Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Posts Tagged ‘Ernesto

The Importance of Writing “Ernesto,” Part 3

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My short story “Ernesto,” which originally appeared in the March 2012 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact, has just been reprinted by Lightspeed. To celebrate its reappearance, I’ll be publishing revised versions of a few posts in which I described the origins of this story, which you can read for free here, along with a nice interview.

In an excellent interview from a few years ago with The A.V. Club, the director Steven Soderbergh spoke about the disproportionately large impact that small changes can have on a film: “Two frames can be the difference between something that works and something that doesn’t. It’s fascinating.” The playwright and screenwriter Jez Butterworth once made a similar point, noting that the gap between “nearly” and “really” in a photograph—or a script—can come down to a single frame. The same principle holds just as true, if not more so, for fiction. A cut, a new sentence, or a tiny clarification can turn a decent but unpublishable story into one that sells. These changes are often so invisible that the author himself would have trouble finding them after the fact, but their overall effect can’t be denied. And I’ve learned this lesson more than once in my life, perhaps most vividly with “Ernesto,” a story that I thought was finished, but which turned out to have a few more surprises in store.

When I was done with “Ernesto,” I sent it to Stanley Schmidt at Analog, who had just purchased my novelette “The Last Resort.” Stan’s response, which I still have somewhere in my files, was that the story didn’t quite grab him enough to find room for it in a rather crowded schedule, but that he’d hold onto it, just in case, while I sent it around to other publications. It wasn’t a rejection, exactly, but it was hardly an acceptance. (Having just gone through three decades of John W. Campbell’s correspondence, I now know that this kind of response is fairly common when a magazine is overstocked.) I dutifully sent it around to most of the usual suspects at the time: Asimov’s, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and the online magazines Clarkesworld and Intergalatic Medicine Show. Some had a few kind words for the story, but they all ultimately passed. At that point, I concluded that “Ernesto” just wasn’t publishable. This was hardly the end of the world—it had only taken two weeks to write—but it was an unfortunate outcome for a story that I thought was still pretty clever.

A few months later, I saw a call for submissions for a independent paperback anthology, the kind that pays its contributors in author’s copies, and its theme—science fiction stories about monks—seemed to fit “Ernesto” fairly well. The one catch was that the maximum length for submissions was 6,000 words, while “Ernesto” weighed in at over 7,500. Cutting twenty percent of a story that was already highly compressed, at least to my eyes, was no joke, but I figured that I’d give it a try. Over the course of a couple of days, then, I cut it to the bone, removing scenes and extra material wherever I could. Since almost a year had passed since I’d first written it, it was easy to see what was and wasn’t necessary. More significantly, I added an epigraph, from Ernest Hemingway’s interview with The Paris Review, that made it clear from the start that the main character was Hemingway, which wasn’t the case with the earlier draft. And the result read a lot more smoothly than the version I’d sent out before.

It might have ended there, with “Ernesto” appearing without fanfare in an unpaid anthology, but as luck would have it, Analog had just accepted a revised version of my novelette “The Boneless One,” which had also been rejected by a bunch of magazines in its earlier form. Encouraged by this, I thought I’d try the same thing with “Ernesto.” So I sent it to Analog again, and it was accepted, almost twelve months after my first submission. Now it’s being reprinted more than four years later by Lightspeed, a magazine that didn’t even exist when I first wrote it. The moral, I guess, is that if a story has been turned down by five of the top magazines in your field, it probably isn’t good enough to be published—but that doesn’t mean it can’t get better. In this case, my rule of spending two weeks on a short story ended up being not quite correct: I wrote the story in two weeks, shopped it around for a year, and then spent two more days on it. And those last two days, like Soderbergh’s two frames, were what made all the difference.

Written by nevalalee

September 22, 2016 at 8:19 am

The Importance of Writing “Ernesto,” Part 2

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For Whom the Bell Tolls

My short story “Ernesto,” which originally appeared in the March 2012 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact, has just been reprinted by Lightspeed. To celebrate its reappearance, I’ll be publishing revised versions of a few posts in which I described the origins of this story, which you can read for free here, along with a nice interview.

