Today is the 115th birthday of writer Ernest Hemingway, born in Oak Park, Illinois (1899).
On his 26th birthday, he began his first novel. He said, “Everybody my age had written a novel and I was still having a difficult time writing a paragraph.” He wrote in hotels and bars in Madrid and the French town of Hendaye, and in an apartment in Paris. He finished the first draft just two months after he had begun writing. He told a friend years later: “Toward the last it was like a fever. Toward the last I was sprinting, like in a bicycle race, and I did not want to lose my speed making love or anything else.”
This novel, titled Fiesta, then revised to The Lost Generation, and finally to The Sun Also Rises
was published in 1926.
His mother wrote to him: “It is a doubtful honor to produce one of the filthiest books of the year. […] Every page fills me with a sick loathing — if I should pick up a book by any other writer with such words in it, I should read no more — but pitch it in the fire.”
“Best of all he loved the fall
The leaves yellow on the cottonwoods
Leaves floating on the trout streams
And above the hills
The high blue windless skies
Now he will be a part of them forever”—
Ernest Hemingway - born July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, IL
Ernest Hemingway is buried in Ketchum, Idaho, but on a memorial outside town overlooking Trail Creek is this eulogy that he wrote in 1939 for a friend (Gene Van Guilder) - but it applies pretty well to his own life.
There seems to be a study on everything. And for every study that says X, there’s another one that says Y. A little alcohol is good for you. Red wine is even better. All alcohol is bad. A vegan diet prevents cancer. Vegan diets lack vitamins and minerals which can lead to cancer.
Who knows what to believe?
It reminds me of the part in Woody Allen’s Sleeper
On this day in 1945, the first atomic bomb exploded at 5:30 a.m., 120 miles south of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
People saw a ball of fire that rose rapidly, releasing four times the heat of the interior of the sun, followed by a 40,000 foot mushroom cloud. The bomb was supposed to give the United States “peace through strength.”
Officials told the New Mexican citizens that an ammunitions dump had blown up. The project’s director, Kenneth Bainbridge, watched the column of fire and dust and said, “Now we are all sons of bitches.” Today, radiation levels on the spot are still 10 times that of radiation levels found in nature, and the ground is marked by a lava stone obelisk and a plaque that reads, “Where the World’s First Nuclear Device Was Exploded on July 16, 1945.”
That first bomb tested at the Trinity Site (White Sands) was an implosion-design plutonium device. Its nickname was ‘The Gadget’.
Germany was the original target for an atomic bomb, but the Germans had already surrendered. The only belligerent remaining was Japan. From this device, using the same conceptual design, the Fat Man device was detonated over Nagasaki, Japan, on August 9, 1945. Six days later Japan surrendered.
The original $6,000 budget for the Manhattan Project finally ballooned to a total cost of $2 billion.
“I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around — nobody big, I mean — except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff — I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all.”—
“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.”—