Ernest Hemingway

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Hemingway, around 1953

Ernest Miller Hemingway ( [ˈɜːnɪst ˈmɪlə ˈhɛmɪŋwɛɪ] ( BE ) or [ˈɜrnɪst ˈmɪɫəʳ ˈhɛmɪŋweɪ] ( AE ); born July 21, 1899 in Oak Park , Illinois ; † July 2, 1961 in Ketchum , Idaho ) was one of the most successful and well-known US -american writer of the 20th century. In 1953 he received the Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Old Man and the Sea and in 1954 the Nobel Prize for Literature .

Hemingway was not only active as a writer, but was also a reporter and war correspondent , adventurer, deep-sea fisherman and big game hunter at the same time, which is reflected in his work. From 1921 to 1927 he worked as a European correspondent for the Toronto Star and other magazines in Paris . During this time he also met other important representatives of modernism , such as Gertrude Stein , James Joyce , Ezra Pound , TS Eliot and F. Scott Fitzgerald . Hemingway had a very close friendship with the latter.

Hemingway gave expression to the weariness of the Lost Generation . Following the example of Mark Twain and Gertrude Stein, he developed a “modern classicism ”, the trademark of which is a particular barreness of the style. Hemingway's narrative behavior is succinct . He himself justified his style with the so-called iceberg theory .

Ernest Hemingway is the author of a large number of classics in modern American literature . These include, for example, the novels Fiesta , In Another Land and Whom the Hour Strikes , the novella The Old Man and the Sea and short stories such as The End of Something , Cat in the Rain , A Clean, Well-Lit Café or Snow on Kilimanjaro . Hemingway also wrote non-fiction books, including the hunting report The Green Hills of Africa , an essay on bullfighting ( death in the afternoon ), and Paris - A Festival of Life , a reminder of his time in Paris, which appeared posthumously in 1964 .


Birthplace in Oak Park
Hemingway family (1905; Ernest on right)

The Hemingway family were notables of the City of Oak Park. Hemingway's grandfather, Anson T. Hemingway, a decorated Civil War veteran , had made wealth as a real estate agent in Chicago and moved to Oak Park. Hemingway's father, Clarence Edmonds Hemingway , was a country doctor, his mother, Grace Hall Hemingway , daughter of the wealthy knife wholesaler Ernest Miller Hall from Sheffield, England, was an opera singer. Maternal ancestors were the famous musicians and composers Edward Miller (great-great-grandfather) and William Edward Miller (great-grandfather).

Clarence Hemingway was a graduate of Oberlin and Rush Medical College and had a distinguished practice as a general practitioner and obstetrician. In 1911 he was elected President of the Oak Park Medical Society.

From 1913 to 1917 Ernest Hemingway attended Oak Park High School . At the age of eighteen, he began his career as a local reporter for the Kansas City Star in Kansas City in 1917 .

Hemingway in Milan in 1918
Ernest, Hadley, and John ("Bumby") Hemingway in Schruns , 1925

First World War

During the First World War , Hemingway volunteered as a driver for the Red Cross in the spring of 1918 and came to the Italian front . On July 8, the 18-year-old was during the second Piaveschlacht in Fossalta di Piave severely wounded (Veneto) by a grenade and after five-day stay at the field hospital, where his steel splinters out operated from a leg for six months in a hospital in Milan moved . He was the second American to be wounded on the Italian front. He lay there for three more months and fell unhappily in love with the nurse Agnes von Kurowsky, an American from Washington, DC He dealt with his love and experiences at the front in 1929 in his novel In Another Land . He returned to Oak Park in 1919 and lived in Michigan from July through December . He then went to Toronto , where he was a reporter for the Toronto Star and from the fall of 1920 police reporter in Chicago .