Deadlines are useful for a writer, which is why I generally try to write my short stories in about two weeks. There’s also a pragmatic reason for this: I usually have a delivery date for a much larger project hanging over my head, and I can’t justify taking too much time away for something that I’m mostly just writing for my own satisfaction. Even for its own sake, though, it’s good to get into the habit of turning around finished stories, from initial conception to final draft, in as compressed a timeframe as possible. (In practice, after all the submissions, rejections, and revisions, the process isn’t nearly as straightforward as it sounds, although sometimes, as with “Kawataro,” it comes fairly close. I’ve also learned—the hard way—that it’s wise to let the manuscript cool off for a couple of weeks before taking one final pass.) It’s a self-imposed schedule, but it’s one that I try hard to meet. Which is how I found myself in the unenviable position of having to learn as much as possible about Ernest Hemingway and write a story about him from scratch in something like ten working days.

My first, crucial decision was that the story could not be narrated by Hemingway himself. Not only would this have demanded more psychological detail that I was prepared to handle, but it also raised sticky questions of style. If the story were told from Hemingway’s point of view, it would be hard to avoid falling into clichéd imitation or parody, which, aside from the inherent inadvisability of writing bad Hemingway, wasn’t a prospect that appealed to me. (Although I hadn’t read it at the time, “The Hemingway Hoax” by Joe Haldeman is also one of those stories that makes it unwise to attempt this sort of thing with a straight face for at least a couple of decades.) I also felt that it would be distracting for the reader. The obvious solution, then, was to tell the story through the eyes of a comparatively anonymous but intelligent narrator, a Watson who could speak in my own voice. The fact that the story was a mystery, involving some big investigative leaps by Hemingway himself, was another reason to keep him at arm’s length: as Conan Doyle, and even Poe, understood, the last thing you want is a narrator who is always commenting on his own clever deductions.

Ernest Hemingway

With that in mind, I set to work, constrained both by my schedule and by the contents of the Sulzer Regional branch of the Chicago Public Library. I read the relevant chapters of Carlos Baker’s Hemingway: A Life Story and A.E. Hotchner’s Papa Hemingway, consulted books on the Spanish Civil War, and carefully studied maps of the country between Segovia and Madrid. The most useful material, inevitably, came from Hemingway’s own work. My most valuable source was The Fifth Column, Hemingway’s unproduced play about the war, along with his short stories from the same period, which gave me hints for locations, dialogue, and bits of business, like the cupboard full of contraband canned goods that Hemingway kept in his room at the Hotel Florida. I also drew heavily on For Whom the Bell Tolls, his novel about the Segovia offensive, although because time was running out, I ended up reading only a few sections of the book, filling in the rest—like a high school student with a test the next day—with the movie.

The result, once I organized my notes and wrote the story, wasn’t a perfect picture of Hemingway, but it was a serviceable sketch on which the reader could project his or her own impressions. Hemingway was a man of notorious contradictions, and when you compound this with his fame, it means that everyone has a different idea of who he was. As long as I didn’t get in the reader’s way, much of my work was already done. (I found it amusing, a year after writing the first draft of “Ernesto,” to see Woody Allen’s version in Midnight in Paris, as embodied by Corey Stoll. Despite the presence of Clive Owen and editor Walter Murch, unfortunately, I never made it all the way through Philip Kaufman’s Hemingway & Gellhorn, which covers much of the same period I wrote about here.) I hit my deadline, and after two weeks, I was done—and I suspect that it’s a better story because it was written so quickly, which prevented me from doubting or overthinking it. But it wouldn’t see print for almost two more years. Tomorrow, I’ll explain why.

Written by nevalalee

September 21, 2016 at 8:10 am

The Importance of Writing “Ernesto,” Part 1

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My short story “Ernesto,” which originally appeared in the March 2012 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact, has just been reprinted by Lightspeed. To celebrate its reappearance, I’ll be publishing revised versions of a few posts in which I described the origins of this story, which you can read for free here, along with a nice interview. Please note that this post reveals details about the ending. 

