July 21st – Ernest Hemingway

I think you should learn about writing from everybody who has ever written that has anything to teach you.  – Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois.

After high school Hemingway worked as a reporter for The Kansas City Star before enlisting as an Ambulance driver on the front line in Italy during WWI. He was injured in 1918 and returned home. After the War he again worked writing and editing newspapers. 

In 1921 he married his first wife, Hadley Richardson, and moved to Paris. In addition to his foreign correspondent work, Hemingway wrote and published short stories. His first book, Three Stories and Ten Poems was published in 1925. The first edition had been privately published in a run of 300 copies by Robert McAlmon’s ‘Contact Publishing’ in Paris in 1923. 

In 1925 while living in Paris Hemingway met F. Scott Fitzgerald, who had just published The Great Gatsby. Hemingway liked the novel, and decided his next work would be a novel as well.

In October 1926 The Sun Also Rises, was published. It is considered by many to be his greatest work.  

Hemingway is known for developing the style known as the ‘Iceberg Technique,’ where the writer hides most of the story, like an iceberg shows only its tip, the vast majority of the ice being underwater providing unseen strength. This technique came from his experience as a newspaper journalist, where brevity was urged by space restraints. Describing just key parts in stories allowed readers to become more immersed as they put themselves into the works. A prime example of the ‘Iceberg Technique’ is Hemingway’s short novel, The Old Man and the Sea, published in 1952.

To get his works to the place where they gave just enough information to the reader, Hemingway believed in copious editing and omitting. In With Hemingway: A Year in Key Wet and Cuba that he revised his 1929 novel A Farewell to Arms fifty times. That novel was Hemingway’s first major bestseller.  

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