At the end of the safari, Hemingway had filled his mind with images, incidents, and character studies of unique value for his writings. As the harvest of the trip he wrote the nonfiction novel Green Hills of Africa, and some of his finest stories. In spite of the obvious importance of the Paris years on Hemingway's development as a writer, few of his short stories have French settings.
He was aware of that fact and in his preface to A Moveable Feast wistfully mentions subjects that he might have written about, some of which might have become short stories. It seems that he also assembled a group of extramilitary scouts keeping pace with the retreating Germans. The balance between fiction and nonfiction in his stories of the period, including the previously unpublished "Black Ass at the Cross Roads," may never be determined.
Toward the end of his life Hemingway wrote two fables for the child of a friend, "The Good Lion" and "The Faithful Bull," which were published by Holiday in and are reprinted here. We have grouped seven previously unpublished works of fiction at the back of the book. Four of these represent completed short stories; the other three comprise extended scenes from unpublished, uncompleted novels. The finca was dear to his heart and it seems appropriate now that it should contain a major portion of his life work, which was even more dear.
This country no longer exists. It was not done in by middle-class real estate developers like Chekhov's cherry orchard, which might have been its fate in Puerto Rico or Cuba without the Castro revolution, but by the startling growth of the population of poor people and their shack housing which is such a feature of all the Greater Antilles, no matter what their political persuasion. As children in the very early morning lying awake in bed in our own little house that Marty had fixed up for us, we used to listen for the whistling call of the bobwhites in that country to the south.
It was a country covered in manigua thicket and in the tall flamboyante trees that grew along the watercourse that ran through it, wild guinea fowl used to come and roost in the evening.
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They would be calling to each other, keeping in touch with each other in the thicket, as they walked and scratched and with little bursts of running moved back toward their roosting trees at the end of their day's foraging in the thicket. Manigua thicket is a scrub acacia thornbush from Africa, the first seeds of which the Creoles say came to the island between the toes of the black slaves. The guinea fowl were from Africa too. They never really became as tame as the other barnyard fowl the Spanish settlers brought with them and some escaped and throve in the monsoon tropical climate, just as Papa told us some of the black slaves had escaped from the shipwreck of slave ships on the coast of South America, enough of them together with their culture and language intact so that they were able to live together in the wilderness down to the present day just as they had lived in Africa.
The farmhouse is built on a hill that commands an unobstructed view of Havana and the coastal plain to the north. There is nothing African or even continental about this view to the north. It is a Creole island view of the sort made familiar by the tropical watercolors of Winslow Homer, with royal palms, blue sky, and the small, white cumulus clouds that continuously change in shape and size at the top of the shallow northeast trade wind, the brisa. In the late summer, when the doldrums, following the sun, move north, there are often, as the heat builds in the afternoons, spectacular thunderstorms that relieve for a while the humid heat, chubascos that form inland to the south and move northward out to the sea.
In some summers, a hurricane or two would cut swaths through the shack houses of the poor on the island. Lightning must still strike the house many times each summer, and when we were children there no one would use the telephone during a thunderstorm after the time Papa was hurled to the floor in the middle of a call, himself and the whole room glowing in the blue light of Saint Elmo's fire.
During the early years at the finca, Papa did not appear to write any fiction at all. He wrote many letters, of course, and in one of them he says that it is his turn to rest. Let the world get on with the mess it had gotten itself into. Marty was the one who seemed to write and to have kept her taste for the high excitement of their life together in Madrid during the last period of the Spanish Civil War.
Papa and she played a lot of tennis with each other on the clay court down by the swimming pool and there were often tennis parties with their friends among the Basque professional jai alai players from the fronton in Havana. One of these was what the young girls today would call a hunk, and Marty flirted with him a little and Papa spoke of his rival, whom he would now and again beat at tennis by the lowest form of cunning expressed in spins and chops and lobs against the towering but uncontrolled honest strength of the rival.
It was all great fun for us, the deep-sea fishing on the Pilar that Gregorio Fuentes, the mate, kept always ready for use in the little fishing harbor of Cojimar, the live pigeon shooting at the Club de Cazadores del Cerro, the trips into Havana for drinks at the Floridita and to buy The Illustrated London News with its detailed drawings of the war so far away in Europe. Papa, who was always very good at that sort of thing, suggested a quotation from Turgenev to Marty: "The heart of another is a dark forest," and she used part of it for the title of a work of fiction she had just completed at the time.
They never really became as tame as the other barnyard fowl the Spanish settlers brought with them and some escaped and throve in the monsoon tropical climate, just as Papa told us some of the black slaves had escaped from the shipwreck of slave ships onthe coast ofght of Saint Elmo's fire. See All Customer Reviews.
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About the Author. Ernest Hemingway did more to influence the style of English prose than any other writer of his time. Date of Birth: July 21, Date of Death: July 2, Place of Birth: Oak Park, Illinois. Place of Death: Ketchum, Idaho. Read an Excerpt Publisher's Preface There has long been a need for a complete and up-to-date edition of the short stories of Ernest Hemingway.
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Place Hold. Add To List. LC Subjects. Short stories, American. Citation formats are based on standards as of July Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy. The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway will stand as the definitive collection by the man whose craft and vision remains an enduring influence on generations of readers and writers.
All rights reserved. Table of Contents. Fathers and sons. Part II. An African story. A train trip Also in This Series.