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Thread: Its Difficult Being Hemingway These Days.

  1. #1
    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    Its Difficult Being Hemingway These Days.

    Its Difficult Being Hemingway These Days.

    He had come to Cuba for inspiration; both as a writer, and as an avid devotee of his literary idol Papa Hemingway.

    But then the Covid 19 struck and he had to ask himself what would the great man have done? Well for a start, he would have ordered another drink!

    The airport in Havana was closed, and a partial lockdown was in place; apart from essential establishments like; food shops, pharmacies, bars and brothels. This was afterall, one of the birthplaces of the Revolution.

    "Tomas, Otro Santiago Anejo con hielo, por favor." he exclaimed in a tone, akin that which a Grahame Green whisky priest would have been proud of.

    If he held his fingers in a certain way, as if in an involuntary benediction, perhaps the barman might portray a bit more respect for a an aspiring writer in his cups, with a demenour of barely perceptable spiritual values.

    "Drunk gringo" thought Tomas, scratching the black coarse stubble on his chin. But business was business in these tough times and he obliged in executing the request.

    Outside in the street the sun exposed the naked, shameful contrast of light and shadow, each indistinguisable in the common factor of pervading heat.

    Food supplies were short and queues were long. Fidel with his hopes, fears and aspirations was alas no more; whilist resignation in the reality of a supposed island paradise were but cigar smoke in a Churchillian purdah.

    The whore with cellulite eyed up the gringo, but could not summon up the imperative to be layed for an American dollar. It was too hot, even if she just looked up at the fan on the ceiling and thought of the sparse fish soup she intended for supper.

    There are I suppose, writers in this world that are as disciplined as Hemingway was. Stand up and write so many words a day, endlessly correct proofs, read widely, and love freely. What was his genius? Was it his early grounding as a sports writer with concise pithy sentences? His formative years in the acute observance of men in conditions of civil war in Spain? His outwardly gregarious love of danger, women and booze? Forever the participant, forever the observer.

    His fingers around the chilled glass of rum, couched this elixer of perfection with a degeee of reverence normally reserved for the gods on Mount Olympus. He shook the ice gently, noting the warm, subtle warmth that was its very being.

    He was, yet just another mortal sitting on a bar stool. The body was there hunched and static, but the mind explored restlessly and with abandon, whatever the brain and imagination brought to the fore.

    "Why could I not be another Hemingway? I've lived life like him; a loner in all but outward appearances"

    "Tomas, per favor amigo."

    There is a stage in getting drunk wherby one consciously knows that you are either getting somewhat abusive and rude, or that the worlds's inhabitants, (whatever their shortcomings), are friends for life.

    Tomas was sanguine. Drunks were his business, and anyway, they helped feed his wife in the back with their five kids.

    The whore sat near the open door, endeavouring to capture what little breeze the Good Lord might send down the narrow street. The fish soup was still on her mind.

    In the food queue two streets down, they ran out of rice and frustrated women vented their feelings both at the shop owner and collectively.
    Last edited by MANICHAEAN; 04-09-2020 at 01:48 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
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    There are I suppose, writers in this world that are as disciplined as Hemingway was. Stand up and write so many words a day, endlessly correct proofs, read widely, and love freely. What was his genius? Was it his early grounding as a sports writer with concise pithy sentences? His formative years in the acute observance of men in conditions of civil war in Spain? His outwardly gregarious love of danger, women and booze? Forever the participant, forever the observer.


    This is more insight into Hemingway's character than most biographies. I think the short concise sentences definitely do have to do with being an ex-newspaper man. The keen observer rings true too. Mary said something about him translating poetry to prose, which may have been his genius. And he was haunted by the suicide of his father. I believe all the risk-taking was just false brevado to make up for him not actually being a combatant in the Spanish Civil War. Orwell was, and was shot in the throat for his participation. All the hunting and whoring and fishing, and manly conquests and pursuits never made up for that.

    Loved this piece. Nothing like you here, or anywhere else.

  3. #3
    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    Thanks buddy.

    Loved the phrase " translating poetry into prose." You have given me an incentive to use that as a new and hopefully fruitful initiative in future writing.

    Take good care.
    M.

  4. #4
    Original Poster Buh4Bee's Avatar
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    I read this yesterday and I really enjoyed this. You write many moments with a lovely description into this world. I was able to enjoy the story as a reader. It offers many pleasing moments.

  5. #5
    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    Thank you for reading Buh4Bee. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Take good care.

    M.

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