tv Ernest Hemingway CSPAN June 10, 2017 11:59pm-12:50am EDT
harry will stick around and sign copies. [inaudible conversations] >> book tv is live today from chicago for at the printes row lit fest, an annual event featuring author discussions an signings. our live coverage this weekend comes from jones college prep high school. you'll hear from many authors, including national book award
winner kennedyy. michael eric dyson, lisa napoli, and many more. we'll kick off the coverage with author mary deash dearborn. biography of ernest hemingway. >> good morning and welcome to the 33rd annual "chicago tribune" printers row lit fest. today's program is being brawled live on c-span2's booktv. we'll have a few minutes for questions at the end of the presentation.
the audience has to line tip microphone to your right. we'll let you know when.li please make sure so silence your cell phones turn off your camera flashes, and with that i'd like to introduce our mid-ator, documentary host, producer and, news anchor, bill curtis. [applause] >> we get right into it, mary. i should have a moment of explanation. you may be expecting three people up here. stacy keach will not be with us today. on opening night, one-man show about ernest hemming we were. he had a heart attack on stage.. it was one of those strange things that that just in his words, created a fog in which he didn't know where he was in the play, and for 50 minutes, being
old school, and the tough hemingway kind of character, he plowed through, trying to find himself. his good friend, the director, bob fold, came in and ended thec show. he win to the hop and whereas diagnosissed with a mild stroke but he is fine now and vows to come back and in 2018. so we'll have to put stacy keach off until then. but mary dearborn, the awe nor a few book called ernest hemingway. she is note for having a streetw in chicago named after her, dearborn. [laughter] >> but she is also a particularly important today because this is the first bioin 15 years, the first written by a woman, the first to explore the
causes -- [applause] -- the era of women, isn't it? there you are. that's the peg. mary, we are all sun fans. wewas -- i lived in oak park, so hemingway and frank lloyd writhe were our two heroes. there has been so much written, it's look the guy telling the old joke. tell me number two. or tell me number three. and they all laugh. but what i would like to do, you have such detail about these heroic moments that we're familiar with. i'd like to ask those, but also some new revelations about his mental illness, suicide, and --
but we'll kind of course the river to that end. can you tell us a little bit about this rather mild upbringing at oak park river high school. he was -- yeah, he was -- it's a great town. i gather it was the first suburb, and one of the first suburbs, but what found so interesting it was he can eqii -- distant between chicago and the des plaines river. so his father would go out to the river and shoot things for dinner. he was on the edge of the wilderness and chicago meant a lot to him. he lived in the city for several years, two years. >> host: he was not particularly a big athlete, was he, in high school. >> no, strangely a lot of things you expect to be part of this hemingway, this mythical hemingway, just aren't there he was terrible at team supports.
didn't really -- he liked boxing. played tennis, which nobodyrr really knows but wasn't particularly go at it. so you don't hear much about that. he wasn't. the other thing that people expect to go with the territory he would be a womanizer, right? he was a babe magnet, and he wasn't, first of all. i think beyond -- he had four wives. beyond the four wifes, i think he only had six sexual encounters total, and we just think of him as being some kind of don juan and he wasn't. >> host: there were a couple of visits, i think, at the -- in cuba that you mentioned. marlene deitrick and ava gardner. my god. there are a couple of books right there. and they called him papa and he
called her daughter. yes. >> host: but sex -- >> guest: there was a little stable of women that he had that included deitrick, garbo and he was in love with them and he flirted with them but they called him papa and he called them daughter. >> host: he married the journalist. >> guest: he did two journalists. you know, three journalist wives. >> host: he was off in michigan, hunting and fishing, with his dad. there were early signs that his dad had problems. >> guest: yeah. his father -- depression really pours through the family, and his father had a couple of bad
depresssive and then in 1928 there's a photo that i love of ed hemingway in a suit, looking at ernest with the most admiring but befuddled look, and he is swimming in a suit. so thin. he lost tons of weigh and hemi killed himself two months after that. and the quality of the depressions is something we don't -- most of us can't even imagine because it was really a psychotic depression. the example with ernest at the very end of his life that i use is he was on his way to mayo clinic in a little plane and it stopped to fuel, and he tried to walk into the propeller. that's psychotic suicidal depression. i don't know the word psychotic is accurate. it was really beyond -- >> host: it was real. >> guest: yes, very hard to get
back from. >> host: maybe the more interesting, which is his mother, grace. now, she was bisexual?is >> guest: i think so. she was a happy -- he raised a family of six children, and pretty good marriage. so hemingway felt he -- that she was a very strong woman but, yes, he had a lesbian affair with a boy student came to live in the hemingway household as an awe pair, and when she was 20, she had fallen in love, and as you can imagine, the whole family -- nearly towards them a -- tore them apart, especially her husband. it died down the affair continued and after ed hemingway killed him, ruth was married briefly and then lived together until grace's death in 1951.
