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Ernest Hemingway July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961

Two days ago I posted a review of The Heming Way by Marty Beckerman. I was happy to get it posted in time for today’s remembrance of the 50th anniversary of Ernest Hemingway’s death. And that got me to thinking about whether or not we will ever celebrate the day of Hemingway’s birth, July 21st? I mean, what would another nineteen days have meant? Do we remember the date of his death before the date of his birth because his death was more dramatic? I wonder if his opera singing mother would agree that his birth at home was any less dramatic a beginning in 1899 than the self-inflicted shot which ended his life in 1961.

In between those years Ernest Hemingway led a literary life jammed-packed with the stuff of legend. Amid the bullfights, the big game hunting, the womanizing, and the drinking was the writing; enough to have garnered a Pulitzer and Nobel Prize, enough to still be in print, to still be studied in both high school and college. Could Papa have done it today? Probably not. But next year I think I’ll skip July 2nd and just post a Happy Birthday Mr. Hemingway on July 21st.

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