Posts Tagged ‘Hemingway’
A bringing together of beloved belles lettres, this chart diagrams 25 famous opening lines from revered works of fiction according to the dictates of the classic Reed-Kellogg system. From Cervantes to Faulkner to Pynchon, each sentence has been painstakingly curated and diagrammed by PCL’s research team, parsing classical prose by parts of speech and offering a partitioned, color-coded picto-grammatical representation of some of the most famous first words in literary history. Whether you’re a book buff, an English teacher, or a hard-line grammarian, this diagrammatical dissertation has something for the aesthete in all of us…
* Blaise Pascal
As we analyze our way to an appreciation of the classics, we might recall that it was on this date in 1952 that Ernest Hemingway completed his short novel The Old Man and the Sea. He believed it to be the best writing he had ever done. The critics agreed: the book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953, and became one of his bestselling works.
Last year 12m people in the world had $1m or more in investible assets. That is 1m more “high-net-worth individuals” than in 2011. After falling in two of the previous five years, their combined wealth increased by 10% in 2012 to a record $46.2 trillion. America, home to 3.4m very rich folk, Japan (1.9m) and Germany (over 1m) account for more than half of the world’s wealthy. Of the 12 countries with the most super-rich people, only Brazil failed to swell its numbers last year, as its economy slowed. North America reclaimed its position from Asia-Pacific as home to more extremely wealthy people than any other region, but its lead is unlikely to last, as Asia has many of the fastest-growing economies.
* Ernest Hemingway’s famous mis-quote of F. Scott Fitzgerald:
Fitzgerald: The rich are different than you and me.
Hemingway: Yes, they have more money.
It is an embellished retelling of an actual encounter between Hemingway and Mary Colum:
Hemingway: I am getting to know the rich.
Colum: I think you’ll find the only difference between the rich and other people is that the rich have more money.
Fitzgerald’s actual sentiment is captured in his 1926 short story “The Rich Boy”: “Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft, where we are hard, cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand.”
As we rub two pennies together, we might recall that it was on this date in 1819 that the first “Savings Bank” in the U.S., The Bank for Savings in New York City, opened in the Old Alms House (also known as The New York Institution) in the Five Points neighborhood in Manhattan.
Emily is a self-proclaimed Luddite:
I use the term because that’s what most people, my own parents included, call me. Fun Fact: the term “Luddite”, although it has now come to mean one who fears and resents progress, originally referred to a movement that developed during the first Industrial Revolution in the factory towns of Northern England where workers feared that new technology would threaten their livelihoods. They weren’t anti-progress; they were just pro-humans.
She has turned her passion for books and bookshops– “the joy of book-hunting, of going in with no idea what you want and finding that hidden gem or that old favourite recalled from a foggy memory”– into a calling: The Matilda Project. Emily wanders London, finding and reporting on the independent book stores that graces its streets. From The Southbank Book Market to Stoke Newington Bookshop, she delivers “by a book lover, for book lovers” reviews and rankings.
It’s altogether enchanting– and inspiring. For while Emily’s is a disciplined London-specific focus, her example could– and surely should– be replicated worldwide.
As we delight in the feel of yellowed pages between our fingers, we might send modern(ist) birthday greetings to Nancy Woodbridge Beach (or, as she was better known later in life, Sylvia Beach); she was born on this date in 1887. An American expat in Paris to do bibliographic research, Beach met and fell in love with Adrienne Monnier, one of the first women in France to own her own bookstore. Inspired by her partner, Beach open a small English-language bookshop at 8 rue Dupuytren (in the 6th); she called it Shakespeare and Company.
The shop quickly became a gathering place for both French and American writers, and succeeded sufficiently that Beach had to move to larger premises across the street. She made occasional forays into publishing (e.g., when James Joyce couldn’t find an English-language publisher for Ulysses, Shakespeare and Company put it out). Beach’ memoir, Shakespeare and Company, recounts her experiences with Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, Thornton Wilder, André Gide, George Antheil, Robert McAlmon, Gertrude Stein, Stephen Benet, Aleister Crowley, Harry Crosby, Caresse Crosby, Berenice Abbott, Man Ray, and many, many other icons of Left Bank intellectual and artistic life in the years between the two world wars.
Shakespeare and Company was closed during the German Occupation of Paris; Beach was interned for 6 months, but hid her books in a vacant apartment above the store. When the war ended, Hemingway symbolically “liberated” the store; but it never re-opened. The Shakespeare and Company that operates today (as featured, e.g., in Richard Linklater’s and Woody Allen’s films) is a different operation, in a different location, renamed in 1964 “in honor” of Beach and her creation.
Happy Einstein’s Birthday!
(Be sure to celebrate with a slice of pie: it’s 3.14– Pi Day)
Best reason to go adventuring in Wonderland:
Lastly, she pictured to herself how this same little sister of hers would, in the after-time, be herself a grown woman; and how she would keep, through all her riper years, the simple and loving heart of her childhood; and how she would gather about her other little children, and make their eyes bright and eager with many a strange tale, perhaps even with the dream of Wonderland of long ago; and how she would feel with all their simple sorrows, and find a pleasure in all their simple joys, remembering her own child-life, and the happy summer days.
- the last line of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
19 other conclusive gems at Flavorwire’s “Famous Last Words: Our 20 Favorite Final Lines in Literature.”
And for a complementary collection of such wonders as…
Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.
—the opening line of Gabriel García Márquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967; trans. Gregory Rabassa)
…visit the American Book Review’s “100 Best First Lines from Novels.”
As we reach for our library cards, we might recall that it was on this date in 1910 that Alice B. Toklas moved in permanently with Gertrude Stein. The two women turned their Paris home (22 rue de Fleurus) into an artistic and literary salon, where they hosted Picasso, Matisse, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and many others– several of whom appear, with Ms. Stein herself, in the lists above.
Cecil Beaton’s photo of Stein and Toklas at home (source)