Ernest Hemingway

Facts and Fun

His Own Words

“From things that have happened and from things as they exist and from all things that you know and all those you cannot know, you make something through your invention that is not a representation but a whole new thing truer than anything true and alive, and you make it alive, and if you make it well enough, you give it immortality" (Plimpton).
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nobelprize.org


The following link is to Ernest Hemingway reading some of his own writing.


Places and Jobs and Events

  • Oak Park, Illinois -- Born -- Didn't Like his Mom -- Dad Doctor
  • Kansas City -- Newspaper -- Learned a Terse Style of Writing
  • Italy -- Ambulance Driver during WWII -- Hurt -- Received Medals
  • USA -- Newspaper Jobs Often War Correspondent in Europe-- Two Plane Crashes
  • Africa -- Traveled -- Big Game Hunting, Fishing
  • Havana -- Wrote
  • Pulitzer Prize for Fiction '53
  • Nobel Prize in Literature '54
  • Idaho -- Wrote and Died of Self-Inflicted Gun Shot Wound

(Nobelprize.org, Plimpton, Miller)

Iceberg Principle

“If a writer of prose knows enough of what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water.”

(Wikipedia).

Writing Facts

He “liked to portray soldiers, hunters, bullfighters-tough at times primitive people, whose courage and honesty are set against the brutal ways of modern society, and who in the confrontation lose hope and faith.” (Plimpton).


  • Wrote standing at a cramped little desk
  • Worked 'til noon daily
  • A good day was when he used up two lead pencils
  • Had a leopard skin wrapped over his bureau in Havana
  • Influenced by Joyce, Mozart, Thoreau, Picasso, Van Gogh and Twain


He said “First I have tried to eliminate everything unnecessary to conveying experience to the reader so that after he or she has read something, it will become a part of his or her experience and seem actually to have happened.” (Plimpton)

(Nobelprize.org, Plimpton, Miller).

Works Cited


  • "Ernest Hemingway - Biographical." Nobelprize.org. Nobel MediaAB, 2013. Web. 30 July 2013.
  • "Ernest Hemingway." Wikipedia. 13June2013. 20 July 2013.
  • Plimpton, George. "Ernest Hemingway, The Art of Fiction No 21." Paris Review. 2013: Web.3 Aug. 2013. <www.theparisreview.org>.
  • Schumacher, Julie. American Short Stories: 1920 to the Present. Logan, IA: Perfection Form Learning Corp., 2003. 20. Print.
  • Miller, Matt. "Idaho Ernest Hemingway’s Last Home." The Nature Conservancy. The Nature Conservancy, 13 Sep 2012. Web. 3 Aug 2013.