Ha! I knew it! I have known for many years that there was something wrong with Ernest Hemingway… and I don’t mean any of the documented stuff like alcoholism, depression, etc. (Though as I write this, that all does seem fairly serious.)
To be honest, I have always thought that maybe there was something wrong with me. I have a long-standing dissatisfaction with Hemingway and his fellow sadist (I mean, author) F. Scott Fitzgerald. It’s not to say that they weren’t brilliant authors (they were), but I have always hated their writing.
The fact that they seem to be just about everyone else’s favorite authors always left me feeling just a little – off. Like, maybe there was something really wrong with the way my brain worked and you could only tell when I was reading Hemingway or Fitzgerald? Could that be some kind of weird literature disease that had gone as yet undocumented?
You can see, that I have thought this through…
Well, today I feel vindicated! I am reveling in a new found sense of health and freedom that must feel much like when a prisoner of war is finally released, or someone with a terrible infection is finally clean. (Is that too melodramatic?)
You see, today I learned that Ernest Hemingway was a KGB agent! All of those years of worry and concern that I was missing something wonderful because I could not bear to read another word of Hemingway, was actually my brain (and perhaps my soul) telling me that the author was a pinko (people still use this word, right?), commie spy.
Apparently the KGB recruited Hemingway in 1941, at which point he made a trip to China and was given the code-name “Argo”. “After which he “repeatedly expressed his desire and willingness to help us (KGB)” when he met Soviet agents in Havana and London in the 40s.” Seemingly Hemingway was a pretty terrible spy, because he was never able to dig up any useful information for the Soviets and by the end of the 1940s they just stopped contacting him.
So the Hemingway story adds another chapter, and I don’t think this will really do much to hurt his reputation among his fans.
I am glad to be vindicated of my distaste for his work… conservatives and communists just don’t mix.
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