we don't have absolute proof but there are letters between them and letters between ed and her, so i guess she was. >> host: you mentioned, i believe, or suggest, or insinuate -- i don't know -- that ernest had some gender problems himself later on. >> guest: yeah. i don't know if i would call them problems. at the time they would be seen as problems. he was interested in kind of gender boundaries and the slippage between genders. there's a book published called "the garden of eden" and that's about -- he was obsessed with androgyny and he husband and wives cut their hair to be the same lengths and looks alike and then win sexual roles in bed with another woman. he did-i dope -- all of his
wives he played games with, and actually what is relevant is this story of his youngest son, gregory, who became -- who was a lifelong transvest state and became a transvest state at the end of his life -- had this surgery at the end of his life. very sad story. dried in the dunk tank of a women's prison. but that's outside of my biography, except earnest new about it. when greg was 13, ernest and his fourth wife, mary, fired a maid because mary was miss something of her underwear, and they found it under greg's bed, new the mattress, four months later, and he admitted it. all his life he had no problem with it. but for ernest, we don't need to know more about greg's life except that for ernest to knowab
that when his son was 13, and here's this image that ultra macho man's man and he was living with his son, with this knowledge about his son, it was fraught. >> host: we would call that the story that you did not include -- we would call that today timely. especially for radio and television. when did he begin to create this macho image? >> guest: when did he begin to create it or was it created for him? really, all happening together. there's in question, he did -- i mean, he was a hunter and fished -- serious fisherman from a young age, got into deep sea fishing. marlin was the real life -- reel
love of his life sometimes and was a bullfight affair indiana dough and started hey -- aficionado, and then it started to grow up around him and i think it did tremendous damage to him. >> host: just to show you the amount of detail in mary's book. the old man and the sea, they were filming the movie, he was consultant and expert, and they went out to catch a marlin and couldn't get one. just when you want out, it's never there,. >> guest: ernest said no movie with a rubber fish -- >> host: the other detail, if you have ever been to cuba youne will go where allegedly -- matter of fact i think bicardi
now claims that hemingway invented the daiquiri, and so you sit there and drink the daiquiri. in fact it's not the classic daiquiri. he had two jiggers of rum, no sugar, and he called it papa doble. >> guest: grapefruit juice. i think the lack of sugar meant he could consume more of them. with a sweet drink you can't have too many. >> host: he was trying to feigned the limit, god knows. world war ii. he comes to the ritz hotel and encounters paris, and goes out and swinging around a machine gun, so i go into the bar, being a fan of hemingway, i'd like the hemingway drink, and it was terrific, until i got the bill. i think it was $35 for -- at that time, which is years ago.
were those true? >> guest: well, a lot of the stories about world war 2 are not true. hemingway sometimes claimed he liberated paris. what he really liberated was the ritz bar, but, yeah, war stories. what can i say. more of them sprung up around him, as you can imagine, than even -- even in other -- there's a lot of war stories about the various correspondents and recorders -- reporters in the wr there are rumors about how he tortured german soldiers that are completely out of thin air, and that started happening around him, and sometimes he has come to believe it, and -- or believe these legends and it's another example of the legend itself rearing up and biting him. >> host: coming back. >> guest: yeah. >> host: i'm going to jump to a
number of subjects to fill in. africa. he went there a lot. >> guest: yes. >> host: seems. and during the famous accident, the crash, he was going to take -- was it mary? >> guest: yes. >> host: and this was her gift. the gift was to fly down into uganda and sight hsieh, and when the plain went for a third time over the falls, which is on the border of uganda and -- it crashed. and -- >> guest: that really -- that really almost in -- he injureded probably every organ in his body but the work think he woke up and there war cerebral fluid leaking from his ear and he was in very bad shape and this wasn't n top of a lot of -- was on top of a lot of head injuries and he never really came back
from it.ad they thought he was dead. you have their headlines, papa dies. >> host: in the paper. >> guest: yeah. so, but he came back. but he was a very diminished man. >> host: seems like that was the beginning of the end. sorry. teddy roosevelt went down to the river in south america, went through the same struggle, and they attributed an early death to that. >> guest: really. >> host: but here wass hemingway -- that was his fifth concussion. >> guest: yes. >> host: and must have contributed to alcoholism and mental illness. >> guest: i think so. he had serious concussions and every time he got up -- well, one famous time he was in londo during world war 2 and was in a centrally located hotel. can't remember at the name.ld but his room was like party central and aberdeen brought in bottle -- and everybody brought
