This Article was written by Zanelle Awinyo, year 10
The 1954 Nobel Prize winner in Literature, Ernest Hemingway; one of the greatest American Authors in the 20th century.
Renowned for his intense writing style, like many writers Ernest Hemingway’s works created his legacy and established him as an important figure in the World of Literature. However, outside of books he was only famously known for serving in World War One.. but there was more to his life than that.
Between publishing seven novels, six short-story collections and two nonfiction works, it’s an understatement to say he lived an adventurous life.
Leaving the reviews of his work to literary critics, it is safe to say his unpublished life was far more interesting. As a Bronze Star recipient, world class sports fisherman, big game hunter, and boxer (just to name a few), Hemingway was a man of many talents.
In my opinion, one such talent would be that of attracting danger.
During his time enlisted with the red cross in World War I as an ambulance driver, Hemingway was struck by an Austrian mortar shell in Milan while handing out chocolate to Italian soldiers in a dugout. The explosion had him spend 6 months in hospital with severe shrapnel wounds in both legs. After moving to Paris later on, he gained another major injury through cutting his head open after pulling on a cord thinking he was flushing a toilet, but instead ripped a skylight from the roof.
Ernest then moved to Kansas City and started bear hunting; there he was involved in a car accident. Choosing to leave Kansas, he decided to try hunting in African Countries and left the continent with dysentery. His misfortune didn’t end there however; like a series of unfortunate events, after moving to Cuba he shot himself in the leg whilst aiming at a shark.
Hemingway then published “For whom the Bell Tolls”, sold half a million copies in a month making him a nominee for a Pulitzer Prize; after which he went through a temporary career change, becoming the self-appointed leader to a band of militia outside of Paris, which would be brought up on charges for contravening the Geneva Convention, that they got away with. Nevertheless, the author then contracted Pneumonia and ‘decided to move back to Cuba and live a calmer life’.
Throughout the trip to Cuba Hemingway spent his spare time on a boat, tracking Nazi submarines with a machine gun and a pile of hand greenades– calmly. Thereafter he got into more accidents, had more concussions than non- fiction books published under his name and most notably got clawed while playing with a lion.
While going through a depressive slump he decided to take up hunting once more, deciding to go to Africa, from which he barely made it out alive surviving two separate plane crashes in the space of 24 hours. The trip left him with a fractured skull, internal bleeding, a cracked spine, ruptured liver, first degree burns and a paralyzed sphincter muscle– after which Hemingway won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
That was when J.Edgar Hoover– the man credited with building the FBI into a larger crime-fighting agency– opened a file on the author. Naturally, after word of the investigation reached Hemingway, he left his life in Cuba and moved to Idaho, paranoid the federal government was onto him. It may come as no surprise that the FBI was not looking for a sample of his latest work as ‘Ernest Hemingway, the author’ instead; Ernest Hemingway, the man that spent most of the 1940’s working for the KGB, the foreign intelligence and domestic security agency of the Soviet Union– and one of the most feared government agencies in the world.