Parisian years

On September 3, 1921, he married Hadley Richardson, whom he had met in Chicago, and moved with her to Paris in December 1921 , where he began to work as the Europe correspondent for the Toronto Star . In Paris he dedicated himself to writing, making the acquaintance of other Americans living there, including F. Scott Fitzgerald , Gertrude Stein and Ezra Pound . During this time, Stein coined the term “lost generation ”. How it came about, Hemingway describes in retrospect in his memoirs A Moveable Feast ( Paris - A festival for life ) . Stein and Pound taught him the art of omission and looked through his texts. Hemingway reciprocated by correcting Stein's work and teaching Pound boxing. In 1923, Stein and her partner Alice B. Toklas became the godmothers of his firstborn son John. The friendship with Stein broke up in 1926. Hemingway, Hadley and their son spent two winters (1924/1925 and 1925/1926) in Schruns in the Austrian Montafon , where he wrote his novel Fiesta and short stories. On December 25, 1925, Pauline Pfeiffer , a wealthy fashion editor and model , came to visit the Montafon. She stayed for several months; an affair with Hemingway began.

In 1927 he divorced Hadley and married Pauline Pfeiffer according to the Catholic rite. In the same year he achieved his breakthrough with Fiesta , which was partly due to his then fashionable, straightforward, concise, simplified style. Hemingway adopted this style from Sherwood Anderson , Ford Madox Ford, and Gertrude Stein; it is characterized by short statements . He later justified his economic notation with his own poetological approach, the so-called iceberg model .

After six years in Paris, during which Hemingway made the transition from journalist to writer, he and his new wife returned to the USA in the spring of 1928.

Joris Ivens (left) with Ernest Hemingway (center) and Ludwig Renn in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War

Key West

From 1928 he lived in Key West for a decade . His former home on Whitehead Street now houses a Hemingway Museum .

In 1933, Hemingway, who learned to hunt and fish at an early age and loved the outdoors, went on a big game safari in Kenya and Tanzania . The safari was led by the big game hunters Baron Bror von Blixen-Finecke , husband of Karen Blixen , and Philip Percival . It is certain that Blixen-Finecke and Philip Percival together formed the model for the character of Robert Wilson, the white hunter in the short story The Brief Happy Life of Francis Macomber . Blixen-Finecke was more the character, Philip the appearance. It was also Philip who had told Hemingway the story one night by the fire.

In 1934 Hemingway bought a twelve-meter fishing boat that he named Pilar and went sailing the Caribbean . In 1935 he first visited Bimini , a group of islands in the Bahamas , where he spent a lot of time.

21 years in Cuba

After the divorce from his second wife Pauline Pfeiffer, Ernest Hemingway lived with his third wife in Cuba from 1939. The couple acquired the Finca La Vigía estate in San Francisco de Paula, southeast of Havana (later incorporated) , near the capital . Ernest Hemingway moved in there in 1939 with his third wife, the journalist Martha Gellhorn . In Havana, he was a regular at the El Floridita bar , where a bronze statue of him stands. Hemingway is still revered in Cuba today: there are museums, literary festivals and coins dedicated to the Nobel Prize winner.

During his time in Cuba, Hemingway undertook numerous trips abroad, which he addressed in his works. During a stay in Venice in December 1948, Hemingway met Adriana Ivancich , then 18 years old . He fell in love with the young woman who inspired him to write the novel Across the River and Into the Forests . The platonic love story, which was accompanied by extensive correspondence and seriously strained the writer's marriage, lasted until 1955. In 1954, Hemingway stayed in Uganda . There he survived two plane crashes on consecutive days, seriously injured.

Hemingway lived on his Cuban estate for a total of two decades, from 1939 to 1960. From 1945 together with his fourth wife. Mary Welsh, the fourth and last wife, gave the finca to the Cuban state after his death .

Last residence: Ketchum

Hemingway's health deteriorated noticeably in the late 1950s. Therefore, the couple decided to return to the United States for better treatment options. In addition, relations between Cuba and the United States had deteriorated after the Cuban revolution , and the US embassy advised the Nobel Prize winner to leave the country. In 1959, Hemingway bought a country house in Ketchum, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains . Hemingway knew the adjacent Sun Valley from numerous vacations. On July 25, 1960, Hemingway and his wife Mary visited Finca Vigía in Cuba for the last time and relocated permanently to Ketchum in the Idaho mountains .