Readers of the story “Ernesto” might reasonably assume that I have a strong interest in the career of Ernest Hemingway. The central character, after all, is a thinly veiled version of the young Hemingway, with a dash of Sherlock Holmes, investigating what initially appears to be a paranormal mystery in the Madrid of the Spanish Civil War. At first glance, it might even seem like a work of Hemingway fanfic, like Bradbury’s “The Kilimanjaro Device,” or Joe Haldeman’s far darker and more sophisticated “The Hemingway Hoax.” (Science fiction writers have always been drawn to Hemingway, who certainly had a lot to say about the figure of the competent man.) In fact, although I live in Hemingway’s hometown of Oak Park, and my daughter has learned to recognize his face on the omnipresent signs that have been posted near the library, he’s a writer I’ve always found hard to like, if only because his style and preoccupations are so radically removed from mine. And the chain of events that led me to write about him is my favorite example from my own career of what I’ve elsewhere called the anthropic principle of fiction, or how a story is never really about what it seems.

“Ernesto” emerged, like many of my stories, from an idea sparked by a magazine article. In this case, it was a piece in Discover by the science writer Jeanne Lenzer about the work of Dr. William Coley, the nineteenth-century surgeon who experimented with bacterial infections, especially erysipelas, as a treatment for cancer. Around the same time, another article in the same magazine had started me thinking about a story about the investigation of miracles by the Catholic Church. And while that particular notion didn’t go anywhere, I ended up settling on a related premise: a mystery about a series of apparently miraculous cures that are actually due to the sort of cancer immunotherapy that Coley had investigated. The crucial step, it seemed, was to find an appropriate figure of veneration, ideally a Catholic saint, around whom I could build the story. And it took only a few minutes of searching online to come up with a viable candidate: St. John of the Cross, the Spanish mystic of the sixteenth century, who died of erysipelas. No other historical figure, as far as I could see, fit all the criteria so well.

Here, then, I had the germ of a story, which could be described in a single sentence: a number of visitants to the tomb of St. John of the Cross are cured of cancer, in what seems like a miracle, but is really due to the side effects of an erysipelas infection. (I knew that there were a few holes in the science here, but I was confident I could work my way around them.) At this point, however, I became conscious of a problem. Since the story was supposed to be a mystery along the lines of The X-Files, I couldn’t have the solution be obvious from the beginning, and I was pretty sure that any modern doctor would be able to tell fairly quickly that a patient was suffering from erysipelas. To delay this revelation, and to mislead the reader, I had to keep my patients away from the hospital for as long as possible, which implied that I couldn’t set the story in the present day. This meant that I was suddenly looking at a period piece that was set in Spain, although not so far in the past that I couldn’t talk about Coley’s work. Which led me, by a logical process of elimination, to the Spanish Civil War.

And that’s how Hemingway entered the story—in the most roundabout way imaginable. When I began devising the plot, not only did I not have Hemingway in mind, but I didn’t even have a setting or a time period. The search for the right saint carried me to Spain, and the specifics of the story I wanted to tell led me to the Spanish Civil War, which would allow me to confuse the issue long enough to delay the solution. At the time, it felt almost random, but when I look back, it seems as mathematically necessary as the reasoning that Poe once claimed was behind the composition of “The Raven.” Once the essential foundations have been set, the writer’s imagination can begin to play, and it seemed to me that if I was going to tell a story about the Spanish Civil War, it pretty much had to include Hemingway. As Umberto Eco says in Foucault’s Pendulum: “Like soy sauce in Chinese dishes. If it’s not there, it’s not Chinese.” Within a few days of starting my research, then, I found myself facing the prospect of writing a story about Hemingway investigating a paranormal mystery in wartime Spain. I really wanted to do it. But I wasn’t sure that I could.

Inventing “The Whale God,” Part 1

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Notebook page for "The Whale God"

Going back to reread your notes for a story that you’ve since written and published can be a disorienting experience. Once a story is in print, there’s a tendency, even by the author, to see it in a new light: it seems permanent, fixed, inevitable. Over time, you start to forget the long chain of discrete, sometimes arbitrary decisions that shaped the plot along the way, or the fact that it could easily have ended up going in a radically different direction. That’s why it’s worth jotting down a record of your initial thoughts on a potential story, even if you aren’t sure if the project will go anywhere. You’ll probably need to refer to it down the line to remind yourself of why you felt like writing about this idea in the first place, and later on, its record of wrong turns and momentary inspirations can be a rewarding one to revisit. (Incidentally, this is why I always start brainstorming every story on a physical sheet of paper, ideally in a notebook, and I follow Francis Ford Coppola’s advice by writing the date at the top of each page.)

