The Importance of Being Ernest
Updated: Apr 19
I am often asked why I called my website NoHemingway.
NoHemingway sounds a lot like know Hemingway and is very similar to another website nothemingway.com but the inspiration came when I quoted Don Hemingway on Twitter and a person tried to insult me by typing: “You’re no Hemingway.”
If I knew Hemingway, I might be tempted to start a blog called Know Hemingway but my only connection to the great writer is that I am surrounded by the same bars and restaurants that he drank in and the Spanish scenes that he saw.
I have yet to write about bullfighting in Spain as I know I will get in trouble for that article and I have yet to read all of Hemingway's short stories and books.
The horror of my limited understanding Hemingway can be summed up in these wise words from Stephen King,
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or tools) to write.”
I am not Hemingway nor do I presume to think that I know his work, even if I will frequently quote some of his more famous sayings. I do so because I like his quotes and I know that others know Hemingway's work.
I find it interesting when we know about a writer’s life and not just their writing and I am always fascinated by how well people in the Bloomsday Society in Madrid, truly understand James Joyce.
They know the minutiae of Joyce and his life and the obvious example is that we all know what day Joyce met Nora Barnacle. We know that he taught English at Berlitz and the places he visits in his writings have become iconic locations in Ireland.
I am surrounded by Spanish life in the centre of the capital which can be fascinating to observe but when it comes to writing about Spain in the English language then who else comes to mind but Ernest freaking Hemingway.
I am an honest writer but poor reader and make frequent mistakes that need correction when I re-read something I have written.
I tell my students to, write, read, re-read and re-write but must apologise that my jokes and comments can sometimes be difficult to interpret and translate into Spanish.
My style of writing was honed while writing an entertainment column called Morgan Says where readers in my hometown enjoyed my silly sayings which were far more colourful and honest than the rest of the articles in the local newspaper.
It might be better for an American and not an Irishman to call themselves No Hemingway and even the title of this blog comes from Oscar Wilde and not the Spanish adventurer, Señor Hemingway.
I hope you enjoy my rants and observations even if you don't agree with all of them and remember as @MrRogers715 pointed out on Twitter, I am no Hemingway.