Hemingway, JFK! What else do I have to say?!

Ernest Hemingway holding his son John (“Bumby”), 1924 (Kennedy Library. ARC 192694)

Americans love Paris. They even ended the Revolutionary War by writing and signing the Treaty of Paris in that city on September 3, 1783.

War brought other Americans to Paris. Almost 150 years later, it was home to Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, James Joyce, and Ernest Hemingway.

Hemingway’s experience in Paris was colored by war. He arrived in Paris during World War I and went to the Italian front, where he worked briefly as an ambulance driver until injured by mortar fire. He returned to Paris as a correspondent for the Toronto Star in the 1920s, and it was during this time he wrote The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms, novels inspired by those experiences.

He returned again to Europe during World War II, and was present at the D-day landings at Omaha Beach (although as a noncombatant, he did not go ashore.) He won the Nobel Prize for Literature for the Old Man and Sea in 1954, but ended his own life in 1961.

But before that, he loved Paris too. The proof is in his dashing moustache and his stylish beret, evidenced in this picture.

In the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, MA, there are thousands of pictures in the Hemingway Archives, which is part of the collection of the National Archives. Hemingway had been invited to Kennedy’s inauguration as part of a group of artists, writers, and musicians, but ill health prevented him from attending. In 1968, seven years after his death, his papers were given to the Kennedy Library, where they are available for research and study in the Hemingway Room.

You can learn more about the Hemingway Archives and Hemingway’s life in this online resource.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *