A literary style of wearing false hair on the chest.


A cub reporter with a decent grasp of grammar and spelling

A cub reporter with a decent grasp of grammar and spelling

Hemingway and his conspirators : Hollywood, Scribners and the making of American celebrity culture Lanham, Md. ; Oxford : Rowman & Littlefield, c 1997 Leonard J. Leff United States  History  20th century; Authorship  Marketing Hardcover. xviii, 255 p., 8 p. of plates : ill., ports.; 24cm.  Includes bibliographical references (p.233-239) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

The boy who grew up hunting rabbits and deer grew into the man paid to hunt rhino and brag about it which led to the famous cartoon of the author as Tarzan. Full-length caricature of Hemingway dressed in a loin cloth, applying "herpicide" to his chest. He is seated on a mound of dirt, surrounded by a fish, animal antlers, a sword, a bull's head, and a boxing glove. The drawing may have been intended for the Vanity Fair series, "Private Lives of the Great," and was possibly referring to a 1933 dispute between Hemingway and writer Max Eastman. Evidently, Eastman, in reviewing Hemingway's book questioned the author's sense of his own masculinity. He thought that Hemingway's "macho" themes "suffer at times from that small inward doubt" and "led to a literary style ... of wearing false hair on the chest."

The boy who grew up hunting rabbits and deer grew into the man paid to hunt rhino and brag about it which led to the famous cartoon of the author as Tarzan. Full-length caricature of Hemingway dressed in a loin cloth, applying “herpicide” to his chest. He is seated on a mound of dirt, surrounded by a fish, animal antlers, a sword, a bull’s head, and a boxing glove. The drawing may have been intended for the Vanity Fair series, “Private Lives of the Great,” and was possibly referring to a 1933 dispute between Hemingway and writer Max Eastman. Evidently, Eastman, in reviewing Hemingway’s book questioned the author’s sense of his own masculinity. He thought that Hemingway’s “macho” themes “suffer at times from that small inward doubt” and “led to a literary style … of wearing false hair on the chest.”

Leonard Leff has done something new on Hemingway he has fixed shown how the working author became the professional celebrity and less an artist than a mere cog of the publishing enterprise. By concentrating on the business history of Papa he has done the unexpected — which is to help us recognize anew the uneasy mix of truth and posturing in his work itself. In this account of the complex relationships between a major author and the institution of publishing Leff’s Hemingway is a tragic – if not wholly sympathetic – figure torn between a niggling sense of artistic responsibility and a virtual obsession to reach the broadest audience possible – and get rich quick.

Janet Flanner and Ernest Hemingway, both in uniform, seated reading papers at a table in the Deux Magots cafe in Paris, France

Janet Flanner and Ernest Hemingway, both in uniform, seated reading papers at a table in the Deux Magots cafe in Paris, France

Hemingway and His Conspirators adds significantly to our understanding of both the profession of authorship and the literary marketplace at a crucial stage in their development in the United States and although it does not fully develop the irony of the left seeking both fame and fortune for themselves – and whatever crumbs of social justice might be left for the little people – it is still useful as anecdotal history because it goes behind the scenes to the various rivalries and editorial sagas, as it gives the inside skinny on reviews, film rights and royalties.

Hemingway CastroWe certainly hope that scholars will develop the mine of information so  uncovered by Leff in this volume and show the poseur who was a competent reporter but gave that up for literary pretensions and fame – but mostly for money. Who made a fortune in America while secretly consulting with the Kremlin. Who parlayed a noncombatant injury into having the Navy support his drunken fishing trips before posing in a studio to burnish his reputation as a heroic war reporter. Finally, the man who supported Castro in his war against property while living in a villa that is still used as a fishing resort before coming home and probably, failing to find a reflection in his mirror, sought oblivion at his own hand.

heming03

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