Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Real Ernest Hemingway


Source: Instauration magazine, February 1979

THE MENTION of Ernest Hemingway (pictured) in the December Instaurationtriggered a flood of memories, ranging from amusing to grotesque. He cultivated the rich and powerful assiduously, and our paths crossed often. I ran into him in East Africa, hunting with Winston Guest; bellied up to the bar at the Ritz with Leland Hayward; lunching at 21 with Marlene Dietrich; playing king to the whole world in Havana.
Pertinently enough, he embodied every strain of racism from pitiless clarity to utter confusion. And in him the spectrum was doubly pertinent because he was a national phenomenon, like Byron in his day and Jack Kennedy in his, acting out the fantasies of an entire nation, boozing and womanizing and generally living the American male dreams up to the hilt. His alcoholism, brutality and battiness were ignored and covered over by friends and enemies alike, where those traits in other famous figures were broadcast in detail. He had, again like Jack Kennedy, a strange power over his countrymen — a sort of blackmail in which he said, by implication, “If you dare to tell the truth about me, I’ll tell the truth about you, which is the same truth.” And, yet again like Jack Kennedy, he was the perfect chicken American male, the capon talking in terms of action but perfectly passive (or absent) when it came to going against established interests.
The only people he couldn’t bully were those in positions of power, and to them he was exceedingly deferential. He was always quite polite and pleasant with me, and I enjoyed his company. Oblique and cunning in everything, he nevertheless let you know his exact feelings one way or another.
His ambivalence on race was marvelous. All Jews were “kikes” and “yids” behind their backs, and treated with playful condescension when present. He detested David Selznick with a passion and once said, while looking at a Time photograph of that producer with his arm around his wife, Jennifer Jones: “Can you imagine that rubbing all over you? How does she stand it?”
“No different from any other fat businessman, is he?” someone replied.
“Quite different,” Ernest said. “Those kikes smell different and feel different.”
“You speak from experience, I suppose,” someone else said.
“Got to try them once,” Hemingway said with a mean grin.
Later that evening, when a stranger asked him what was the most brutal sight he’d ever seen, expecting some war tale, he said, “A yid eating an apple in the back seat of a Rolls-Royce.”
Of course, such talk was not uncommon in privileged white circles before World War II, and for several years thereafter in scattered pockets of disgruntled resistance. What distinguished Hemingway was the somewhat broader range of his dislike, the absolute lack of mercy and the perfect hypocrisy. Two minutes after giving Selznick the works, he could be on the telephone with some Jew and buttering him up shamelessly.
Read More: http://nationalvanguard.org/2016/06/the-real-ernest-hemingway/

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