Friday, July 3, 2015

Ernest Hemingway was Wounded During World War I (July 8, 1918)

This week (July 3-9) in literary history – MFK Fisher was born (July 3, 1908); First edition of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass was published (July 4, 1855); George Bernard Shaw quit his job at the telephone company (July 5, 1880); Mark Twain began reporting in Virginia City (July 6, 1862); Literary character Dr. John Watson, sidekick of Sherlock Holmes was born (July 7, 1852); Ernest Hemingway was wounded during World War I (July 8, 1918); William Faulkner allegedly joined the Canadian Royal Air Force (July 9, 1918)

Highlighted Literary Story of the Week -

On July 8, 1918, Ernest Hemingway was severely wounded while carrying a companion to safety on the Austro-Italian front during World War I. Hemingway, working as a Red Cross ambulance driver, was decorated for his heroism. While recuperating he fell in love with a beautiful nurse (who broke his heart) before being sent home.

Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois. After the war, he found work as a writer for the Toronto Star and married Hadley Richardson. The couple moved to Paris in 1922, where they met other American expatriate writers, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, and Ezra Pound. With their help and encouragement, Hemingway published his first book of short stories, Three Stories and Ten Poems in 1923. This was followed by the well-received novel, The Sun Also Rises in 1926. Hemingway would marry three more times, and his hard living and sporting life style would be followed almost as closely as his writing.

During the 1930s and 1940s, he lived in Key West and then in Cuba while continuing to travel widely. He wrote The Old Man and the Sea in 1952, his first major literary work in nearly a decade. The book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953. The next year he and his wife third wife, Mary Welsh were severely wounded in a plane crash in Africa. Later that same year, he was awarded the Noble Prize in Literature. In the coming years he became increasingly anxious and depressed. Like his father, he eventually committed suicide, shooting himself on July 2, 1961 at his home in Ketchum, Idaho and was buried at the Ketchum Cemetery.

Check back every Friday for a new Installment of “This Week in Literary History.”

Michael Thomas Barry is the author six award winning nonfiction books that includes Literary Legends of the British Isles and America’s Literary Legends. Visit his website for more information. His books can be purchased from Amazon through the following links:

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