Hard Boiled Prose, Hemingway Style

Ernest_Hemingway_1923_passport_photoHard, cold, and carved. The minimalist prose style made famous by Ernest Hemingway shook up avant-garde Paris in the 1920s. It went on to make him a best-selling and influential author. Within a few years any American tough guy pulp writer with a glass of bourbon beside his typewriter wanted to sound like Hemingway.

“They shot the six cabinet ministers at half-past six in the morning against the wall of the hospital. There were pools of water in the courtyard. There were wet dead leaves on the paving of the courtyard. It rained hard.” [in our time, Ernest Hemingway, 1924]

Continue reading

Cleon: Cover Artist to the Lost Generation

cleon7Ernest Hemingway hated the cover to A Farewell to Arms when it was published in 1929. A man, an angel, and a flowering tree in a circular design of gold and red on a blue background.

The cover was done by Cleon, the pen name of Cleonike Damianakes Wilkins. She did three Hemingway covers, a book each for F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, and a couple for Conrad Aiken.

“The Cleon drawing,” Hemingway said, “has a lousy and completely unattractive decadence i.e. large misplaced breasts.”

Continue reading