched exploration of Hemingway’s military adventurism fails to deliver a convincing conclusion...The book is filled with admissions that "no one is likely to ever know" the extent of Hemingway’s involvement with the Soviets and overly puffed-up martial language...'). If the Nicholas Reynolds books contains new, well documented information, then I am sure it will attract comentators who are well equiped to assess. For now, the Hemingway article has this mention:
In January 1941, Martha was sent to China on assignment for Collier's magazine.[100] Hemingway went with her, sending in dispatches for the newspaper PM, but in general he disliked China.[100] A 2009 book suggests during that period he may have been recruited to work for Soviet intelligence agents under the name "Agent Argo".[101] They returned to Cuba before the declaration of war by the United States that December, when he convinced the Cuban government to help him refit the Pilar, which he intended to use to ambush German submarines off the coast of Cuba.
I agree with Victoriaearle, who wrote above in this section:

...for an article like this ours is to choose the very best sources and stick to them like velcro. As far as I can tell Nicholas Reynolds is not a Hemingway scholar yet most of the information already exists in the scholarly biographies and it's in the article. We can add more material about the Crook Factory if everyone's in agreement - cited to the scholarly biographies. I'm busy in real life at the moment and can't get to the books immediately, but am happy to spin some of it out somewhat. That said, I don't think we should be citing a book by a non-Hemingway scholar published in 2017 and getting media attention. Happy to get thoughts from others.

I am for what makes this a better, more reliable article, and worthy of Wikipedia featured articles. — Neonorange (talk) 18:36, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose (invited by the bot) The RFC taken literally is mal-formed, but I'm reading between the lines that this is about inclusion/exclusion of the weakly sourced items. Such things need strong sourcing to be included. And the "back door" of saying that it's coverage of what "some people said" should not be considered as being valid for inclusion. North8000 (talk) 12:14, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose There are issues with this RfC being malformed (most importantly not neutrally-stated among others) but the proposed information is definitely not undisputed an lumps together non-significant information with information that is quite within WP:FRINGE. The sources are weak and the conclusion is a product of WP:SYNTH. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 19:16, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

Threaded discussions[edit]

The topics are currently presented in the article with the following text, "A 2009 book suggests during that period he may have been recruited to work for Soviet intelligence agents under the name "Agent Argo."Reference# 101

Follow-up questions based upon previous discussion:

Expressions of doubt[edit]

Are the topics allegations that are author opinions that require due weight and multiple expressions of doubt such as suggests and may have been recruited required?

Which sources to use?[edit]

Which high-quality sources should (or should not) be used for these topics?

Alexander Vassiliev et al. book[edit]

Is Alexander Vassiliev et al. book The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America a reliable source for such material?

Alexander Vassiliev Russian file transcripts[edit]

Is there any hint of 'conspiracy theory' in Alexander Vassiliev smuggling the notes and transcripts of files archived in Russia out and donating them to the Library of Congress? Does this fact affect the reliability of the notes given the accuracy determined by confirming with the very highly researched Venona project?

Nicholas New book[edit]

Is Nicholas's new book Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy reliable?


Nicholas previous work[edit]

Is Nicholas' previous work reliable?

How much can we say from them?[edit]

How much information should be used from these sources?

Spy categories[edit]

Should the categories American Spies and/or American spies for the Soviet Union be added give "Failed KGB Spy" in the source?

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Clarification of "contravention of the Geneva Convention" (of 1949)[edit]

I noticed the sentence about the potential violations of the Geneva Convention (where the singular term Geneva Convention usually denotes the agreements of 1949). Any possible violations would have been in 1944 or 1945 (and prior to the 1949 convention). The plural could be appropriate but further clarification is necessary as this is not just a quick disambiguation fix.

The article text seems implies the charge was somewhat formal (an exaggeration?) and was related to a corespondent leading troops (perhaps a violation of the Third Geneva Convention?). However, allegations of potential Geneva conventions violations apparently also relate to his shooting a German (SS) soldier (war story is apparently from a letter he wrote in 1950). Archived discussions:[6],[7].

Can we please further clarify which of the Geneva conventions and which war story that the violation allegation relates to (they must be prior to convention of 1949)? Thank you, Johnvr4 (talk) 03:11, 16 March 2017 (UTC)

It's explained here on page 408. I don't have Lynn's book that it's referenced to; I believe Sbharris does. While I'm here, just to clarify: at the moment I'm unable to edit. Once I'm back I'll write up something abut the "Crook Factory" if we have consensus (after reading about it yesterday in Michael Reynolds biography, I'm not entirely certain we need to add much more). I've read more about the trip to China and will add a few more sentences to that section. But in the meantime, there's nothing I can do and I'm unable to keep replying. Victoriaearle (tk) 15:37, 16 March 2017 (UTC)

Death causes[edit]

Dementia and CTE from at least two book sources. Johnvr4 (talk) 15:43, 29 April 2017 (UTC)

Johnvr4 (talk) 15:43, 29 April 2017 (UTC)


The lead states that three H novels were published posthumously. I've just edited and rationalised the Bibliography (see link in page) and can find only two. I assume the seven novels published in H's lifetime include the satirical novella listed as his first Chrismorey (talk) 06:28, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

The third posthumous novel from Ernest Hemingway would be True at First Light, by way of Patrick Hemingway's editing, and described by Ralph Blumenthal in The New York Times with "...Ernest Hemingway returned home to Cuba and began work on a long biographical novel."
"A New Book By Hemingway; Blend of Life and Fiction Tells of African Bride" August 24, 1998 [8] I can find additional sources for True at First Light if you think it's necessary.. Victoriaearle, the major writer for this Wikipedia Hemngway bio, would have more references to hand (or at least point to the best sources), but Victoriaearle is retired from Wikipedia at this time.
Neonorange (Phil) 18:51, 23 May 2017 (UTC)