Conversations with Ernest Hemingway

The book Conversations with Ernest Hemingway (University Press of Mississippi, 1986) which was edited by Matthew Bruccoli, who also edited among other works, The Only Thing That Counts, has some great stories of Hemingway that I had not read before. One such story was written by his good pal – A.E. Hotchner – titled “Hemingway Talks to American Youth” that appeared in the NY Herald Tribune back in October of 1959. After a day of duck hunting (he was living in Idaho at the time) with Hotchner – they met Father O’Connor, a priest from the local parish and Hemingway spent about an hour with a group of 30 or so high school aged kids and answered their questions. Now that would have been pretty cool if you were one of those lucky kids. There is also the famous conversation with author George Plimpton (Spring, 1958) that was originally seen in the Paris Review that is included in this group of conversations. When I think of Plimpton I always think of his book The Paper Lion, when he worked out, as quarterback, with the Detroit Lions.

Another conversations that I enjoyed was “A Visit to Havana” by Kenneth Tynan (1960) which I thought was an interesting behind the scenes look at Hemingway, towards the end of his life, from Tynan during a visit with Ernest and Mary at the Finca. He offered a great description of Hemingway and included a meeting with Hemingway and Tennessee Williams who were introduced to each other for the first time by Tynan. Kenneth Tynan had a great quote that said: “Hemingway has the humility that comes of absolute certainty.”


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