Hem

“The way into understanding him is through the relationships with women in his life.”

— Lynn Novick

“I can’t imagine how toxic it must have been to have been around him.”

-Ken  Burns.

“I can easily imagine it.”

Lance Marcom

“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”

–Hem

“I could only care about people a very few at a time.”

-Hem

“Wherever he was. Whatever he was doing. Alcohol fueled everything.”

–Ken Burns.

“I have drunk since I was fifteen and few things have given me more pleasure.”

–Hem

***

She shot very well this good, this rich bitch, this kindly caretaker and destroyer of his talent. Nonsense. He had destroyed his talent himself. Why should he blame this woman because she kept him well? He had destroyed his talent by not using it, by betrayals of himself and what he believed in, by drinking so much that he blunted the edge of his perceptions, by laziness, by sloth, and by snobbery, by pride and by prejudice, by hook and by crook.

What was this? A catalogue of old books? What was his talent anyway? It was a talent all right but instead of using it, he had traded on it. It was never what he had done, but always what he could do. And he had chosen to make his living with something else instead of a pen or a pencil.

It was strange, too, wasn’t it, that when he fell in love with another woman, that woman should always have more money than the last one? But when he no longer was in love, when he was only lying, as to this woman, now, who had the most money of all, who had all the money there was, who had had a husband and children, who had taken lovers and been dissatisfied with them, and who loved him dearly as a writer, as a man, as a companion and as a proud possession; it was strange that when he did not love her at all and was lying, that he should be able to give her more for her money than when he had really loved.

–“The Snows of Kilimanjaro”

***

It was now about three o‟clock in the morning and Francis Macomber,
who had been asleep a little while after he had stopped thinking about
the lion, wakened and then slept again, woke suddenly, frightened in a
dream of the bloody-headed lion standing over him, and listening while
his heart pounded, he realized that his wife was not in the other cot in
the tent. He lay awake with the knowledge of two hours.


At the end of that time his wife came into the tent, lifted her mosquito
bar and crawled cozily into bed.


“Where have you been?” Macomber asked in the darkness.
“Hello,” she said. “Are you awake?”
“Where have you been?”
“I just went out to get a breath of air.”
“You did, like hell.”
“What do you want me to say, darling?”
“Where have you been?”
“Out to get a breath of air.”
“That‟s a new name for it. You are a bitch.”
“Well, you‟re coward.”
“All right,” he said. “What of it?”

–“The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber

****

“I would rather have one honest enemy than most of the friends I have known.”

–Hem

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