This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
Maurice Dolbier introduces A.E. Hotchner, the author of the biography "Papa Hemingway," a biography and account of his own fourteen year friendship with Ernest Hemingway. Hotchner recounts Hemingway's working style and recalls some of their times together in Spain. He recalls reading Hemingway's early drafts of "A Movable Feast," one chapter in particular, titled "A Matter of Measurements" was particularly indiscreet in relation to F. Scott Fitzgerald. Hotchner briefly goes into the circumstances of Hemingway's death.
Next, Dolbier introduces Marguerite Young, author of "Miss Macintosh, My Darling." Young describes the characters found in her book, the same as those found in her earlier book "Angel in the Forest." Both books are studies of Utopian concepts and communities. She notes that women are often the sacrifice of Utopias. Particularly, she speaks of the actions of the communities leader, George Rapp. She describes dramatic stories from his life.
For more on Young and this broadcast please see: http://www.wnyc.org/blogs/neh-preservation-project/2013/jan/30/marguerite-young/
Next, Dolbier introduces Arthur Goldberg, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Supreme Court Justice and, at the time of the recording, Ambassador to the United Nations. Goldberg discusses the recent publication of "The defenses of freedom; the public papers of Arthur J. Goldberg." The book, he promises, tells the reader what his beliefs on rights, freedom, liberty, and equality.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 71383
Municipal archives id: T2551
This is a machine-generated transcript. Text is unformatted and may contain errors.
With a missed Hemingway friendship meant absolute loyalty given and received it meant that each party to the relationship stayed true to his own identity straight and phony but each would always level with the other as he said of his friendship with Milan a Dietrich they always told each other everything that happened and they never lie to each other except when very necessary and then only on a temporary basis the mortality rate among these friendships a Hudson writes was as high as Hemingway's standards Mr Hudson himself came fairly late to this on a company it was nine hundred forty eight and he was in his mid twenty's when he first met in his coming way but he measured up to the standards and was a close comrade and confidant of the right over the fourteen years that remained of Hemingway's life his book is a record of that friendship written in the way that Hemingway said was the only way to account with things to tell the whole truth about them holding back nothing tell the reader the way it really happened the way the weather was until near the very end when the black clouds gathered and the lightning struck the weather was fine at their first encounter Mr Husna thought that he had never seen anyone who radiated such an aura of fire and well being and that radiation is still active in the pages of sparkling conversation and the accounts of companionship and adventure in travel and sport. Mr HUDSON a Born in St Louis began his career as a lawyer served in the Air Force during the war and since nine hundred fifty has been a freelance writer among whose works have been several television adaptations of Hemingway stories interpretations as true and a sympathetic as this present memoir it is a government estate which. I would have liked to begin with certain Hemingway stories that I think are rather appealing but unfortunately this being a luncheon predominantly made up of ladies in the story being predominately designed for men smokers. I think instead I better tell you about my meeting the other night at a party with Jenna Flannery whom I hadn't seen for many years and without any how do you do is or how are you she simply said let's get right to it should you hand and I said is that a query or an accusation not a query Well then I said I have to tell you that's a question of morality and I don't know I debated it for a long time and in the end I had no alternative I had to but it will always be a question she said fine and I can tell you that I heartily approve but I wanted you to have the question well what she was referring to and what Mr Dalby have referred to as disclosure of what happened in the end years which were not fun and which were not in keeping with what everyone had been led to believe was Hemingway's role the thing that makes the problem in relation to telling about Ernest in terms of a book in terms of an evening of talk with good friends is that he ascended to that rare role that we give to few men that of the hero figure. He was the emissary of other men's Drene he roamed the world shooting wild animals and covering wars and meeting beautiful movie actresses and writing marvelous books it also created on the pages other heroes and both of these functions are very rare so in one man the hero existed and what we always attach to these heroes is a feeling of immortality so that when they die comes as a great shock if you mention his death to anyone they will immediately tell you what he or she was doing at the moment they heard that he had died which is an interesting revelation is the impact of that death now as far as what he did in the good parts of his years I'm sure that you've all read that he was motivated by what became a celebrated death wish whether subliminal or actual And I can assure you that it didn't exist nor did he live it up