in bottles and he drank on top of these and he had to get out of bed then because -- so he -- but they were serious and i think today were dedent know much about traumatic brain injuries. they're always different. the prognosis is different. and then they have that -- i, forget the initials but the football players -- >> host: pte. >> guest: yet. it's cumulative effect of all the concussions and that's really dire, and, yeah, alcoholic, used to have brain injuries and he was on a lot ofo prescribed medications that in different combinations and the usual thing when there's a lot, and he had physical problems like blood pressure and so forth.ha on top of alcohol, on top of these injuries. >> host: overweight. >> guest: ese, always big but he
came -- so, but not in the last year of his life. his biceps were said to be 18 inches around, and then when he was an old man, the last year, he was gaunt. >> host: before we get to the suicide -- i did not know. he also was -- would you say, genius? he changed the way we write indy america. so elegantly simple in your word snooze the great american prose writer. and he is -- no, i think the was absolutely a genius.it the didn't -- wasn't consistent. i think that some of the things that were wrong with him caught up with him toward the end, after world war ii, but in his last year he wrote or put together a moveable piece, which
some of you probably read. a memoir about paris, and if you know anyone going to paris, give it to them. that he put together to charming back. beautifully written in the last year of his life, but he lost faith in his ability to keep write using that's a key, and so sad, because after -- with all his problems can he lost>> confidence, didn't he? >> guest: he really did. it's very sad. one of his -- he has story, "the snows of kilimanjaro" about a writer who had so much to write about, he said it was his duty to see -- he was seeing all these things, his duty to write about them and he didn't. that's one of the real tragedies. imagine if he had kept ondu writing and -- kept on living, rather, and what he would have made of, say, vietnam, or the
new journalism, you know. it's just really sad. >> host: without all his problems, he kept on writing. >> guest: i don't know -- i'm not sure he could have beenlems. helped. >> host: bull fighting. the women and -- or sure i'm nop pronouncing i correctly. he was general genuinely friends and with the bullfighted. >> guest: he loved to bullfight and he loved spain, and fought in -- the report on the spanish civil war. hi was always -- he was heartbroken he couldn't live in franco's cuba -- i mean spain. i think he said, it's the closest you can come to war
without you're being in danger. like going to war. he thought he was fascinated by death and death is a big part of a bull fight. i'm not an aficionado. he was directed to the bull fight by gertrude stein who said, it's made for you. >> host: she obviously was big influence on his writing? she was and had a lot in common, strappingly enough, with his mother. the same build, massive, and lesbian. and the same kind of charisma that hemingway and his mother shared. they were said to be the people who sucked -- they said that about each one. sucked the air out of the roomom when they enter it. really commanding people. >> host: handsome and pretty. what was his problem with women?
>> guest: i think it's kind of a redding red herring help wasn't very good to his life, that's for sure, but i don't think he had animosity toward women. think somebody who understood humanity that well, it's impossible for them -- for him to -- but he has -- then the one short story you might have read in school, "white elephants." a guy and his girlfriend and talking about her having an abortion. it's incredibly sensitive to her, to him, to the issue. it's not easy. i think -- he wasn't that into creating great women characters, but i think it's a red herring. >> host: you talk about sensitivity and then he would explode at times, in one of his
moods one thing jumped out. he was pretty hard on patrick, and patrick was very ill and slept outside his room. no well, patrick had a traumatic brain injury, concussion, and took a horrible form. his little son. and he was -- 18, and he went crazy. and they -- hemingway ask the servants and some -- and hemming way's friends had to hole them down, and ernest wouldn't put him in an institution because he was so violent that he thought the attendants would hit him. so they -- and hemingway slept on a pallet outside his room. lasted six weeked. strangely enough, this is traumatic brain injury for you. he was -- he had some shock treatments and he was absolutely cured, and never came back. so, -- but hemingway, yeah, he was heroic.
