Note the base of this fountain: a urinal Hemingway acquired from a local Key West bar.
A wall o’ the four wives. A somewhat unsettling group of portraits, perhaps.
Hemingway at the helm.
A treatise on the Iceberg Theory.
A movie featuring Hemingway and wife no. 3, American novelist, travel writing, and journalist Martha Gellhorn.
Love these posters for the movie adaptations of Hemingway’s novels.
A tribute to Hemingway’s love for big game hunting.
Hemingway’s bed, custom-made to accommodate his large size. The headboard is an antique Spanish gate.
A snapshot of Hemingway’s writing room above the carriage house (and the iron grate that protects the room from wayward tourists).
Stairs up to Hemingway’s writing hideaway.
A portable typewriter, like those Hemingway might have taken on his adventures.
A tribute to one of Hemingway’s favorite pursuits, discovered in Key West: sport fishing.
Hemingway’s home was one of the first in the Florida Keys to have running water.
This pool, upon completion in 1938, cost $20,000 in the currency of the day. (Or, approximately $350,000 today.) It was the only in-ground pool within 100 miles when built, and was dug out of the solid coral that comprises the island.
Hubby and me, proving we were there.
Another shot of Hemingway’s writing getaway. Note to nods to his passions: writing, books, fishing, and big game hunting.
As always, a nod to Hemingway house’s horde of feline residents.
A snapshot of Hemingway’s house, way back when.
I’m a sucker for this sun-licked wrap-around porch.
Entrance to Hemingway’s house.
A few pieces of Hemingway’s private library. Most of his books reside in Cuba.
Hemingway’s house is famous for its polydactyl cats. Not all of the approximately 50 cats now resident there have manifested this gene, but all are carriers.
“The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” one of the stories inspired by Hemingway’s hunting expeditions.
Cat standing guard over Hemingway’s writing room.
In my last post, I mentioned that I was recently in Key West, soaking up the sea and much longed-for time with family. I got to swim in turquoise waters, stuff myself silly with seafood, and wander streets lined with tropical trees and homes that, to my untrained eye, blended the beach architecture of my childhood with southern-Victorian and Spanish styles.
But of course, no writer’s visit to Key West would be complete without a stop at one house in particular: The Hemingway Home and Museum.
I’m always a bit embarrassed to admit this–after all, I have a Masters in English and American literature–but I haven’t actually read all that much Hemingway. I did read his “Hills like White Elephants,” a short story that exemplifies Hemingway’s Iceberg Theory (the concept of writing around a particular subject–here abortion–without ever explicitly naming it). But my research emphasis in my degree was Romantic, Victorian, and Post-Colonial British literature, and Early American and 19th-century literature. Chronologically-speaking, Hemingway came a little too late for me.
But a few years ago, I picked up Paula McLain’s historical, Hemingway-themed novel, The Paris Wife. Obviously, this book is A) fiction (and therefore, a not-necessarily-rigidly-factual interpretation of history) and B) more focused on Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley Richardson, than Hemingway himself.
Continue reading “Key West: Hangin’ with Hemingway”
While poking around on Gloria Chao’s blog, I found the following quote in a writing-journey-related guest post by Meredith Ireland:
“My first thank you is to my husband for putting up with my bathrobe clad, coffee mug holding, writer self. His faith in me never wavered even when mine did.”
I wish the picture Ireland paints here was an exaggeration. But given the fact that I didn’t brush my teeth on Saturday until 2 PM because I was too busy writing, I can’t protest too loudly.
So instead, I’ll underline and boldface that “thank you.” I know living with someone who talks to characters like they’re real, and
sometimes frequently constantly frets about whether she’s talented enough to make this whole “writing thing” work (no matter how many publication credits I’ve accumulated) can’t be fun. But Baby, you handle it with panache.
This week at the Consulate, one of the local Chinese staff complimented my handwriting. She said it was beautiful, then added (incredibly sweetly): “Just like you!”
I’m not sure such glowing praise was warranted, but it led to my friend sharing with me one of China’s ancient idioms:
Zì rú qí rén.
Or, in its more stunning native script:
Translation? “The character is like the person.”
In other words: Someone’s writing, the physical style of their words, is a reflection of the author’s being. Beautiful writing evidences a beautiful psyche; strained writing is the exterior reflection of a tormented interior. Continue reading “Calligraphy & Character”