March 4, 2016

Ernest Hemingway: The Last Interview and Other Conversations
Melville House Publishing

Papa, Again – I can seemingly never get enough Hemingway. Hemingway’s 1954 Paris Review interview with George Plimpton is feistier, more combative than I recall. I’ve also previously read Lloyd Lockhart’s 1958 article, “Dropping in on Hemingway,” but a 1954 Atlantic Monthly interview by Robert Manning and Robert Emmett Ginna’s 1958 Esquire interview are “new” to me. I’m struck again by Hemingway’s discipline, writing 400 to 1,000 words per day. (The writer John McNally recently noted the importance, too, of daily writing.) I didn’t recall how Hemingway had kept track of the numbers like a scout analyzing a potential baseball star. I was surprised by Hemingway’s kindness at welcoming unexpected visitors and reminded of his choices to live in hard-to-get-to places (Key West, Cuba, Ketchum). Finally, I was taken by the differences he emphasized between talking and writing. “When I talk, incidentally, it’s just talk,” Manning quotes Hemingway. “But when I write I mean it for good.”


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