to write it down as many critics averred what happened really was that Ernest had a marvelous sense of adventure of wellbeing and of great enjoyment that he radiated everybody else so he went where his interest took him and from these various places he found the things that later went underground in him and emerges his writing he had he put himself under pressure because under pressure he felt he felt the extremities of what he could do and that's what interested him in other men the moderate or who under the pressure of death could perform with great style grace under pressure the soldier in battle who suddenly sends to a moment of grace something that the wasn't designed for the ordinary man that interested earners in him self and others and he wrote about it and so we began to associate him with that but it wasn't true what he was really looking for was just to have a hell of a good time every day of his life and he planned it that way. Well originally I was just going to write about the good times and the life some of which I had shared with them and many of which you told me about I had kept a lot of journals and I really hadn't decided when I would write about it but it came about this way and you may be interested to know how the book started I received soon after his death the letter from Professor Carlos Baker who informed me that he was the official biographer and asked me to send him all over his letters that all of his friends were and I answered back that I couldn't the nature of these letters were such that I was sure Ernest never intended for anybody else to see them. Dr Baker said that I was the only one of those his friends who wasn't coming through and I said well so be it but any time that you would like to see me and talk about whatever I can tell you about Ernest I'm only too happy to do that and I received a letter back saying. Thank you for your offer I am very busy right now Dr Baker said assimilating huge amounts of material but the first chance you get Would you just sit down and write me an account of what you remember about Ernest So I took all three years and wrote the account and that's what's published here. Well some of the good times. You understand some of them where reminiscences for example. One occasion in Paris he wanted to go see his old friend Harry who ran Harry's Bar He said you know in the good days in the twenty's that was the bar now it's mostly tourist but I love Harry and I got to go see him while we're at the bar I said you know. Back in the twenty's when Harry was first starting and just getting a drinking clientele I used to come in here and it was very popular but there was an X. pug used to be a welterweight champion who had gone to live in Paris and he had a pet lion and he used to come in for a drink in the afternoon and he stand at the bar yes it was a very well behaved lion no growls or roars or anything like that but as lions will during the course of the afternoon. He wasn't very well by our train and so he. Dirtied up the floor this caused all the drinkers to disperse immediately and of course it was very ruinous to Harry's business so he asked the park not to come in again with The Lion The next day came again in the same thing happened so the third day when it happened Harry discussed it with their nest and Ernest gone over and requested the pot not to come again the next day when he came around it said he went over and picked up the POG bombs rushed him out of there went back the I gave him a dirty look but he took him by the main and he hustled them out of the sidewalk and that night he said to himself My God I'm throwing lions out of bars I better start to work and so that's how he started A Farewell to Arms. There was really another factor because the next day he had some friends in for drinks and he was living in a a little walk up. One room affair they had a big skylight. And one of the people who had come up for drinks unfortunately went to the bathroom pulled the wrong chain in the sky life L.. It shattered and it cut on his head causing a bleed profusely and he rushed to the bathroom of blood over the tub because he said he had his only suit on so they called Archie McLeish who knew a young doctor at the American Hospital named Carl Weiss and Ernest said this was the man who years later shot he long he came to treat me though and what he did to my head he did much worse than his job and he long. At any rate he bled so much that that night when he was the six day bike races feeling absolutely marvelous and thinking about the lion and thinking about how great he felt he went home and started to write the first page of A Farewell to Arms I imagine that. Most of that is true. Some of the things that were fun we did together for example we were in the gritty Palace Hotel in the winter of one nine hundred fifty it's a colossal that once princes that lived in three hundred years old the rooms are marvelously ornate they have high Gothic windows with or Nick Glass in them this was the day before we were to leave in earnest had a lot of people up for some reason that I can't recall I think he got into an argument with a cricket friend over whether it was harder to throw a baseball or a cricket ball at any rate he want to demonstrate baseball so he rolled up a pair of his socks to be the baseball and asked me to use the doorstop as a bat for the doorstop in the gritty like everything else is very ornate it has a hand carved shaft that rises somewhat like a baseball bat and it's on the on a very