Page 76. " the man who believed in the mot juste "

Ezra Pound, as a leader of the Imagist movement, was a firm believer in Gustave Flaubert's (1821-1880) pursuit of le mot juste -- the 'right' or 'exact' word. The method of using clear and precise language was echoed by many who subscribed to modernism, and was, of course, a method practised by Hemingway.

Page 77. " There was no one there I knew and I went outside onto the terrace and found Evan Shipman waiting. "

New Hampshire-born Poet and artist Evan Shipman (1904-1957) was one of the few people with whom Hemingway maintained a lifelong friendship. They first met in 1924 and established a connection via a mutual appreciation of literature and horse-racing. Some of Evan Shipman's work was published under the title Free for All in 1935. 

Page 77. " I think I have Mazeppa licked though. Have you been going well? "
The Page Mazeppa
Public DomainThe Page Mazeppa - Credit: Jean Louis Théodore Géricault

Risch Robert writes in the article 'Evan Shipman: friend and foil' (published in The Hemingway Review, 2003) that 'Mazeppa' was the title of an 'epic poem' penned by Shipman. In it he 'describes women as flowers, whose sweet voices turn to the harsh and shrill complaining of deserted strumpets (Letter from Shipman to Hemingway, 29 October 1932)'.

Ivan Mazeppa was a Ukrainian hero, punished for an illicit love affair by being strapped naked to the back of a wild horse.  Lord Byron wrote his poem a century before Shipman.

 

Page 79. " I'm going to try The Brothers again. It was probably my fault. "
Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Public DomainBrothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky - Credit: Russkii Vestnik

Completed in 1880, The Brothers Karamazov was the final novel written by Fyodor Dostoyevsky before his death in 1881. The deeply philosophical work has won praise from many great thinkers, including Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein.

         

Page 79. " That's a dragoon's moustache. He served in the cavalry regiment. "

German military officer
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeGerman military officer - Credit: quinet
By the beginning of the 18th century, 'dragoon' -- which had originally denoted heavily armed cavalrymen -- had become the standard term for those military units trained to fight either mounted or on foot. As such, they existed throughout the majority of European armies. Certainly in British circles at the time of World War I, the size of one's moustache -- something which became linked to military tradition -- was thought to be directly correspondent to the position of rank.

Page 81. " 'Hem, I want you to keep this jar of opium and give it to Dunning only when he needs it.' "

Detroit-born poet Ralph Cheever Dunning (1878-1930) was perhaps better known in 1920s Paris for his odd personality then any of his published works. Seemingly unconcerned with recognition and completely without ambition, he was primarily encouraged to allow his writing into the public eye by Ezra Pound -- one of the few people, in fact, who ever managed to elicit a conversation out of him. Although what was printed of Dunning's work won him a certain degree of acclaim, including Poetry's Helen Haire Nevinson Prize in 1925, his name faded largely into obscurity following his death from tuberculosis (and malnourishment) at the age of 52.

Page 81. " he wrote in terza riruce which endeared him to Ezra "

It is thought Hemingway meant that Dunning wrote in the poetic form known as 'terza rima', rather than 'terza riruce', which may have been a mistake on the part of the typist or editor charged with handling the hand-written manuscript.

Terza rima is a form of poetic stanza based on a particular three-line system of rhyming.

Page 82. " and that I doubted even Dante could do it. "

The rhyming scheme known as terza rima was first employed by Italian poet Dante Alighieri (1265-1321). Often credited as being the finest poet to have emerged from his native country, one of Dante's most celebrated works is the epic poem Commedia (known later as La Divina Commedia or the Divine Comedy).

    

Page 84. " and introduced a tall, pleasant man who was with him as Dunc Chaplin, the famous pitcher "

Duncan D. Chaplin Jr was a promising young pitcher playing for Princeton College. He is pictured in an article by The New York Times, which also separately reports on the baseball player's bout of appendicitis

Page 84. " The first time I ever met Scott Fitzgerald a very strange thing happened. "

F. Scott Fitzgerald's dependence on alcohol became notorious in the 1930s, as did the mental breakdowns of his wife, Zelda*. Indeed, the two conditions seemed inextricably linked. By the middle of the 1930s, Fitzgerald's alcoholism had become clinical, and he documented his experiences in his collection of essays entitled The Crack-Up. In a letter to a friend he is quoted as writing:

A short story can be written on a bottle, but for a novel you need mental speed that enables you to keep the whole pattern in your head and ruthlessly sacrifice as Ernest did in "Farewell to Arms." If a mind is slowed up ever so little it lives in the individual part of a book rather than in a book as a whole; memory is dulled.

F. Scott Fitzgerald on Book Drum

*For more on Scott and Zelda's relationship see 'Bookmark' for page 88: 'He told me that he and Zelda...'.

