Hemingway excitement begins monday! PBS is running a 3 part 6 hour series titled Conversations About Hemingway.
The film explores the life and work of the legendary man and his enduring influence on literature and culture.
John McCain was interviewed for the series prior to his death in 2018. The interview primarily discussed For Whom the Bells Toll and McCain’s hero, Robert Jordan.
McCain was 12 years old when he came upon the book. He read it in one sitting. Could not put it down. Hemingway’s Robert Jordan became McCain’s hero: “He was willing to fight and do whatever he could for the cause of justice and freedom. I always wanted to be Robert Jordan.”
The statement made me think McCain may have been the last All-American Republican. He represents the hope, dreams, and fiber of what was America.
Matt Gaetz. It seems like a story with no ending.
On this day in 1805, Hans Andersen was born. One of history’s most famous writers of fairy tales. In addition, Andersen wrote plays, travelogues, novels, and poems. He is best remembered however for his fairy tales.
Over the course of his lifetime, he wrote 156 fairy tales consuming 9 volumes. His fairy tales have been translated into more than 125 languages. His fairy tales accessible to children world wide. His fairy tales teaching them lessons of virtue and resiliency in the face of adversity.
His fairy tales in most instances are based on his adverse upbringing followed by success in adulthood.
Respectfully, Andersen was a nut. Not minimally. Big time.
He has been described as a wanker.
The man was obsessive. He kept a diary as to how often he shook the hands of his milkman. Entries such as “I had a double sensuous ++.”
Andersen never married. Celibate his whole life. He was pure and chaste, subject however to lustful thoughts.
He visited Paris brothels. Never actually had sex. Paid the ladies to sit and talk with him. Following which he would return to his hotel and record in his diary the experience.
Many were his unrequited loves. Involving both sexes. History is clear he never had a sexual relationship. His private journals record his refusal to have sexual relations.
His practice was to fall in love with unattainable women. He was shy around women. His attraction to men was the same as with women. No physical contact. No relationship went further than letters of endearment which he wrote.
Historians are clear Andersen never had physical contact with men. Such would have been contrary to his moral and religious ideas.
Some of his fairy tales were autobiographical. The Ugly Duckling is based on his own young life. He wrote subsequent to its publication that the “story is, of course, a reflection of my own life.”
He met Charles Dickens on a visit to England. They corresponded thereafter. Dickens invited him to visit England again ad stay as a guest in his home. A move Dickens late regretted ad infinitum.
The invitation was for 2 weeks. Andersen remained 5. Andersen’s wacky nature was in full bloom during the visit.
He told Dickens it was a Danish tradition that the oldest son of the person being visited was required to shave the guest every day. The request did not fly. Andersen and Dickens were both offended, for different reasons of course.
The matter was resolved by Dickens having Andersen visit a barber each day and Dickens paid for the shave.
Another time, Andersen received a rejection letter from a publisher. He threw himself face down on Dickens’ lawn and sobbed like a baby.
Following Andersen’s departure, Dickens wrote a note which he left in Andersen’s bedroom for all to read over the years: “Hans Andersen slept in this room for five weeks – which seemed to the family AGES!” The AGES capitalization Dickens’.
The friendship ended with the visit. Andersen wrote Dickens a few times. Dickens never responded.
Andersen had a lot of phobias. He was afraid of dogs. He was afraid of being buried alive. He was afraid of contacting the pig parasite illness trichinae.
Regarding the fear of being buried alive phobia, Andersen went to sleep each night with a bedside note: “I only appear to be dead.”
Andersen’s most famous fairy tales include The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Little Match Girl, Thumbelina, The Little Mermaid, The Nightingale, The Red Shes, The Princess and the Pea, and of course The Ugly Duckling.
William Hackley had a bad day this date in 1856. Today in Keys History reported Hackley rose and took his usual long walk. He returned home to bathe. “There was no water in the tub or well so I could not bathe.”
The well went dry!
Appreciate today’s water systems.
Enjoy your day!