Ernest Hemingway to F. Scott Fitzgerald: “Kiss My Ass”

HemingwayFitz

So everyone knows Hemingway was a bruiser. Some of the best stories of his macho posturing involve fellow writers. There was, of course, that time he and Wallace Stevens slugged it out in Key West. I’ve been told Stevens asked for it, drunkenly telling Hemingway’s sister Ursula that her brother wrote like a little boy. I don’t know whose version of the story this comes from, but by all accounts, Hemingway knocked the bear of a poet down several times. The two made up soon after. Then there’s the story of Hemingway and James Joyce; the diminutive Irish writer apparently hid behind his pugnacious friend when trouble loomed.

There are many other such yarns, I’m sure, but one I’ve just learned of shows us a much more passive-aggressive side of Papa H. As the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library blog informs us, Hemingway once sent F. Scott Fitzgerald a typescript of A Farewell to Arms. Fitzgerald sent back ten pages of edits and comments, signing off with “A beautiful book it is!” You can see Hemingway’s first reaction above (signed EH). In later drafts, it seems, he took some of Fitzgerald’s advice to heart.

via @matthiasrascher

Related Content:

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James Joyce in Paris: “Deal With Him, Hemingway!”

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Washington, DC. Follow  him @jdmagness



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by | Permalink | Comments (8) |

  • James King

    Then of course there’s the time Hemingway got his own pugnacious ass handed to him by a little Canadian writer of some minor merit called Morley Callaghan.

    You can read about it here:http://www.thesweetscience.com/article-archive/2004/1279-ernest-hemingway-literary-giant-and-boxing-pretender

    Callaghan went on to outlive both Fitzgerald and Hemingway, he died in Toronto in, I think, 1990…

  • Ed Desautels

    I like the Burroughs quote about Hemingway, something along the lines of, “Regrettably, Hemingway chose to live out the least interesting aspects of his fiction.”

  • Rc

    Like landing on D-Day?

  • Luke

    Ed Desautels and Burroughs, kiss my ass!

  • Sowhut

    One thing is sure, he never started a sentence with the word “so.” A true genius.

  • Michael Morse

    Hemingway’s pugilistics are about as interesting as Jack Dempsey’s fiction..

  • disqus_KxAHnCo4Tu

    Hemingway was a fine writer if not a gentleman. F Scott Fitzgerald was a snibling whiner, a wastrel and a decadent. My worst English class in college was the semester we had to study “Great Gatsby”…paragraph by paragraph….it was a “Great Waste” of my college life….

  • Simon Evans

    - there’s nothing wrong with a little (or a lot) of decadence, you know. As for all this ‘Thomas the tank engine’ pugilism – only proves that they believe actions speak louder than words, maybe they do to imbeciles – Proust said men judge each other by their actions (and presumably not by their words) but it is all a matter of volume – you know ? Quantity, not quality.

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