21 July 2004

Happy Birthday, Papa!

105 years ago, in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Ernest Miller Hemingway was born.

It took me a long time to develop an appreciation for Hemingway. As a high school student, The Old Man and the Sea seemed pretty irrelevant to me. Just catch the damn fish already! I thought. Then, there was my indignation (perhaps misguided?) over his treatment of his "friend," Scott Fizgerald.

Finally, though, while in college, I had a professor who made me look at Papa again. This time, I discovered that I loved his short stories. I also developed a deep sympathy for the man. In some ways he makes me very sad, forever trapped in a prison of his own design, forever determined to live the life he *thought* he should. He seemed to be concerned with the image he portrayed so much that he lost himself in it...

Whatever lies beyond this world, I wish peace for Papa Hemingway.

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