Monday, July 11, 2011

Who is...Ernest Hemingway?

I'm in Chicago today. I can't tell you how it is, because I wrote this post last week. But when I get back—there will be pictures! In keeping with the Chicago theme, our author today is from Chicago. :)

Authored: A Farewell to Arms, The Old Man and the Sea, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and several more novels, short stories, and articles.

Important because: An author and journalist who partook in World War I, the Spanish Civil War, and World War II, Hemingway received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954 for his ability to create authentic stories in a style that greatly influenced 20th-century fiction writing. After the wars, he lived for several years in Key West (if you go, check out the Museum's exhibit on Hemingway—it's incredible!), before moving to Idaho, where he committed suicide.

Important to me because: The Old Man and the Sea was one of the first things I read that left me with a dissatisfied feeling—not in the writing or story itself, but in how I reacted to it. For once (in my up-to-then-uneventful life), there was no cut-and-dry happy ending.

A Farewell to Arms I read in college and was much more prepared for its style and tone. Still, as a naturally optimistic person, the confrontation with another person's struggles with the ugliness in the world—even encased in fiction—was a learning experience for me.

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