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July 27, 2008

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this guy was an amazing talent and his early stories have still not been fully appreciated. but of course his head got pretty bent over the years. not that many people know that ernest's son gregory (aka 'mouse') was a tranny who eventually had a sex change surgery. the letters between ernest and mouse are very emotional. ernest too had some inclinations that kind of freaked him out but maybe provided an energy of repression that showed in his extremely restrained early work, which has all kinds of hidden messages. i suspect he never thought much about 'wind in the willows' but he should have. when toad falls in love with the automobile he doesn't think, 'am i weird?' he just goes for it. on the other hand, toad was not a writer. in fact i don't think he did anything for a living.

Gertrude Stein has a great riff on "the real Ernest Hemingway" in "The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas."

Sometimes he called himself Hemingstein. Like many a joke, this one is overloaded with implication: a slur on Jews, the notion that he is secretly one of them, and a tip of the hat to Gertrude Stein, who always said she had "a weakness for Hemingway."

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