American novelist, Nobel laureate (1899-1961). Exceptional group of four letters from Hemingway to his close friend Guy Hickok. France, Spain, the Bahamas, Cuba, and aboard the S.S. Volendam of the Holland-America Line. 4to and 8vo. 18 pages.
$ 54,000 / 48.000 €
Exceptional group of four letters from Hemingway to his close friend Guy Hickok, comprising one ALS, two partial autograph letters, and a one-page TLS. The longest ALS, signed “Ernest,” nine pages on five sheets, May 7, , was written aboard the S.S. Volendam of the Holland-America Line. In part: “When my kidney was being weird had to give up drinking for about 6 weeks but now can drink and have drunk for ever since a year ago last February—I may have made a certain amt. of dough which has all been give away, loaned or spent but I am a son of a bitch if I have become respectable and no later than last winter was forced to sleep all night on the front porch—not being a good size for Pauline to carry up stairs—and on going to church the next morning was supposed to be healed…just because I had bumped into the holy water fount, that I saw the car was standing with the top down and the 3/4 empty bottle very visible (it had been invisible in the dark) in front of the church with the French nameplate to identify it! Don’t want to claim to be a drunk like you but have not become respectable Gros—The reason I didn't write you about the book is because it is hard enough to write it without writing about it.
But listen if you will come down to Madrid you can read it typed…besides which we could see who can drink and who not and see the bullfights—The dope is this…will go to Madrid and work like a bastard on this book until finished—Have 280 some pages done—most to be written over and 1/3 or more to be added—I think you’ll like the damn book.”
He goes on to discuss his travel plans and the repayment of a loan, before discussing an arm injury suffered in Montana: “I couldn't write then because my arm was still paralyzed. Have only been able to write since 3 weeks. It will be absolutely all right if keep after it. Anyway can shoot, fish and write with it now, but can't sock anybody.” Here, he sketches a diagram of his arm’s range of motion. Hemingway also provides a sketch of his new home in Key West, pointing out his favorite features, including a “flat roof, see all over town and sea.”
The second, a partial autograph letter in pencil, unsigned, one page both sides, June 18, , in part: “Listen stupid when you get in a money jam why in hell don’t let me know?…God dammit I was always suspicious of that Syndicate job…Gingrich of Esquire is coming here July 3-6 to fish and I will talk to him about your staff.”
The third, a partial autograph letter in pencil, signed “Ernest” and “E. Hemingway [within his address],” one page, no date, in part: “Address here is E. Hemingway, c/o Captain George D. Kreidt, 1437 S.W. 5th Street, Miami, he brings mail on pilot boat once a week. Just got Mary’s letter last night. Don’t be afraid to cash this check as have 438 in bank by latest statement. Also 1000 coming in on July 1.”
The fourth, a TLS signed in pencil, “Hemingstein,” one page, no date, in part: “It was swell to hear from you and thanks the hell of a lot for sending me the 100 bucks. I appreciate it like hell and know how damned hard it is to get money together in chunks as big as that. It came in damned handy because have been writing on this novel since last March First and during that time make no dough. Had seventy four bucks in my bank account when got your hundred.” At the conclusion, Hemingway jots down his Cuban address: “Address, Hotel Ambos Mundos, Havana—Cuba.”
Also includes three letters in another hand (apparently dictated by Hemingway) as well as one unsigned typed letter, frequently referencing loans between the two. In overall very good to fine condition, with tears to the bottom of the typed letter. A young Ernest Hemingway first met the recipient of these letters, Guy Hickok (addressed here as “Gros”) in the early 1920s when they were both acting as foreign correspondents for North American newspapers in Paris. Hemingway, working for the Toronto Star, began what would become an enduring friendship with the good-natured Hickok, who was on assignment for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Hickok even provided the inspiration for Hemingway's short story ‘Che Ti Dice La Patria?’ (collected in Men Without Women, 1927). This fabulous correspondence is congenial, unrestrained, and mildly profane, and lends tremendous insight into Hemingway’s life and work..