The Hemingway Symposium–Hemingway and the Modern–opens at the end of this month here at The Community Library September 26th-28th. Hemingway has a hauntingly persistent influence on many readers and writers. A great many of the visitors to our Regional History Library profess an interest (and occasionally an obsession) with the writer, interred in the cemetery just north of our community of Ketchum. Most common reference question? How can one tour the Hemingway house? (Alas, the answer is, one can’t. It is still private property.) But the streamside of the Wood River flowing nearby is public land, and visitors can walk the nearby fishing holes and get a glimpse of the house across the river and into the trees.
Hemingway is mentioned extensively in the first American edition of Kevin Jackson’s Constellation of Genius: 1922: Modernism, Year 1, which just arrived on my desk, soon to land on our new book shelf. Writer, BBC contributor and pataphysician Jackson has created an in-depth biography of the year 1922, which iconoclastic Hailey-born poet Ezra Pound designated as Year One of the new modern epoch. Pound declared the Christian era had ended on the 30th of October, when James Joyce finished Ulysses. The book is a fascinating survey of the explosion of art and literature that began with the publication of Ulysses and ended with the printing of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land. At this time, Hemingway was just 23 and had moved to Paris with his new wife Hadley–Paris would be his base for the next two years as a foreign correspondent for the Toronto Daily Star.
Writer Daniel Woodrell (Winter’s Bone) confessed in a recent article in Atlantic Magazine that reading Hemingway guided his decision to follow writing as a true vocation. Woodrell’s new book, The Maid’s Version, just hit our new fiction shelves–readers can decide for themselves if they detect a wisp of Hemingway’s wraith in the writing.
The Community Library has a wide range of books by, about, and referencing Ernest Hemingway–a keyword search will turn up 1067 hits. Thinking of coming to the symposium? Come and party in the stacks like it’s 1922…we’ve got it covered.