 

     

Page 85. " His Brooks Brothers clothes fitted him well and he wore a white shirt with a buttoned-down collar and a Guard's tie "

Guards Tie
Public DomainGuards Tie
Henry Sands Brooks first opened H. & D.H. Brooks & Co. in New York City in 1818, making Brooks Brothers the oldest ready-to-wear clothing chain in the United States. Since then the store has dressed many generations of presidents, film stars and, of course, noteworthy writers.

The tie worn by the Brigade of Guards -- a historic unit of the British Army -- carries horizontal stripes of dark blue and magenta. The colours signify royal blue blood alongside the red blood of the Guards.

Page 87. " George Horace Lorimer "

The Saturday Evening Post
Public DomainThe Saturday Evening Post - Credit: J. C. Leyendecker
Kentucky-born George Horace Lorimer (1867-1937) occupied the position of editor-in-chief for The Saturday Evening Post from 1899 to 1936. The paper, which underwent an increase in readership during Lorimer's tenure, is thought to have benefited from his ability to predict the tastes of the middle classes.

George Horace Lorimer
Public DomainGeorge Horace Lorimer - Credit: Ellis

Page 88. " He wanted me to read the new book, The Great Gatsby "
The Great Gatsby
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Great Gatsby - Credit: Wolf Gang

Widely considered to be F. Scott Fitzgerald's greatest literary achievement, The Great Gatsby (1925) epitomises life in the Roaring Twenties. Set in the summer of 1922, the novel follows the experiences of narrator Nick Carraway when he moves to New York City.  Taking a house on Long Island, he gets to know the rich, mysterious and glamorous Jay Gatsby who throws parties he doesn't even attend...

The Great Gatsby on Book Drum

Page 88. " Scott told me that he had heard from Maxwell Perkins that the book was not selling well "

Harvard graduate William Maxwell Evarts Perkins (1884-1947) worked as a journalist for The New York Times before joining Charles Scribner’s Sons publishers in 1910. Originally working for the advertising department, he transferred to editorial in 1914 and consequently worked with both Hemingway and Fitzgerald, as well as many other well-known authors of the time. In fact, it was Perkins -- now widely considered as one of the most famous names in his professional field -- who took the risk of backing Hemingway's first novel, The Sun Also Rises (1926).

The 'Introduction' of the 1991 edition of The Great Gatsby, edited by Matthew Joseph Bruccoli, reports that Fitzgerald confided to Perkins that the reasons for the book's failure were twofold: the title was 'only fair' and it lacked a strong female character.

 

Page 88. " he showed me a review by Gilbert Seldes that could not have been better. "
Gilbert Seldes
Public DomainGilbert Seldes - Credit: Carl Van Vechten

American writer and critic Gilbert Vivian Seldes (1893-1970) was editor of literary magazine The Dial. He was also the New York-based correspondent for T. S. Eliot's publication, The Criterion. Obviously impressed with The Great Gatsby, Seldes sang its praises in The Dial:

Fitzgerald has more than matured; he has mastered his talents and gone soaring in a beautiful flight, leaving behind him everything dubious and tricky in his earlier work, and leaving even further behind all the men of his own generation and most of his elders... Scenes of incredible difficulty are rendered with what seems an effortless precision.

In his essay 'On a Fairy's Wing: Hints of Fitzgerald in Hemingway's "The Butterfly and the Tank"', James Plath suggests that such praise ignited a jealousy in Hemingway that left him seething.

Page 88. " Zelda, his wife "
Zelda Sayre
Public DomainZelda Sayre - Credit: Sidney Lanier High School

Scott Fitzgerald met Alabama-born belle Zelda Sayre (1900-1948) at a dance at Camp Sheridan in April 1918. Young, headstrong and radically non-conformist, Zelda was the very embodiment of the era's flapper: 'without a thought for anyone else… I did not have a single feeling of inferiority, or shyness, or doubt, and no moral principles.' The pair fell in love and were engaged the following year. However, Scott was possessive from the outset -- a sure recipe for trouble when combined with Zelda's flirtatious ways -- and the ups and downs of the engagement would be borne out in the marriage that finally took place in 1920.

                    

Many have theorised about the union that left Scott an alcoholic and Zelda in an asylum. Some have corroborated Hemingway's observations, claiming that Zelda -- clearly experiencing mental issues -- was a drain on Scott's resources and an obstacle to his talent. Others have conjectured that it was Scott who was at fault, starving Zelda of her artistic expression. It was probably something in between. Whatever the true reasons behind the relationship's breakdown, the love story certainly captured popular imagination. Fitzgerald's second novel, The Beautiful and the Damned (1922), which is said to be based on the couple's relationship, has been adapted to both screen and stage. A new film of the same name, thought to be starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Scott and Keira Knightley as Zelda, is scheduled for release in 2010. For more on Zelda's mental health see 'Bookmark' for page 111: 'Scott did not write anything any more...'.