In the case of my novelette “The Whale God,” which ultimately became the cover story for the September 2013 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact, the process of working out the bones of the plot took me into some unexpected places. The germ of the story came, as it often does, from an article in a science magazine—in this case, a piece in Discover on whale beachings and their possible connection to sonar. When I came across it, I was systematically looking for ideas, digging through the large pile of magazines that I’ve accumulated over the years for this specific purpose, and I knew at once that this was a subject that I’d enjoy exploring, which is often the crucial first step. At that point, I didn’t know when or where the story would be set, but I wasn’t bothered by this: as I’ve noted before, for a work of speculative fiction, it’s often best to let the setting arise from the problems that the story itself presents, which allows the result to seem logical and organic.

Notebook page for "The Whale God"

My first thought was that it would be a contemporary story set in some interesting region of the world, preferably one that would allow me to incorporate elements of apparent fantasy or mythology that could then be given a scientific rationale. (To the extent that most of the stories I’ve published have a formula, it’s that they initially present fantastic events, then explain them in reasonably plausible scientific terms, which is basically what the The X-Files does in reverse.) Looking back at my notes, I see that I’d originally thought about setting the story in Greenland, which would certainly make for a fascinating location. Later, I was drawn to the potential of Vietnam, which has a thriving whale cult—and a legacy of tales of hungry ghosts—that I knew I could to put to use. In particular, I was intrigued by the possibility of connecting infrasound, with its link to whale beachings, to ghost sightings, which one line of thinking has attributed to low-frequency vibrations and their effect on the human brain and eye.

As soon as I’d gotten this far, however, I ran into a problem that only occurs after you’ve written a handful of stories. In 2011, Analog had published a novelette of mine called “Kawataro,” which had certain similarities to the plot I’d sketched out: it takes place in an East Asian country, centers on elements of local mythology, and ultimately provides a rational explanation for what initially seems like a supernatural event. I didn’t want to repeat myself too blatantly, so I began to consider and discard various options for what became “The Whale God” based on how closely they recalled my previous work, which is something that I suspect many writers need to do, even if they don’t often talk about it. In the end, I decided that the best way to differentiate the two stories would be to give “The Whale God” a period setting, as I’d done with my story “Ernesto.” Tomorrow, I’ll go into more detail about what this involved, and about how I felt when I realized, rather to my surprise, that I was going to write a story set during the Vietnam War.

This is part one of a three-part post. For the next two installments, please see here and here.

Written by nevalalee

July 1, 2013 at 8:54 am

The anthropic principle of fiction

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The next time someone tells you that one of your stories is implausible, you might want to remind them of how implausible they are. Setting aside the point that life in this galaxy, despite what our rational minds may tell us, seems to be extraordinarily rare, the fact that our universe can sustain life at all is almost beyond belief. If the value of even one of a handful of fundamental constants were even slightly different, there couldn’t be any complex structures, like stars; and if the age of the universe didn’t happen to fall, for the moment, into a certain narrow range, there wouldn’t be any planets. This is the anthropic principle, which states, very broadly, that the current habitable state of the universe is predicated on a series of massive coincidences—but if it weren’t, we wouldn’t be here to observe it. Since we wouldn’t exist otherwise, it’s hard to appreciate how unlikely this really is. The universe’s strangeness is an inseparable precondition of the fact that we’re here to tell stories about it. As a result, we tend to take it for granted.

This also turns out to be a remarkably useful principle for writing fiction. If the reader is going to suspend disbelief, it helps if the plot takes place in a setting—which can be as large as the universe or as small as a single person’s mind—that has been invisibly tuned, from the very first line, to make the story possible. My own story “Ernesto,” which appeared in the March 2012 issue of Analog, provides a convenient illustration. I wanted to write a story—and there are some spoilers ahead—in which people suffering from cancer were cured by going to a holy shrine that exposed them to erysipelas bacteria, with the resulting infection driving the cancer away. Needless to say, this is a fairly farfetched premise that poses a number of storytelling problems: an erysipelas infection would be obvious to any doctor in a modern hospital, and I wanted to save this revelation for the end to preserve the mystery. The solution, I concluded, was to set the story in the past, perhaps during wartime, when doctors were stretched thin. When I decided that the most suitable shrine for my purposes was that of St. John of the Cross, who died of erysipelas and is buried in Segovia in Spain, it seemed clear that the best setting for the story was the Spanish Civil War. And if I was going to do all that, well, obviously my hero had to be Hemingway.

