|Paul Hendrickson, Hemingway's Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost, 1934-1961 Knopf Doubleday, 2011|
Last night, at Boston's JFK Presidential Library and Museum, talking on stage with WBUR's Scott Simon, Paul Hendrickson discussed his new book, Hemingway's Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost, 1934-1961. In this biography, Ernest Hemingway’s long relationship with his beloved boat, Pilar, becomes the vehicle through which Hendrickson tells the story of Hemingway's life. But Scott Simon, after asking Hendrickson about his boat Pilar (Hemingway's fifth 'wife'), asked about Hemingway's relationship with his sons. From there on in, the discussion focused on Hemingway's youngest son, Gigi.
Last night we learned a lot, but as Hendrickson said about his reading of Hemingway's fishing logs, we felt more than we learned, and what Marash Girl felt was that the presenter was unable to face the facts that he presented. (Can't believe that Marash Girl is challenging such a distinguished authority!) Hendrickson was obsessed with not only the tragedy of Ernest Hemingway's life (as evidenced in the title of this recently published biography), but the tragedy of Hemingway's youngest son Gregory (nicknamed by Papa Hemingway Gigi with a hard 'g'), the tragedy of Gigi's life. Spending more than half of his lecture on the minute details of Gigi's struggle with sexual identity and eventual sex reassignment surgery, Hendrickson suggested that Gigi was acting out what Gigi's father (Ernest Hemingway) really wanted to be. The facts that Hendrickson presented told another story.
"It's so obvious that Gigi wanted to be loved by his father, and chose to be what his father loved. And what did his father love? Women," Marash Girl commented to her neighbor.
"Go up to the mike and tell the author that," encouraged her neighbor, but Marash Girl, not having the courage to go up to the microphone and challenge the esteemed author before an audience of hundreds, chose to challenge the author on this blog.
Walking to the parking lot, Marash Girl overheard one gentleman commenting, "I do wish Hendrickson had told us something about Hemingway's other two sons." I guess that gentleman will have to read the book!
|Paul Hendrickson (left) and Scott Simon discuss Hendrickson's book, HEMINGWAY'S BOAT at the JFK Library, October 14, 2011 Photo Credit: Marash Girl|
N.B. The Ernest Hemingway Collection of papers, including Hemingway's fishing logs, are housed at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, Massachusetts.