Papa Hemingway


In rereading The Sun Also Rises, I realized for the first time that Hemingway did not admire or entirely approve of his narrator. At least, that was my conclusion. So, I asked him.

Papa? That right?

Is your narrator you, however many of your traits you may have given him? Yes, I didn’t approve of his pimping his love to Romero. It amounted to betraying himself and his aficion. “It was not pleasant,” I said, not meaning that he was misunderstood but that he was reaping where he had sowed. A man may share one of our passions as he may share our politics or our taste in art, and yet have no fundamental connection to us.

Of course. Thank you. Is there anything that we who have profited from your life and words can do for you?

Our reputations don’t mean anything to us now in terms of ego or career-building — but they do matter in that they can make it easier or harder for someone who needs us to find us. So merely spreading the word about how you see us helps us.

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