Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Today I'm Drinking . . .

. . . Ernest Hemingway's tea.
And that's "Ernest Hemingway" with a circle-r following it.

Saw this in World Market a few weeks back and was bemused enough to buy it. Turns out to be ordinary Assam they've put Hemingway's name and picture on as a selling point. How very odd. I did buy some "C. S. Lewis Blend" a good while back via mail-order from a tea shop in Austin, but then Lewis was famous as a tea-drinker -- cf the quote that starts off Hooper's Preface to CSL's essay collection ON STORIES:

'You can't get a cup of tea large enough of a book long enough to suit me' 

Whereas if Hemingway drank tea that fact has eluded my admittedly somewhat slim knowledge of his biography (derived mostly from reading his autobiography and Carpenter's GENIUSES TOGETHER). 

Still, it's odd how some thing stick to an author's 'myth'. In Hemingway's case it's polydactyl cats, yes; tea-drinking, no; living in Cuba, yes; dying in Idaho, no. 

And there's this to consider: Hemingway was a fan of Dunsany's early work, which is just about as different from Hemingway's own as it's possible for two writers to get. So I think I'll have a cup of tea and think kindly thoughts for that about a writer who, though v. good, is not exactly my cup of tea.

--John R. 


Paul W said...

I'm not a huge Hemmingway fan generally, but I do find "The Old Man and the Sea" to be near perfect. For a nice fantasy hook, you might try reading "A Gift in Parting" by Robert Asprin in the third Thieves World anthology, _Shadows of Sanctuary_. It's Asprin does Hemmingway with a fantasy twist... truly a great read. :)

Magister said...

I had no idea that Hemingway liked Dunsany! Wow! Do you have a reference handy? I would like to be able to drop that on the Dunsany panel at NecronomiCon in a couple of weeks. :)

John D. Rateliff said...

re. Hemingway and Dunsany, I'm happy to share. Here's what I said about this in my dissertation, BEYOND THE FIELDS WE KNOW: THE SHORT STORIES OF LORD DUNSANY [1990], Chapter Two: THE BOOKS OF WONDER, section (ix) Lionization, pages 123-124:

"Ernest Hemingway took his [i.e., Dunsany's] tales along with him on a camping trip and read them aloud to his friends at night around the campfire; in typical laconic fashion, Hemingway contributes the briefest evaluation of Dunsany on records ("He's great")."

The endnote associates with this passage (#124, p. 265) gives the source:

"ERNEST HEMINGWAY: SELECTED LETTERS 1917-1961, ed. Carlos Baker (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1981), p. 36. Baker believes that the book Hemingway was referring to was THE BOOK OF WONDER (p. 38), but since Hemingway calls the book "Lord Dunsany's Wonder Tales," it is more likely that it was TALES OF WONDER, the English edition of THE LAST BOOK OF WONDER, which he had probably picked up in Europe before returning from the war."

--Hope this helps;

Magister said...

Excellent! Thanks! :)