Diseases and death

Depression and excessive alcohol consumption have been with him for most of his life. Some authors attribute the clinical picture of bipolar disorder to Hemingway (and his father) . In the same year he stayed in Spain for several months, where his illness worsened. He experienced a persistent state of depression and severe exhaustion. In October he returned to Idaho from Spain in bad shape.

Eventually Hemingway was admitted to various hospitals. At the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota he received medication , but also electroconvulsive therapy - fifteen applications in December 1960 alone. Further treatments with electrical pulses during a second visit to the Mayo Clinic did not help him either. In late June 1961, Hemingway was discharged home from the hospital (arriving in Ketchum on June 30). In the early morning of July 2, 1961, Hemingway ended his life himself at the age of 61. He shot himself - like his father in December 1928. He had long referred to the shotgun used as his “smooth, brown lover”. Hemingway's grave is in Ketchum Cemetery , next to that of his wife Mary and two of his sons.

Reception and meaning

Ernest Hemingway is one of the most widely read authors of the 20th century. With his laconic style, he was a style-forming element for a whole generation of authors. The hunting , deep sea fishing, boxing and especially the bullfighting fascinated him, which is also reflected in his oeuvre. His literary heroes are typical examples of the Lost Generation ; they try to cope with their lives and bear their fate with composure, which Hemingway's terse writing style emphasizes.

War reporter

Hemingway (left) as a war reporter with Colonel Charles Trueman Lanham (center), Schweiler (Eifel) 1944

Hemingway remained a reporter after the First World War. For example, he reported on the Greco-Turkish War , from Germany on the occupation of the Ruhr and on the Spanish Civil War . During the stay in Spain , a historical non-fiction book about the art of bullfighting was created under the impression of a stay in Ronda Tod am afternoon . On World War II he took, u. a. participated in the Battle of the Bulge , as war correspondent . For a time he switched to the active side and led a small group of resistance fighters in Rambouillet in a controversial role as commander or advisor . In August 1944 he witnessed the liberation of Paris . As a war reporter, Hemingway observed the battle in the Huertgen Forest in November 1944 . The cruel fighting on the German western front near Aachen led the American to change his view of the world that had previously glorified war.

Hemingway claims in a posthumously published letter that he killed 122 German soldiers in both world wars. At another post office he pretends to have killed a prisoner of war with several shots. Because of the rumors of war crimes , Hemingway was questioned by a commission, which, however, exonerated him. An expert opinion by the University of Hamburg from 2008 also came to the conclusion that the relevant letter passages were “ fictional ” statements. Nevertheless, Hemingway's letters had given cause for discussion before the report was available: The city of Triberg in the Black Forest canceled the planned “Hemingway Days” festival in 2002 after public pressure. In Schruns in Montafon there were temporary protests against the erection of a Hemingway monument.

Nobel Prize Winner

Ernest Hemingway hunted with African Buffalo in 1953 in Africa
Hemingway's desk in Key West

On October 28, 1953, Hemingway received the Pulitzer Prize and in 1954 the Nobel Prize for Literature , which was largely due to the re-evaluation of his previous work and as a result of the publication of The Old Man and the Sea . The novella takes place in Hemingway's adopted home Cuba .

Political position

The question of his political positioning was controversially discussed among Hemingway's biographers. Some consider him a “deliberately apolitical” author, others clearly assign him to the left-wing camp.

In 1936, Hemingway allowed himself to be elected to the presidium of the anti-fascist “Congress of Writers in Defense of Culture” ( Congrès international des écrivains pour la défense de la culture ) in Paris, which, as was only later known, was partially financed by Moscow . But he did not take part in the congress or in the further work of the Presidium. In his publications on the Spanish Civil War, he took sides with the fighters against Franco's troops , but showed no sympathy for left-wing organizations or dogmas.

