Friday, 13 May 2016

Of Human Bondage Recommended by Ernest Hemingway

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Ernest Hemingway's reading list in April 1934

I was browsing around and found an interesting document. When recommending what to read to a young budding writer in April 1934, not unlike what W. Somerset Maugham was asked many times, Ernest Hemingway included on his list Of Human Bondage.

The young writer was Arnold Samuelson, whose life sounds very sad. After this incredible self-assertion and courage and determination to reach the master that he worshipped, and successfully spending 10 months with Hemingway, one way or another the spark seems to have extinguished without further ado.

Posthumously his daughter gathered his drafts and published the memoirs: With Hemingway: A Year in Key West and Cuba, in which this reading list is included. The actual piece of paper is now in Pierpont Morgan Library in New York.

Maugham, on his part, included Hemingway's "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber" in Great Modern Reading (1943).

A very good account of how Samuelson got to Hemingway and their encounter is given here: Ernest Hemingway Creates a Reading List for a Young Writer, 1934

More about Samuelson can be read here: Cormac McCarthy's Debt to Ernest Hemingway's Maestro: Allusions to Arnold Samuelson in All the Pretty Horses

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With Hemingway: A Year in Key West and Cuba at AbeBooks
Great Modern Reading at AbeBooks

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