And the funny thing about “Ernesto” is that if I’ve done my job correctly, this line of reasoning shouldn’t be obvious: it should look like I set out to write about Hemingway himself, when in fact the largest elements of the story—character, setting, theme—were actually a consequence, derived retroactively, of what seem like minor details. Ideally, then, when I arrive at my solution, it seems inevitable, an organic result of the story I’ve written, when in fact it was anything but. A similar process is visible in my novelette “Kawataro,” in which I ended up writing a story set in a fishing community of the deaf in modern Japan by reasoning backward from a tiny scientific detail. Like “Ernesto,” “Kawataro” could have been set anywhere (it was originally inspired by an article about deaf Bedouins), but when it comes to preparing the reader for the final twist, some settings are better than others. This leads me to what I see as a very powerful rule for writing this kind of fiction: the largest elements of the story should be determined by its least plausible details. If I’d started with a setting I liked, and then tried to shoehorn in the twist, the reader would object at once. But in this case, by the time the twist arrives, it seems relatively logical, but only because the story has been structured around it.

This is the anthropic principle of fiction. Readers will happily accept almost any premise when it’s introduced in the first few pages, but as the story continues, they’ll grow increasingly skeptical of any plot element that doesn’t seem to follow from that initial set of rules—so you’d better make sure that the world in which the story takes place has been fine-tuned to allow whatever implausibilities you later decide to include. I recently went through this process yet again, while writing a novelette that I hope to submit to Analog soon. It’s set during the Vietnam War, in the days leading up to the Tet Offensive, but only because this seemed like the best setting for the story I wanted to tell, which revolves around a stranded whale. I could have put the whale in California or Greenland—both of which I seriously considered—but because of its whale cult, as well as a few other reasons I won’t mention yet, Vietnam seemed best. The result is a story that is emphatically about Vietnam, with all the thematic weight that implies, but I never would have arrived there if I hadn’t reasoned backward to find the time and place best suited for the surprises I had in mind. Whether or not a story works is another matter. But it’s always best to start it with a bit of intelligent design.

Written by nevalalee

September 26, 2012 at 8:57 am

The importance of rewriting “Ernesto”

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In an excellent interview today on the A.V. Club, Steven Soderbergh talks about the surprisingly large impact that small changes can have on work of art: “Two frames can be the difference between something that works and something that doesn’t. It’s fascinating.” He’s talking about film, of course, but the same principle holds true, if not more so, for fiction. A cut here, a new sentence there, a tiny clarification early in the narrative: such invisible changes can turn a decent but unpublishable story into one that sells. Often the changes are so small that the author himself would have trouble finding them after the fact, but the overall effect can’t be denied. And I’ve learned this lesson more than once in my life, most recently when I went out with “Ernesto,” a short story I thought was finished, but turned out to have a few more surprises in store.

When I was done with “Ernesto,” I sent it to Stanley Schmidt at Analog, who had just purchased my novelette “The Last Resort.” Stan’s response, which I still have somewhere in my files, was that the story didn’t quite grab him enough for him to find room for it in a rather crowded schedule, but that he’d hold onto it, just in case, while I sent it around to other publications—not a rejection, exactly, but hardly an acceptance. I then dutifully sent it around to most of the usual suspects: Asimov’s, Fantasy and Science Fiction, and the online magazines Clarkesworld and Intergalatic Medicine Show. Some had kind words for the story, but all of them ultimately passed. At that point, I concluded that “Ernesto” just wasn’t publishable, which was hardly the end of the world—it had only taken two weeks to write—but an unfortunate outcome for a story that I thought was still pretty clever.

A few months later, I saw a call for submissions for a paperback anthology, the kind that pays its contributors in author’s copies, whose theme—science fiction stories about monks—seemed to fit “Ernesto” fairly well. The one catch was that the maximum length for submissions was 6,000 words, while “Ernesto,” at that point, weighed in at over 7,500. Cutting twenty percent of a story that was already very compressed, at least to my eyes, was no joke, but I figured I’d give it a try. Over the course of a couple of days, then, I cut it to the bone, removing scenes and extra material wherever I could. Since almost a year had passed since I’d first written it, it was easier to see what was unnecessary. I also added an epigraph, from Ernest Hemingway’s interview with The Paris Review, that made it clear from the beginning that the main character was Hemingway, which wasn’t the case in the earlier draft. And in the end, I found myself with a story that read a lot more smoothly than the version I’d sent out before.