During the Second World War, according to files from the American secret service OSS , Hemingway agreed to pass on his findings to the OSS on a trip to China. But after the war, the FBI accused him of being a communist or at least sympathizing with the communists. The Washington resident of the Soviet secret service MGB, however, suspected Hemingway of Trotskyism and reported to Moscow in 1948 that the latter had carried out "attacks on the Soviet Union".

Posthumous publications

After his death, numerous manuscripts from his estate were published. Including Paris - A Festival for Life (1964), Islands in the Stream (1970) and The Garden of Eden (1986). His book The Truth in the morning light (True at First Light) was published in 1999 posthumously. In it, Hemingway describes his last safari in Kenya, which he undertook in 1953 with his fourth wife Mary and his son Patrick.



  • Father: Clarence Hemingway (1871-1928)
  • Mother: Grace Hall (1872–1951)


  • Marcelline Hemingway (1898-1963)
  • Ursula Hemingway (1902–1966)
  • Madelaine Hemingway (1904-1995)
  • Carol Hemingway (1911-2002)
  • Leicester Hemingway (1915-1982)

Not only did Ernest Hemingway die by suicide , but also three of the above family members - the father, sister Ursula, and brother Leicester. 35 years after Ernest, his granddaughter Margaux, actress and model, also committed suicide as the fifth.


  • 1st marriage (⚭ September 3, 1921): Elizabeth Hadley Richardson (1891–1979)
  • 2nd marriage (⚭ May 10, 1927): Pauline Pfeiffer (1895–1951)
    • Patrick Hemingway (* 1928)
    • Gloria Hemingway (1931-2001), prior to gender reassignment Gregory Hemingway
  • 4th marriage (⚭ March 14, 1946): Mary Welsh (1908–1986)


Novels and short story collections

Selected short stories

Selected German editions


Filmography (selection)

Based on Hemingway works

About Hemingway

  • 1987: Hemingway . Four-part television film by Bernhard Sinkel with Stacy Keach , Marisa Berenson , Josephine Chaplin and Pamela Reed . Golden Globe Award for Stacy Keach.
  • 1996: In Love and War . Feature film with Chris O'Donnell and Sandra Bullock - This tells the years of World War I in which Hemingway was injured. The film's producer, Dimitri Villard, is the son of Henry S. Villard, a comrade of Hemingway.
  • 1999: Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure. Four-part documentary with Michael Palin , who visits the various stages in Hemingway's life and tries to get a little closer to his life.
  • 2005: In the middle of life - Ernest Hemingway. (OT: Ernest Hemingway: Rivers to the Sea. ) Documentation, Germany, France, 2005, 80 min., Director: Dewitt Sage, production: arte , BR , summary by arte.
  • 2005: The Curse of the Hemingways. Documentation, Germany, 58 min., Script and direction: Clarissa Ruge and Karin Davison, production: BR , Tangram, WDR , summary by arte. (Grandson John Hemingway asks why the Hemingways took their own lives so often.)
  • 2012: 적도 의 남자 - The Equator Man . Korean TV series on KBS2 with Uhm Tae Woong, Lee Joon Hyuk, Lee Bo Young and Im Jung Eun. Quotations from Hemingway are repeated throughout the series. The female lead, Lee Bo Young, has the nickname 헤밍 씨 - Ms. Heming.
  • 2012: Hemingway & Gellhorn , TV film with Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman , directed by Philip Kaufman
  • 2014: Heming: way out , play by Martin Kolozs about the suicide of the Nobel Laureate , premier May 3, 2014 in Innsbruck (Austria)



