Tag: ErnestHemingway

Hemingway’s ‘The Old Man And The Sea’ Adapted For Stage By Lifelong Friend


Ernest Hemingway coined the termed “the iceberg theory” which refers to an understated style of writing that concerns itself with surface elements in a story rather than the more preachy approach. In other words, Hemingway respected the intellect of his readers—we can see what’s beneath on our own. This is perhaps one of the reasons the man became so popular, this and his larger than life persona. One could argue that it was his relationship with the world that catered to his relatability and universal appeal. His most notable works are The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell To Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea. The latter, for which Hemingway won the Pulitzer and Noble prize in the 1950s has just been adapted into a play by someone who used to fish with Master Hem himself.

Image Via Theguardian.com

AE Hotchner, a friend and longtime biographer of Hemingway’s during the time in which The Old Man and the Sea was written, promised Ernest he would adapt the novella before he died. The story goes, Hemingway went to see the 1958 John Sturges film version of his book with Hotchner and was dissatisfied (this is a nice word). In a recent interview, Hotchner described Hemingway’s reaction to the film:

“He said, ‘You know, you write a book that you really like and then they do something like that to it, and it’s like pissing in your father’s beer’,” Hotchner said. (Hemingway reserved this particular turn of phrase for a handful of hated adaptations of his work, he said.)

The film was miscast and lacked the novella’s vision. Hemingway asked his friend to take a “crack at it” and now, at 101 years old, Hotchner finally has. The subtext of The Old Man and the Sea more or less has to do with success; while writing The Old Man and the Sea, Hemingway was under a lot of pressure to reclaim his former glory. In the same way that the fisherman Santiago is after his marlin, Master Hem was after the reaffirmation of his own creativity and self-worth. This part of the story was not conveyed as well in the film adaption, it is the part that AE Hotchner wishes to accentuate on stage. He promised his friend he would.

Image Via cdapress.com

Some people define legacy as the things we leave behind; our relationships, work, and the impression we make on people. It’s easy to get distracted by our careers as we become obsessed with superficial things like money, fame and the fruitless pursuit of immortality. What we can all can take away from Hotchner’s life-long devotion to his friend is a blissful sense of pride in the only immortal thing that has ever existed; beneath it all—the sanctity of human connection. And now, after making a version of Master Hem’s tale for a new audience (not the annoyed teenagers in Mrs. Gross’s high school English class), Hotchner feels he’s honored the connection he once formed with a friend.


chandler bing hug GIF

Image Via Giphy.com

The play opens at Point Park University’s Pittsburgh Playhouse on February 1st.



Featured Image Via Amazon


Bookstr Writers, Take Hemingway’s Challenge and Create Your Six-Word Stories!

There’s a common saying that goes, “Let’s make a long story short”. Though being neat is a good thing, for some people it’s a big challenge because it takes your organization skills and language sensitivity. In literary history, there was a frontiersman who was good at this—Ernest Hemingway. 



He’s a literary legend. While having dinner with his fellow writers and friends of the famous Algonquin Round Table in NYC, Ernest Hemingway made a bet that he could write a story in just six words. His friends didn’t believe it and bet that he couldn’t do it. Without saying further words, the old man grabbed a pen and a napkin and wrote:



For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.



Every writer went silent on the spot and, since then, the challenge of the “six-word story” has pranced through the history of writing. William Faulkner once said that, “I’m a failed poet. Maybe every novelist wants to write poetry first, finds he can’t, and then tries the short story, which is the most demanding form after poetry. And, failing at that, only then does he take up novel writing.” What Faulkner tried to say is that making a long story short while keeping its vividness and imagery is challenging. 



But, being challenging doesn’t mean it can’t be written. In fact, after Hemingway, there’re a lot of good pieces of six-word stories written by the other famous authors: “Longed for him. Got him. Shit.” by Margaret Atwood and “All those pages in the fire.” by Janet Burroway.



As a Bookstr fan, you can do it too! Though there’re a volcano of platforms that encourage you to submit your stories, here I would like to share a recent one that you should not miss.




Image Via armidale



“Six of the Best” is a second-year six-word story contest held by Armidale War Memorial Library, in Australia, in order to celebrate the comprehension of storytelling and mastery of brevity. Last year’s inaugural event had absorbed more than 350 submissions.


Armidale Library manager Ian Greenhalgh said that,


Everyone has an interesting story to tell and we hope many of them come to light for “Six of the Best.” Like many great games, the task of writing such a short story makes it both easy to get involved but also a great challenge to master. Each word must be carefully chosen to create a compelling tale.



Here’s some 2017 winning pieces, check them out:


  • Her apology brought shame to everyone. Su Woodward
  • He was a girl at school. Sooz Heinrich
  • She was never considered a scientist. Lou Goggin
  • Her last words were her first. Jess Cochrane
  • “Hi.” She walked away, unnoticed, unharmed. Kate Andrews
  • The peephole revealed an imaginary life. Kate Andrews
  • That bag is ticking. Call Martin. William Bennett
  • Sadly, no bridges left to burn. Ben Gooley



The deadline of submission will be on September 28th and winners will be announced on October 15th. For more detail info, please go to their website here!




Ok, I am ready, are you?





Featured Image Via Signature Reads; seasoned by GT 


5 Literary Relics People Spent WAY Too Much Money On

As we’ve covered before, some literary memorabilia sell for thousands and thousands of dollars. In one insane instance, a Hogwarts Acceptance letter from the first Harry Potter film sold for $40,000. The Harry Potter franchise isn’t the first to sell items from the films for insane amounts of cash. Everything from wallets to toilets to ashes of beloved stars have sold for immense amounts of money. Here are a list of some of the most obscure literary relics sold at auction. 