hundred he was called to be. when he stepped in. >> host: toward the end, he's living in idaho, move thursday ketchum, and i was taken by the psych tropic drugs he was on help was being treated. he had electroshock therapy. >> guest: many. >> host: pretty ends. -- pretty intense, but everybody knew it within his circle and that was a fastt slide. >> guest: yeah. nobody -- i think this happens a lot with mentally ill people who are not -- everybody thought somebody else was taking care of it, or hoped somebody else, and he was taking competing drugs. he was on something that was the equivalent of thorazine, and
it's -- it was heavy duty. they didn't -- there were all kinds of other -- not all kinds like today but a few eye ooh antidepressanned they never tied on him and they believed him, said he was all right. they went to mayo clinic and that's when he tried to walk into the propeller. and he went back and with thend shock treatments, you lose memory, and the was convinced he could never write. he thought the lost his memory. >> host: that would be a downer. what was the biggest surprise in your vast research about ernest? >> guest: you know, there were subsidiary surprises. i came to like one of his wives, pauline. you might have read "the paris
life." his most romantic marriage and commonly thought that pauline had a lot of money and stole him away but that wasn't the case,ul and in fact, ernest took no responsibility for that out all. in fact hadley finally brought it up. he said i know you're having an affair with pauline, and he explode citied said if you hadn't brought that up we'd be fine. we could just continue. so it became hadley's fault. anyway, this pauline is a -- was a wonderful person. the poet, elizabeth bishop, said he ways to funniest person she ever met. there's a story -- can i tell a short story about pauline. ernest erecently divorced her for wife number three, and ernest and pauline had two sons, patrick and gregory, and it was time nor handoff of the children
so pauline wrote him a letter detailing how this would happen, and then he tore it up into little pieces and put it in the envelope and sent it. so if he wanted to know how to get the kids -- >> host: that's creative. did he ever put it together? >> guest: i have no idea. he would have to wouldn't he. >> host: sure. cuba is the -- one of the subjects of a recent television -- not a documentary but an entertainment. it was up and down, explosive a and sweet, and began to give us, again, another picture of ernest hemingway.o >> guest: yeah. we have him so dark here but -- >> host: i know. everybody had different view of ernest hemingway. hope you didn't come expecting -- >> guest: well, remember, he wrote "moveable feast," but cuba
was -- he lived on a hilltopd estate out of havana. a bluff -- beautiful place, tropical and a swimming pool. he wasn't hugely wealthy, and he wrote while there but was really aisles rated. he lived always far from the centers of civilization. he never lived in new york. he never lived in -- isn't stay long in chicagoment he went to key west -- it's way down there. people good there, but -- andhe then cuba -- he didn't like being around other writers. i know that. and he loved the spanish language, and he felt comfortable in cuba, the gulf stream was right there so he could fish all the time. it was good and bad. think that isolation did him more harm than good, and he
needed people to tell him -- to tell when his writing one going well or if it was a bad direction, and unfortunately hio editor, scrivener, max perkins, and fit jerald's wolfe's editors herb died, and ernest -- he published a become, "across the river" and i'm sure max perkins would not have let him published. he needed out voices and isolated himself there. voi >> host: he took perkins' death hard. >> guest: he did. pauline, he said, was his best critic, and pauline you couldn't -- i think he lost the sort of guidance he needed to write. max perkins was different with all his writers and nobody touched a word -- except his spelling spelling spelling and grammar. you could not edit him at all.
he did it were -- he encouraged him. said don't go in this direction. hemingway was a terrible poet. and at one point he wanted scriveners to bring out a volume of his poetry and only with great difficulty they said, no, i don't think so. ask. >> host: i didn't know he actually wanted the nobel prize and he would get up the morning of the day of and waited for the phone to ring. he had a couple beat him. faulkner was one who got in. and he got mad at faulkner for making some crack about his writing. >> guest: falkner said i completely understand -- ernest understood what he sass weigh, falkner said he doesn't -- he's not really crazy.
the doesn't try anything new and he meant if you have read faulkner. who is very experimental and hemingway did not do that. he had -- his genius was elsewhere but he took offense at that many -- he -- you know, i think more writers -- that's a dirty little secret that a lot of them are waiting on the -- for the nobel prize, except bob dylan. ... s the new standard. we'll open it up for questions in a moment but i wanted to tell mary that i thought she was a wonderful. [inaudible]
it was one of the rivers that ernest wrote about, it's incessant implacable force only in fault small eddies where it cursed individuals like ernest hemingway, greg, and later in some in the next generation and reportedly in those after that. it continues to take the form of cycles of mania and psychotic depression and alcoholism and other addictions and suicide. many believe that three of ed and grace is six children, half of them, killed themselves. born along with the river, where many other qualities not the least good looks, charisma, air and grace was compelling and had some people with an appealing brood. more important, the river carried as it rushed along
artistic talents, even genius, as well as extraordinary personal charms. these qualities were apparent in graces musical guests and equally in the incredible charisma she shared with her son. hemingway descendents have written, painted, acted and started artistry and one of the grandchildren wrote a book was nominated for a pulitzer in a national book award. these strains were in the dna that the river carried along just as surely as were mental illness and suicide. on a memorial to hemingway's memory, is an inscription that reads: best of all, he loved the fall, the leaf yellow on the cottonwoods, leaves floating on the streams and above the hills, the high blue windless skies. now, he will be a part of them forever. ernest wrote these about another
sun valley but as the last two years he wrote again about the fall, this time, in paris in the 1920s. another good time and another good place. you expected to be said in the fall that part of you dies each year when the lease fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold wintry light. yet, fall during that period of his life was beautiful for what would inevitably follow. you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river, with flow again after it was frozen. [applause] let me see how much time we have left. okay, we have a few minutes left. for questions.