  • Georges-Albert Astre: Hemingway. Ernest Hemingway portrayed in self-testimonies and photo documents by Georges-Albert Astre. Rowohlt Verlag, Reinbek near Hamburg 1961 (with additions. Ibid 1983, ISBN 3-499-50073-6 ).
  • Ernest Hemingway. In: Rüdiger Barth , Marc Bielefeld: Wild poets. The greatest adventurers in world literature. Malik, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-89029-300-4 , p. 227 ff.
  • Thomas Fuchs: Hemingway: a man with style. Mare-Verlag, Hamburg 2014, ISBN 978-3-86648-208-1
  • Ilja Ehrenburg : The famous Ehrenburg memoirs. People years of life. Volume 2. Kindler, Munich 1965, ISBN 3-463-00512-3 ( Kindler special edition ), pp. 458–468 (portrait) and 523 (bullfight)
  • Gert Heidenreich , C. Bernd Sucher , Irina Ries: Ernest Hemingway. An introduction to life and work. Argon-Verlag, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-86610-397-9 , 1 CD, 77 min., Audio book.
  • Rolf Hochhuth : death of a hunter. Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 1976, ISBN 3-499-25068-3 .
  • Aaron E. Hotchner: Papa Hemingway. A personal portrait. Econ-und-List-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-612-26651-9 .
  • Dietrich Jäger : The representation of the fight in Stephen Crane, Hemingway, Faulkner and Britting . In: Paul Gerhard Buchloh et al. (Ed.): American stories from Hawthorne to Salinger - interpretations. Kiel Contributions to English and American Studies , Volume 6. Karl Wachholtz Verlag Neumünster 1968, pp. 112–154.
  • Jobst C. Knigge : Hemingway and the Germans. Dr. Kovac, Hamburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-8300-4707-0 ( Writings on the history of literature 10).
  • Kenneth S. Lynn: Hemingway. A biography. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1991, ISBN 3-499-13032-7 .
  • Kurt Müller: Ernest Hemingway. The person - the writer - the work. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1999, ISBN 3-534-12341-7 .
  • Martina Pfeiffer: Aspects of the grotesque in Ernest Hemingway's short stories. Tectum Verlag, Marburg 2005, ISBN 3-8288-8797-X .
  • Hans-Peter Rodenberg: Ernest Hemingway. Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 1999, ISBN 3-499-50626-2 .
  • Paul Hendrickson Hemingway's Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost, 1934-1961. Hardcover by Knopf Publishing Group (September 20, 2011).
  • Amanda Vaill: Hotel Florida. Truth, Love and Treason in the Spanish Civil War. Translated from the English by Susanne Held. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2015, ISBN 978-3-60894-915-5 .
  • James M. Hutchisson: Ernest Hemingway: a new life. The Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park, Pennsylvania [2016], ISBN 978-0-271-07534-1 .
  • Lesley MM Blume: And everyone is misbehaving How Hemingway made his legend. dtv 2016, ISBN 978-3-423-28109-6 .
  • Mary V. Dearborn: Ernest Hemingway: a biography , New York: Vintage Books, September 2018, ISBN 978-0-525-56361-7
  • Konstantin Simonow: Thoughts on Hemingway (1973). From: Experiences with literature. Published by Nyota Thun. Verlag Volk und Welt, Berlin 1984.
  • Dan Simmons : Fiesta in Havana. Novel. Goldmann, Munich 2000, ISBN 3-442-54126-3 ( Goldmann 54126 Manhattan ), (AKA The Crook Factory , 1999; novelistic depiction of Hemingway's submarine hunting around Cuba during the Second World War attacks, thematically Islands in the Stream on ).
  • Leonardo Padura: Adios Hemingway. Kriminalroman, Unionsverlag Zurich 2006, ISBN 978-3-293-20614-4 ; Hemingway's last months crime thriller.

Web links

Wikisource: Ernest Hemingway  - Sources and full texts
Commons : Ernest Hemingway  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Commons : Ernest Hemingway House  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files



