Give Now

Bullfights, Fistfights, and a Naked Ernest Hemingway

This naked photo of Hemingway means a lot more than you might think.

Instead of naked on the beach, Ernest Hemingway would probably have preferred to be remembered on safari in Africa. January, 1934. Photograph in the Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

Professor and biographer Christoph Irmscher was sifting through a special collection in Indiana University’s Lilly Library, when he stumbled on a nearly-nude photograph of Ernest Hemingway. The photo belonged to Max Eastman, a writer, critic, and editor whom Irmscher describes as, “the prince of Greenwich Village in the nineteen-teens and twenties.” As for Hemingway, his reputation precedes him–

“This kind of virile, swaggering dude,” Irmscher asserts.  “He’s somebody who’s known for these feats of masculinity, being a war correspondent, a big game hunter–the kind of daring that’s also in his novels.”

At one point, however, Eastman suggested that Hemingway’s writing was not quite as tough as it pretended to be.  That it possessed, in Eastman’s words, “a literary style, you might say, of wearing false hair on the chest.”

Producer Allison Quantz traces the connection between literary emasculation and the photo Eastman kept for so long to tell a story of pride, manliness, and how tough it can be to buck the norm.

————————————————

Allison Quantz is a radio producer living in Bloomington, Indiana. Her work has been heard across the country on such shows such as BackStory with the American History Guys, Word of Mouth, and With Good Reason. “Naked Hemingway” is the debut of her series Archival, about stories found in the boxes, basements and drawers of archives around the world.

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media Arts & Music:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Search Arts and Music

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media Arts & Music:

Recent Books & Literature Stories

Books & Literature Events RSS icon

More Events »Submit Your Event »

Arts & Music is on Twitter

Find Us on Facebook

This Week on Poets Weave

The Quiz

Christine Brandel reads "Panic Annie, Becoming a Witness," "To My Son Who Was Never Born," and "The Quiz."

Read more »

The Poets Weave is a weekly five-minute program of poetry reading hosted by local poet Christopher Citro.

More from The Poets Weave »