Depending on how well you know me, you may have a general idea about my love and obsession for Ernest Hemingway. Here’s the strange thing, though; it extends beyond an appreciation for his texts. It gets into literary husband territory.
What’s literary husband you ask? It’s like when someone “fangirls” about a celebrity crush, but is obviously someone who is an author (and a real person – not like a “fiction boyfriend” which is a whole other category of fangirling, in and of itself). Hemingway is my literary husband. Get ready for a ridiculous blog post, ahead!
Now wait, I know what you’re thinking: he was so bad to women and you’re a feminist, what’s going on here!? I can’t deny that he was, without question, a poor husband and a womanizer. But in my fictional world in which 1920s Claudia is being courted by 1920s Ernest in a Paris cafe, Claudia reigns queen. Womanizer no more! Hemingway has been captured, weak in the knees by the grace of 1920s Claudia! (Hahaha… a girl can dream…)
Even though he was said to be the kind of man that I don’t fancy in the least – over-compensating masculinity, womanizer, loved to watch bull fights (gross), and loved to hunt (double gross) – there was just something about that man and the way he wrote that gets me fanning myself in admiration.
His writing is so raw, is so honest. It’s wholly and truly him. It’s like he pours his soul onto paper, and how could I not fall in love with a man who is able to do that?! His sentences are clean, they’re pure. I read Hemingway as though I’m talking to Hemingway, and that’s just a vulnerable way of writing. I like to believe he was far more vulnerable than he made himself out to be (read: A Moveable Feast, as it confirms this theory).
He writes about love in a way that is so dirty, and I don’t mean that in the sexual sense. Love and passion is not clean-cut and perfection; it’s messy and it’s exploding with undertones of lust and it’s exposed, and ughhh… it’s perfect. It’s really perfect without touching on perfection in the least. It makes a girl swoon. Here’s a small example:
“You’re beautiful. You walk wonderfully and if I were here and saw you now for the first time I’d be in love with you. If I saw you for the first time everything would turn over inside of me and I’d ache right through my chest.”
Whatttt!? Hemingway, I love you.
Also, it cannot be denied that Hemingway was an immensely handsome man. Even as an old man, with that thick and glorious beard upon his lovely face, he was beyond handsome. A man who writes like he does + that handsome face + a glorious beard and/or mustache = swoonfest.
As I sit here and write this, my Great Gatsby mug beside me reads: “The tale of a man who built himself an illusion to live by,” and I can’t help but believe I have this illusion of Hemingway and his existence and that my fantasies about him as a man are probably way off. But I don’t think that the way Midnight in Paris captured Hemingway was far off. I think he was dark, brooding, stubborn, charming, direct, and secretly very sensitive. And I cannot help but discover him in his writing and love the man behind the words so passionately.
Calm down – it’s not love – let’s be serious. People love authors. People love the writing of authors. I’m not that crazy. But maybe, if past lives are real, 1920s Claudia in Paris (which, let’s face it, must truly be a thing for it to be imprinted so heavily on my soul) had a brief and fleeting passionate moment with Mr. Hemingway, and the memories of such an encounter linger on today. Yeah, I’m going to go ahead and wish that into reality… yep… mmhmm… alright… excuse me for a moment… sigh…
Ernest Hemingway was a sad man with a lot of struggle going on in his soul, and the way his life ended is heartbreaking. But he gave this world authentic writing that was unpolished and I’m so grateful for that. I wish I could have known him, but truly, I feel as though I do and that’s an example of his skill as a writer. The world was lucky to have him in it, as short as it may have been cut by his own hand.
I will continue to swoon over this literary husband. I cannot be stopped.