anyone? >> it's unclear why heavenly hemingway left cuba. some say was forced out by the government. would you care to comment on that. >> the government wanted him to leave, they were saying it was not safe but it wasn't given to the cuban people and there was no way he went there. four years it was a problem with the cuban people that it was difficult for them to get out and they had so forth and as to the kennedy administration stepped in to help them that's the hemingway archive and there's a connection there but
he wanted to say that it was impossible. >> they would direct these. [inaudible] [inaudible] did you come across anything and it's probably frank lloyd wright kid to come across anything? >> you have the question repeated for the home audience was marked if you have audience, line appear to stage right.
[inaudible] he wrote a nonfiction book called it a memoir now that that is african safari -- anyway, his wife called him a miserable old man and the green hills of africa and it's very funny about himself. even about -- he's not doing so well hunting and the friend is doing better and he's even okay about that. it's a different side of him. >> when you say it's nothing, you say he's a hunter and he was killing too many trophies animals and so, kenya, came in
and said we are going to make you a game warden. [laughter] the only thing you can't kill because you have to protect them now. he did say, i can kill hyenas. >> yes, there are jackals. >> if you go to africa and in the national park you have mount kilimanjaro there and there is the hemingway camp. i don't know if it's still there but maybe he wrote this note there but it certainly got the ideas. >> i love the camp life that they'd have a big lunch and a lot of drinking and then the cocktail hour and there seem to be a structure that was a kansas bathtub. i think it was fascinating that
they eat at a table and it was a way of life and he found that when he went on safari he was much more interested in watching the game. especially the birds, he wanted to shoot them. that's when they made him the game warden. >> but you had to pay for it. a couple more questions. yes. >> yes, you wrote a biography of naylor and now you've written one of hemingway. could you compare their personalities and their style of writing? >> yeah, i wrote one -- i seem to have a trilogy going. i wrote about henry muller two. talk about a red herring. mailer had huge respect for hemingway but he said something
that was interesting about hemingway's legacy. he had a farewell to arms and for whom the bell tolls would be if the writer was five for and i guess the point -- is pointing out something very real. >> didn't you say that he said all he needed to know about the revolution he learned from the farewell to arms. >> and did you really? >> from gorilla fighting. >> thank you you are talking about oak park and i was remembered about the salinas california and the people of salinas not really appreciating john steinbeck when he was alive. i went to his museum many years
ago and it was just a small house, now 50 years after his death, huge museum. what sense do you get of the citizens of oak park and their relationship with hemingway and do you feel he gets enough recognition and honor from his town? >> i don't think they have much. many people didn't even know he was there. then, they put a museum on his house. even now, all those who go to the museum, it's not a level of museum of natural history or that kind of thing. once in a while you can find someone citing a feature of hemingway and perhaps an essay is quick. >> right, in high school, teachers smack hemingway says
that there's a wonderful museum there but it's an amateur museum and i think they're getting some money -- their writing a hemingway oak park writing scholarship and is a step in the right direction. >> we now have an american writers museum in chicago and you might go down there and they are to be featuring hemingway. >> could you describe the falling out hemingway and santos pesos? >> that they compensated issue. he was very radical and he had his translator was a good friend and he disappeared and he was probably killed by the good guys, that was happening, santos was obsessed with it.
hemingway was sort of like calm down. it was embarrassing. hemingway decided he was on the left and the soviets for the movers and shakers. ernest didn't want to talk about people who'd been murdered. this is what you're talking about, rate work they had a huge following out and never spoke again and santos became right-wing. it was bad. santos had been a very good friend he was not competitive with ernest which was the only way he could be his friend. >> thank you, for coming. ernest hemingway by mary dearborn,. >> thank you come back, neck.