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Turning Over New Leaf

Thursday, May 5, 2011

"Ernesto" - My Favorite Author

EH

In the Spanish speaking world, especially in the former Cuban colony of Key West, he was known everywhere simply as “Ernesto.”

My favorite author, Ernest Hemingway, like him or not, was a legend of the 20th century literary world. There are thousands of tales relating his exploits, and while some are grossly exaggerated, many are accurate. His literature inspired me not only to write, but also to seek adventure throughout my life. I longed to be one of the heroes I grew to admire when I vicariously joined in the journeys of his literary protagonists.

The concept of the “Hemingway Hero” is well-known in the academic and literary world. It does not relate to saving a child from a burning building or jumping on a grenade to save a platoon. It encompasses principles like “grace under pressure,” which ordinary people can practice, heroically.

In Key West, one legend about the author surrounds his favorite bar stool. Apparently, when Hemingway frequented the watering hole of his friend and fishing buddy who owned Sloppy Joe’s Bar (originally located on Greene Street), he sat upon a stool bearing the words in bold letters, “Reserved for Ernest Hemingway.”

The author would sit at his post at various times during a typical day, penning notes in a journal to the delight of tourists and visiting patrons. Business boomed, and his reward was unusual, but fitting for his lifestyle. Upon his exit from the drinking establishment each day, Hemingway drove away with a jeep full of booze, on the house.

Long after his demise, visiting tourists continue to seek an opportunity to sit upon the famous bar stool of the master, but discover, according to the present owners, it was stolen many years ago. However, I don’t believe a word of it. My research fails to reveal any such theft. In my opinion, I sat upon that perch myself once or twice, sipping a club soda, thinking of Papa.

14 comments:

  1. Hemingway is one of my favorites!. Steinbeck is second..They know how to touch my soul.

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  2. KBF: Yes, I agree. Steinbeck is one of my favorites also. The first book I read by him was The Red Pony. Later, I read The Winter of Our Discontent, and I was hooked!

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  3. When I was doing some research for my Vagabond post, Papa's name came up frequently. What a life! What a gift!

    Incidentally, I am having eye surgery in a couple of weeks. My vision has gotten so bad that I have to get about 18" from the screen so I can read! I can hardly wait!

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  4. I haven't read nearly enough Hemingway. I liked "For Whom the Bell Tolls", because of that Spanish connection I always associate him with Orwell who wrote "Homage to Catalonia". Steinbeck is another fantastic American writer who really allows you to get under the skin of the characters he populates his novels with - especially the Joad family!

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  5. Judie: I credit him with giving me the incentive to do so many things in my life. The Sun Also Rises sparked my interest in travel. Good luck with the eye situation. I'm about 20 inches away from the screen myself.

    Akseli: For Whom the Bell Tolls is my favorite novel of all time!

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  6. I can see why you picked Jimmy Buffett music for this post. I think that Hemingway and Buffett would have liked each other. I can see them sitting and shooting the breeze. Wonder how that would have affected the other one's writings. I have no doubt that Hemingway would have inspired Buffett to write at least one song and Buffett likely would have made an interesting character in one of Heminway's novels. Interesting to think about...

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  7. Robin: I didn't think of that link, but you are probably right. I know one of Buffet's original band members. I will try to find out if they ever met. Hemingway died about ten years before Buffet came on the scene, but one never knows.

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  8. This post made me smile, I'm sure you did sit on his bar stool (more than literally) :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

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  9. I have copies of his books everywhere in my house...he is one of my favorites too! Happy Mother's Day celebration this weekend...I'm sure you will have a great weekend...and a happy wife !

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  10. I was a big Hemingway fan in my earlier years. I should go back and read my favorites again. Are you sure that bar stool didn't end up in the corner of your den?

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  11. What a bright and beautiful day to join a blog hop!

    Just popping by to say hello and follow your blog!

    I'm Kat the author/editor of The Vivification of Mrs. Moment (MrsMoment.Com). VMM is a A blossoming community of storytellers weaving true tales about fleeting moments that touch our lives in incalculable ways. Plus, excerpts from my odd little life.

    Stop by, get involved, tell a story, or follow back. We love to welcome new writers into our community.

    Peace and illumination,

    Kat

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  12. Kat: Thank you for the follow! I certainly will join.

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  13. Miriam: Yes I did!

    Karen: Yes, I will, and so will she.

    Galen: Nah, but I know where it is!

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  14. Well I'm so pleased you discovered Ernesto, because if you hadn't, I may not have met you on here .. given the fact that reading his work inpired you to write.
    Now I want to read Ernesto ... what do I read first JJ? Absolutely love the accompanying music to this post .. peaceful :)

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