Hemingway’s softer side is revealed
Next month, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum will display a number of letters written by Ernest Hemingway to Gianfranco Ivancich, a man he met in a bar in Venice, Italy in 1949, and remained in touch with up through 1960.
Famously itinerant, Hemingway wrote the letters to Ivancich from a variety of locales, all of which were instrumental in various works of his: Paris, (A Moveable Feast), Madrid, (The Sun Also Rises), and Kilimanjaro (The Snows of Kilimanjaro), to name a few.
Though there's nothing ground-breaking in them in terms of content, the letters do show a decidedly candid, even playful side to Papa's otherwise hirsute personality. One letter in particular goes into (for Hemingway) great confessional detail about having to mercy-kill a beloved cat of his named Will that had been hit by a car. When some tourists appear out of nowhere at the same moment and are told by a foolhardy guide that they are about to witness the tears of Ernest Hemingway, Hemingway reports to Ivancich in his classically terse fashion, "I humiliated him as he should be humiliated, omit details."
You can't make this stuff up.
The letters will be revealed at the Hemingway Foundation/PEN New England Awards Ceremony on April 1st. The winner, by the way, of this year's award was Teju Cole for Open City.