Monday, June 20, 2011

Dinner with Ernest

After seeing Midnight in Paris (a fantastic movie) last night, I really, really started to want a time machine. (More than I usually do, rather.) I would love more than anything right now to go back to Paris in the twenties and spend a few evenings in the company of some of history's most brilliant writers, just as the lead character did. The one with whom I'd most like to sit down and have dinner, (despite my fear that he'd drink a bit too much), is Ernest Hemingway. My dad let me borrow a book called Ernest Hemingway on Writing, a collection of quotes by Hemingway concerning the occupation and art of writing. As an aspiring writer myself, I adore this book and only wish I could hear his brilliant writing advice in person. He puts so much emphasis on writing honestly, on writing what is true, something that I'm concerned about when writing as well. He wanted to make his writing not just reflect real life, but have it truly seem "alive," and I only wish that I can somehow achieve that in my own writing.

Now, my dinner with Hemingway might be a bit awkward...seeing as I've never actually read any of his work (something I plan to amend as soon as possible). It also may be a bit strange trying to explain to him that I'm from eighty-some years in the future and was named after his wife. But I digress. 

What I'd absolutely have to do would be: get all the writing advice I could, learn a bit about my namesake firsthand, and get one of my dad's Hemingway books signed for him. And then hopefully F. Scott Fitzgerald would show up and I could sit back and watch the verbal tennis match that would ensue as they offered up their famous criticisms of each other. I don't know what I'd do if they asked my opinion...Hemingway's more imposing when angry, but I've actually read Fitzgerald's work...awkward...

I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Ernest Hemingway on Writing.

"The good parts of a book may be something a writer is lucky enough to overhear or it may be the wreck of his whole damn life - and one is as good as the other." - Hemingway in a letter to Fitzgerald, 1929

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