heavy legged base and if you grasp the shaft of it you can you can do that with it so this sucks or it's wrong and I swung moderate mightily hit the socks and went right through the window shattering it out into the night there was a cry from below it appears that a member of the city council was walking below and got nicked with it while I was being congratulated for having knocked a pair of wool socks through the window when we discover that what had happened was that the lead bass and come off and gone through the window. So the next day when we were leaving Ernest went to the manager and apologised for having destroyed such a fine window and asked to be put on the bill and the manager said No you hear me when I should say not in the three hundred year history of this hotel you're the first man to have played baseball in the in the room so we're taking ten percent off the bill. Those were good times there were many of them the time he was my manager and we went to the ring I dressed as a bull fighter. I thought it was a big joke we were in with the two great monitors of the world it was me go down in game and Antonio don't youth and it wasn't until we actually got into the Quadri or wagon or on our way to the ring that I realized that it wasn't a joke and in Spain masquerading as a moderate or is a very serious business you can wind up in a dungeon where there is no Hippias corpus to get you out and stay there for months so very nervously I said Now Ernest as my manager would you tell me for God's sake what I'm supposed to do this is just three things to remember when you get to the ring in the first place look tragic eyes if you look at me that fine so in the second place. When you're waiting underneath the stands or in the later don't lean on anything it doesn't look good for the suit I said OK so the third thing is when the photographers come take your picture put your right leg forward it's sexier and that's all they told me and I was a hell of a martyr or that afternoon. Well that was the book was going to be about the good times all the way through the summer of fifty nine and I was going to end it there and just say that that was the last of the good times and from then on the Times turned bad but it wouldn't end. I went in and told Bennett Cerf it when certain things bothered me if I ended it there that would be. A half truth that really wasn't the truth of our friendship nor what I knew and felt about Ernest and certain things that he had said kept coming back to me he had said that when a man loses the center of his existence and existence is impossible and he had lost it and he had not wanted to exist on any terms except his own if he had been an ordinary man. But it's a my brother who's a fine fellow but an ordinary man I would have had no. Second thoughts I would write nothing presuming that what I knew about Ernest last year was only known to me which wasn't true but presuming that I could have understood it but I began to think about what had happened when he showed me a chapter about Scott Fitzgerald during the writing of what became a movable feast urns showed me some of the chapters along the way and one of these chapters called a matter of measurements was a very indiscreet chapter it had to do with what I thought was Fitzgerald. Own world and shouldn't have been written about and Ernest Withers angry when I told him that he said why would I write this This is very vital to knowing about Scott sure it's a very private business and I had a shown that he was an adequate and taken to the museum and show him the statues and so on that he was he was OK but he said for people to understand Scott they have to know this about him and a lot of other things and he was my friend but he was way beyond that he said he belongs to the world the world reads him and he's dead and the only rule is you never write about a friend while he's alive well I thought about that and I began to see that that had to be the truth that you had to tell what you knew in terms of taste and in terms of what you felt was vital to the man I think that. Janet's question and some other people's wouldn't be the same if Ernest died of cancer or something that we would accept. If I had written about a heroic struggle against cancer for a year and how finally come to it destroyed himself because of it no one would challenge it what's involved is mental illness and we are back in the dark ages we want to discuss it world's most prevalent disease but it was more important in terms of what happened Ernest the very people who believed in his immortality his readers were the people who destroyed him in the end and that's really what I've tried to write about that's really what I think is important he lived with. Ditto a Spanish saying of his that he believe in a very much man can be destroyed but not defeated and that's true of a lot of heroes of his books The tenant Henry Jake Barnes Robert Jordan Santiago the old fisherman they were all destroyed but none of them was defeated and when I saw Ernest. In June. The Mayo Clinic the best friend I ever had or will have he was destroyed a month later it took his life he was never defeated well so to the question should you have my answer had to be I had to because I honestly think that's the way Ernest would have wanted me to write it. In the current issue of the Columbia University forum Professor Charles Holt refers to Truman Capote his description of the month fiction novel as a serious new art form and says that what Mr Potter thinks he