It might have ended there, with my submitting “Ernesto” to a free anthology, but as luck would have it, Analog had just accepted a revised version of my novelette “The Boneless One,” which had also been rejected by a bunch of magazines in its earlier form. Encouraged by this, I thought I’d give it a try with “Ernesto.” So I sent the story to Analog again, and it was accepted, almost a year after my first submission. The moral, I guess, is that if a story has been turned down by five of the best magazines in your field, it probably isn’t good enough to be published—but that doesn’t mean it can’t get better. In this case, my rule of spending two weeks or less on a short story ended up being not quite accurate: I wrote the story in two weeks, shopped it around for a year, then spent two more days on it. And those two days, like Soderbergh’s two frames, are what made all the difference.

Written by nevalalee

January 18, 2012 at 9:43 am

Stumbling into Hemingway, Part 2

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Deadlines are useful for a writer, which is why I generally try to write my short stories in less than two weeks. There’s a pragmatic reason for this as well: I usually have a deadline for a much larger manuscript hanging over my head, and can’t justify taking too much time away for a side project, however fun it might be. But it’s also just good to get into the habit of turning around finished stories, from conception to final draft, in as limited a time as possible. (In practice, of course, with submissions, rejections, and rewrites, the process isn’t nearly as straightforward as it seems, although occasionally, as in the case of “Kawataro,” it comes fairly close.) This is a self-imposed timeline, but it’s one that I try very hard to meet. Which is how I found myself in the uneviable position of having to learn as much as possible about Ernest Hemingway, and then write a story about him from scratch, in less than ten working days.

My first, crucial decision was that the story would not be narrated by Hemingway himself. Not only would that have required more psychological detail that I was ready to handle, but it also raised sticky questions of style. With the story told from Hemingway’s point of view, there would be no way to avoid falling into imitation, or parody, which, aside from the inherent inadvisability of writing bad Hemingway, was less than an enticing prospect. It would also, I felt, be distracting for the reader. The solution, then, was to tell the story through the eyes of a comparatively anonymous but intelligent narrator, a Watson who could write as I would. The fact that the story was a mystery, involving some dramatic investigative leaps by Hemingway himself, was another reason to keep him at arm’s length: as Conan Doyle, and even Poe, understood, the last thing you want is a narrator who is always commenting on his own brilliant deductions.

With that in mind, I got to work, constrained both by time and by the contents of the Sulzer Regional branch of the Chicago Public Library. I read the relevant sections of Carlos Baker’s Hemingway: A Life Story and A.E. Hotchner’s Papa Hemingway, consulted books on the Spanish Civil War, and carefully studied maps of the country between Segovia and Madrid. Most importantly, of course, I turned to Hemingway’s own work. My most valuable resource was The Fifth Column, Hemingway’s unproduced play about the war, along with several of his short stories about the same period, which gave me valuable clues as to locations, dialogue, and bits of business—like the cupboard full of contraband canned goods that Hemingway kept in his room at the Hotel Florida. I also drew on For Whom the Bell Tolls, his novel about the Segovia offensive, although because time was running out, I ended up reading only a few sections of the book, and filling in the rest, following the example of the best high school sophomores, with the movie.

The result, once I organized my notes and wrote the story, wasn’t a perfect picture of Hemingway, but a sketch on which the reader could project his or her own impressions. Hemingway was a man of notorious contradictions, and this, along with his fame, means that everyone has a particular vision of who he was. As long as I didn’t get in the reader’s way, then, much of my work was already done for me. (I also found it amusing, a year after writing the first draft of “Ernesto,” to see Woody Allen’s version, as embodied by Corey Stoll, in Midnight in Paris. And I can’t wait to see Clive Owen in Philip Kaufman’s Hemingway & Gellhorn, edited by Walter Murch, which covers much of the same period I wrote about here.) In the end, I was able to hit my deadline: after two weeks, the story was finished. But I wasn’t done yet. Tomorrow, I’ll talk about what happened next to “Ernesto,” and the roundabout way in which it finally saw print.

Written by nevalalee

January 17, 2012 at 9:52 am

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