  

Page 89. " he wrote Saturday Evening Post stories "

The Saturday Evening Post -- an American magazine that traces its roots as far back as 1728 -- published 69 of Fitzgerald's short stories between 1920 and 1937.

Page 90. " to go down to the feria "

Hemingway saw his first bullfight in Pamplona in 1923. The excitement of the spectacle left him riveted, and it marked the beginning of many visits to the Spanish cities of Pamplona, Madrid and Valencia, with their great traditions of ferias (festivals), bullfights and bull runs. Naturally, Hemingway's experiences and observations made their way into his fiction, and he remarked in his notebook from that initial trip:

an art not an amusement. In the first place, not going to apologise for bull fighting. Is a tragedy -- not a sport. Have only seen 16 -- hope to see 300 more before I die. Only thing that brings man opposit[e]s of life and death.

In fact, Hemingway is credited with making famous the Running of the Bulls -- which takes place in Pamplona during the Fiesta of San Fermín -- through his 1926 novel, The Sun Also Rises.

     

Page 91. " Better still we could go to North Africa together "

Although Hemingway did travel to Africa, it would not be until much later and to an entirely different region.

His first visit was a 10-week safari to Kenya and Tanzania in 1933 with his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer. However, a prolonged and extreme bout of dysentery forced the couple to spend much of their time in Nairobi. Naturally, as with the majority of Hemingway's life, his experiences became a part of his fiction, and what he gleaned there provided ample material for the novel Green Hills of Africa, as well as short stories like 'The Snows of Kilimanjaro' and 'The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber'.

His second African safari did not take place until 1953-1954, this time with fourth and final wife, Mary Welsh. What the trip lacked in illness, it made up for in drama and injury, nearly costing Hemingway his life -- twice. A number of emergency plane landings and two crashes left him with a variety of injuries that would affect him for the remainder of his life. So catastrophic were they in fact that some American papers ran with premature obituaries.

Hemingway's son Patrick completed the manuscript for True at First Light (1999), set against the political backdrop of the Mau Mau Rebellion in Kenya.

 

 

Page 95. " But, by early afternoon, he had begun to worry about his health. "

F. Scott Fitzgerald was a notorious hypochondriac. As Kelly Boler points out in an article for Pine Magazine, he was also prone to a certain degree of self-diagnosis: 'In 1936, he convinced himself he had tuberculosis, and self-prescribed a nice, quiet recuperation in the mountains at the glamorous Grove Park Inn, which advertised itself as “the finest resort hotel in the world.”' ('F. Scott Fitzgerald in Asheville: The Crack Up', 21 August 2006).

He was certainly left in poor health following years of alcohol abuse. He died on 21 December 1940 after suffering two heart attacks.

Grave of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald
Public DomainGrave of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald - Credit: JayHenry

Page 95. " the authoritative article on congestion of the lungs "

Founded by the American Medical Association in 1883, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is one of the leading publications in its field. The journal, which enjoys world-wide circulation, features original research and articles, with 48 editions released per year.

Considered one of history's most prominent physicians and credited as the founder of medicine, Hippocrates was a physician of ancient Greece. Rejecting superstition and the common belief that the gods or supernatural forces were responsible for inflicting sickness, he furthered the idea that illness had a rational explanation based inside the body.

Pulmonary edema -- or in the case of pneumonia: non-heart-related pulmonary edema -- is caused by the build-up of fluid in the lungs, i.e. congestion of the lungs. Without immediate treatment the condition can quickly escalate to become life-threatening.

Page 96. " It was only the question of who was to look after Zelda and young Scotty. "

Frances Scott "Scottie" Fitzgerald was born on 26 October 1921. Following the birth, Zelda, who was 21 at the time, reportedly voiced her hope for her daughter to become a 'beautiful little fool'. The sentiment is echoed by Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, published some four years later. Frances became a writer and journalist. She died in 1986.

Page 97. " Most drunkards in those days died of pneumonia "

Although pneumonia can now be treated far more effectively, alcoholism is still known to be one of the major facilitators of the lung infection. Vaccinations are commonly administered to those individuals thought to be at greatest risk of the disease.

Page 100. " at least as far gone as Camille "
La Dame aux Camélias
Public DomainLa Dame aux Camélias - Credit: Alfons Mucha

 Camille or La Dame aux Camélias (Lady of the Camellias) was published in France in 1848. Written by Alexandre Dumas, fils (1824–1895), the novel became hugely popular, spawning plays, ballets, at least 20 films, and even Giuseppe Verdi's opera, La Traviata.

The story includes the famous death-scene of the Lady of the Camellias, Marguerite, which won high praise for actress Greta Garbo in the 1937 film remake.