Individual evidence

  1. Der Brockhaus, Universal Lexikon, Volume 8, Leipzig 2007, p. 3114.
  2. Abitur knowledge Weltbild Kolleg, literature. Edited by Gernabb Stadler and Karl Dickopf. Weltbild Verlag, Augsburg 1997.
  3. ^ Hans-Peter Rodenberg: Ernest Hemingway. Pp. 10-13.
  4. ^ Hans-Peter Rodenberg: Ernest Hemingway. P. 150.
  5. Hemingway is badly wounded
  6. Where Hemingway narrowly escaped death
  7. Hans-Peter Rodenberg: Ernest Hemingway , pp. 24-34.
  8. ^ Hans-Peter Rodenberg: Ernest Hemingway. Pp. 24-37.
  9. Hans-Peter Rodenberg: Ernest Hemingway , p. 38 f, 150.
  10. Bernd Steinle: The old man and the snow. in: , March 13, 2015.
  11. Jeffrey Meyers: Hemingway. A biography. Macmillan, New York 1985, ISBN 978-0-333-42126-0 , p. 280.
  12. Megan Floyd Desnoyers: Ernest Hemingway: A Storyteller's Legacy . John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Online Resources. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  13. 5 pesos - in front Cuba, in back Hemingway
  14. ^ Jobst C. Knigge: Hemingway's Venetian Muse Adriana Ivancich. Humboldt University Berlin 2011 (open access).
  15. For example: Neel Burton, Matthias Reiss: Der Sinn des Wahnsinns. Understanding mental disorders , p. 137 (online)
  16. Jeffrey Meyers: Hemingway. A biography. New York 1985, pp. 547-551.
  17. Hans-Peter Rodenberg: Ernest Hemingway , p. 12.
  18. ^ Die Zeit, No. 44, October 25, 2012, p. 13.
  19. Wolfgang Stock: The grave of Ernest Hemingway , in, from July 2, 2019
  20. ^ Danny Parker: Battle of the Bulge. Da Capo Press, Cambridge (MA) 2004, ISBN 978-0-306-81391-7 , pp. 312-314 (there also picture).
  21. Thomas Putnam: Hemingway on War and Its Aftermath. In: Prologue Magazine , 1/2006 .
  22. Wolfgang Stock: In the Hürtgenwald, Ernest Hemingway desperately at war In: Hemingways Welt , November 2, 2019
  23. Hemingway on June 2, 1950 to Arthur Mizener.
  24. “The allegations have now been refuted by an expert report by the University of Hamburg commissioned by the municipality, and the writer's descriptions were therefore fictional. Hemingway's statements "almost certainly came from the imagination of the aging poet," it says. "In: APA , March 26, 2008; quoted According to Der Standard and Vorarlberg Online : Schruns receives Ernest Hemingway monument. March 26, 2008
    Hans-Peter Rodenberg, University of Hamburg: Expert opinion on the allegation of war crimes committed by the American writer Ernest Hemingway. ( Memento from January 30, 2012 in the Internet Archive ), Hamburg, October 26, 2007, PDF , 5.4 MB, 9 pp.
  25. NN : Ernest Hemingway: "I like to kill". Focus , No. 39, 2006, p. 74.
  26. e.g. Michael Reynolds: The Young Hemingway. Oxford 1986, p. 194.
  27. E.g. Kenneth Kinnamon: Hemingway and Politics. In: The Cambridge Companion to Ernest Hemingway. Ed. Scott Donaldson. Cambridge 1996, pp. 149-169.
  28. Boris Frezinskij: Pisateli i sovetskie voždi. Moscow 2008, p. 456.
  29. Elizabeth Roberts: "Freedom, Faction, Fame and Blood": British Soldiers of Conscience in Greece, Spain and Finland. Brighton / Portland / Toronto 2010, p. 130.
  30. ^ John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr, Alexander Vassiliev: Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America. Yale 2009, pp. 152-155.
  31. ^ Publishing FBI File on Hemingway. New York Times Book Review , March 11, 1983.
  32. ^ Allen Weinstein, Alexander Vassiliev: The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America - the Stalin Era. New York 2000, p. 273.
  33. ^ In The Essential Hemingway collection, first published in Great Britain in 1947 by Jonathan Cage , which was later reissued in various paperback editions by the Random House publishing group, however, 1928 is mentioned as the year Men Without Women was first published.
  34. ^ Hans Peter Rodenberg: Ernest Hemingway. Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag, Reinbek bei Hamburg 2011, p. 28
  35. ^ Hans Peter Rodenberg: Ernest Hemingway. Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag, Reinbek bei Hamburg 2011, p. 28
  36. The Russian writer and war correspondent met Hemingway during the Spanish war and remained friends with him.