1. Charles Dickens’s Toothpick



Image Via The Telegraph 


Engraved with his initials and used on his last visit to America, Charles Dickens’s toothpick sold at action in 2009 for $9,150. The tiny object was put up for auction by heirs of the Barnes and Noble family.


2. Harper Lee Taj Mahal Letter



Image Via Nate D. Sanders


Harper Lee wrote a letter to her friend Doris Leapard in August of 1990 with content spanning all sorts of topics from social revolution to novels she was enjoying. At the end of the letter, Lee even apologized for the quality of her typewriter. Her lyrical style seen in To Kill A Mockingbird was used to trash Donald Trump and his Taj Mahal-inspired casino in New Jersey. The letter sold for $3,926 at an auction in New York in 2016. 


3. Sylvia Plath’s Wallet



Image Via Bonhams


A wallet put up for auction included Sylvia Plath’s ID cards including her Boston Public Library, her Poetry Society of America membership card, driver’s license, social security card, and a small photo of Plath with her mother. The wallet sold for $11,669 March 21, 2018. Along with the wallet, some of Plath’s other belongings were also sold including her fishing rod, articles of clothing, and her drawings. 


4. J.D. Salinger’s Toilet



Image Via Writers Write 


The beloved Catcher in the Rye author’s toilet was sold on Ebay with a letter from the present homeowner, confirming that the toilet was formerly owned by the reclusive author. The item came “uncleaned and in its original condition”, as stated in the ad. The toilet sold for $1,000,000, not including cleaning fees. 


5. X-Ray of Ernest Hemingway’s Foot



via Bonhams


The injuries shown in the x-rays Ernest Hemingway would later be detailed in his novel, A Farewell to ArmsThe x-ray remains in its original hospital file folder with labels identifying it as his. The lot included the x-ray of his foot, ankle, and knee where a bullet can clearly be seen. The auction ended on December 7, 2016 with the x-rays selling for $15,000


Featured Image Via William Pitt.

Ernest Hemingway

These Hemingway Letters Prove He Was a Humble Booknerd

The name Ernest Hemingway instantly evokes thoughts of literature and artistry. That could just me be, but the man has certainly had quite a successful past… I mean, he did win the Nobel Prize in Literature. 


Ernest Hemingway

 Image Via History.com

Naturally, you would think a person with this level of fame, success, and talent would be used to it. However, research from Penn State has shown that Hemingway was anything but. The Hemingway Letters Project conducted within Penn State University examined over 6,000 of the author’s outgoing letters. Not to mention uncovering 340 annotated letters which will almost all be published.


Data was collected from letters to his fans which showed the inspiration and support fellow writers gave him. Here’s how he reacted to his own success and the success of those he looked up to:


His response to the fans:


'A Farewell to Arms'

 Image Via Amazon

Upon the release of A Farewell To Arms, the author was shocked by the 101,000 copies sold by the year’s end. This was even after the 1929 stock market crash. The fan mail came pouring in, which Hemingway always responded to with grace and advice to aspiring writers. His humble tone shone through in every letter and he even went as far as to send his books to St. Quentin… at his own expense.


Here’s an excerpt from his letter to novelist Hugh Walpole in December 1929, discussing the wave of attention he clearly wasn’t used to:


When The Sun Also Rises came out there were only letters from a few old ladies who wanted to make a home for me and said my disability would be no drawback and drunks who claimed we had met places. ‘Men Without Women’ brought no letters at all. What are you supposed to do when you really start to get letters?


He even received letters from David Garnett, a writer with connections to Bloomsbury, as well as several artists and authors, including Virginia Woolf.


He remained humble and true to his inspirations:


Ernest Hemingway

 Image Via Copyblogger

David Garnett is often overlooked as a major source of inspiration for Hemingway, but his letters prove otherwise. Through his success, Hemingway remained charmingly humble and grateful for the creation of such a great work and Garnett predicted this. Hemingway couldn’t believe the positive review he left on A Farewell to Arms:


“I hope to god what you say about the book will be true, though how we are to know whether they last I don’t know– But anyway you were fine to say it would.” He continues on and begins to praise Garnett for his novel The Sailor’s Room. “… All I did was to go around wishing to god I could have written it. It is still the only book I would like to have written of all the books since our father’s and mother’s times.”


He makes his excitement to speak with Garnett very clear saying “You have meant very much to me as a writer and now that you have written me that letter I should feel very fine– But instead all that happens is I don’t believe it.”


Penn State really dug into the details of Hemingway’s letters, and it seems that, despite his literary success and everlasting name, he was truly a humble soul. I suppose it’s just another reason to like him even more.




Feature Image Via Ernest Hemingway Collection

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10 Hemingway Quotes That'll Make You Several Inches Taller

Ernest Hemingway: A drinker, a hunter, and an old-fashioned manly man. He had a big beard. He often wrote short sentences with short words in them. He liked simplicity, truth, and also alcohol.


He wrote many things and won many awards for those things he wrote. Now I will condense his many works into ten brief quotations for which he is often remembered. Here are those ten quotations.


1. When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.


2. There is no friend as loyal as a book.


3. I drink to make other people more interesting.


4. Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.


5. The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.


6. I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?


7. Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.


8. You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another.


9. The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.


10. The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.



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Feature Image Via ABC News