This is the next in a series on writers and poets who were affected by World War One.
July 21, 1899, in a Chicago suburb
Hemingway lived a privileged life throughout childhood. As a high school student, he participated in sports and took a journalism course that led to working on the school newspaper. It was this experience that helped him fine-tune his writing skills.
He graduated in 1917 and went to work for The Kansas City Star as a reporter.
World War One:
When the U.S. entered World War One, Hemingway was rejected by the army because of his eyesight, so he volunteered to become a Red Cross ambulance driver. He served on the Italian front witnessing the horrors of war.
In the summer of 1918, he was wounded and spent several months in the hospital. While there, he met and fell in love with a Red Cross nurse. He wanted to marry her, but she became engaged to an Italian officer. This event is credited for Hemingway’s poor relationships with his four wives; he didn’t want to be hurt again.
A Farwell to Arms is based on Hemingway’s experiences in Europe.
Returning home in 1919, he accepted a job as a foreign correspondent with The Toronto Star.
In the 1920s, Hemingway would live for a time in Paris. There he would meet other writers including Gertrude Stein who coined the term Lost Generation to describe those who came of age during the war. Hemingway used this term in his novel The Sun Also Rises.
July 2, 1961, in Idaho of suicide.
In the final days of his life, Hemingway was overcome with depression and anxiety, which he was hospitalized for, as well as medical problems. Over the course of four generations, there have been seven suicides in the Hemingway family.
If you’re curious about the Hemingway family’s struggle with depression, you can read an interview Ernest’s granddaughter, actress Mariel Hemingway, had with Salon here.
What is your favorite Ernest Hemingway work? Leave a comment below.
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