REVIEWSrnThe End ofrnSomethingrnby Jeffrey MeyersrnHemingway: The AmericanrnHomecomingrnby Michael ReynoldsrnCambridge, MA; Basil Blackwell;rn264 pp., $24.95rnHemingway: A Life WithoutrnConsequencesrnby James R. MellowrnBoston: Houghton Mifflin;rn704 pp., $30.00rnHemingway continues to fascinate.rnThe legendary hfc and heroic exploitsrnof the man who was so admired,rnhonored, and imitated are now wellknown:rnfisherman in the Michiganrnwoods, reporter in Kansas City, woundedrnwar hero, foreign correspondent fromrnConstantinople to Cordoba, Left Bankrndrinker, bullfight aficionado, innovativernstylist, African lion hunter, reporter inrnwar-torn Spain, expatriate in Cuba, witnessrnof D-Day and the liberation ofrnParis, victim of the FBI, survivor of twornplane crashes and of two series of shockrntreatments, husband of four wives, fatherrnof three sons, creator of some ofrnthe best hction of the century, winner ofrnthe Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize—rnand brain-blasted suicide.rnYet books about his life continue tornroll off the presses. Since my biographyrnappeared in 1985, publishers havernbrought out seven others by FernandarnPivano, Kenneth Lynn, Peter Griffin (2),rnMichael Reynolds (2), and James Mellow;rnfive memoirs—^by Jack Hemingway,rnDenis Brian, Henry Villard, Slim Keith,rnand Peter Viertel; as well as a secondrnbook on Hadlcy Hemingway and anrnautobiographical novel by his granddaughterrnLorian Hemingway. It seemsrnthere is nothing more to say. But viewingrnfamiliar material from an originalrnpoint of view (as Mellow does), insteadrnof presenting a mass of trivial facts (thernway Reynolds does), reveals that it is stillrnpossible to write a valuable biography.rnReynolds, though he tries to establishrnhis macho credentials by mentioningrnvisits to the track and brandies at thernbar, and by feebly imitating Hemingway’srnstyle, actually belongs to thernCarlos Baker school of heavy-handedrnacademic biography. Like Baker, herncombines “lyrical” passages that strainrnfor (but do not achieve) “poetic” effectsrnby amassing trivial facts, irrelevant details,rntedious cliches and by exhibitingrnunconscionable repetition. If you wantrnto know about Gus Pfeiffer’s chess setsrnor Leicester Hemingway’s bird house,rnthis is the book for you. Instead of arncontinuous narrative, the book is choppedrnup into short sections, like newsrnreports of separate events, and interspersedrnwith fictionalized versions ofrnreal people’s thoughts and stale accountsrnof the major stories.rnReynolds has unfortunately got holdrnof the lending-library cards of SylviarnBeach’s bookshop Shakespeare andrnCompany (which he spells incorrectly)rnand repeatedly mentions which booksrnHemingway and his circle borrowed. I lernhas spent weeks reading through thernParis Herald Tribune and, to justifyrnhis sterile labors, reprints every familiarrnand pointless reference to Hemingway.rnReynolds spends considerable time onrnI lemingway’s dailv writing and revision,rnbut says very little about the meaningrnof his works. He docs not, for example,rnconnect the title and the content ofrnHemingway’s “Ncothomist Poem.”rnWhen discussing two stories in the contextrnof Hemingway’s divorce and secondrnmarriage, Reynolds fails to relaternthe officer’s advice in “In AnotherrnCountry”—”A man must not marry”—rnto the orderly’s advice in “Now I LayrnMe”—”A man ought to be married.”rnClutching his Paris guidebooks andrnfumbling with street maps, Reynoldsrn(innocent of diacritical marks) stumblesrnthrough Hemingway’s Europe mispellingrna dozen names and getting thernfacts all wrong. “Honoraria” for “Honoria”rnand “mairie” (town hall) for “maire”rn(mayor) are typical howlers. The elegantrnand fashionable rue de la Paix couldrnnever be described as “glitzy.” AndrnAigucs-Mortes, which Reynolds callsrn”uninteresting,” is in fact a fascinatingrnfortified medieval Crusaders’ town. ‘I’hcrnchronology of the book is also confusing.rnIn Reynolds’ version, Hemingway movesrninto Gerald Murphy’s studio after hernis already living there. Hemingway’srnwound from a skylight accident is describedrn25 pages before the accident isrnmentioned. And Hemingway writes arnthank-you note for a weekend withrnFitzgerald at Ellerslie before he arrivesrnthere.rnReynolds doggedly focuses on therntrivial and ignores the significant aspectsrnof Hemingway’s life. Many of thernimportant points he mentions desperatelyrnneed, but do not have, clarification.rnWhat exactly was Hemingway’srn”dark attraction” to lesbians? What didrnPound mean by Hemingway’s superiorrn”manipulation of the external world”?rnWhy did I lemingway’s mother say mostrnmarriages ought to go “on the rocks”rnwhile his father insisted she was “heartbroken”rnabout her son’s divorce? Therernis no explanation of why in 1927 Hemingway’srnsister Madelaine said she couldrnnot come to Pamplona because her parentsrn”have a horror for Fiestas and Spainrnin general—ever since your books,” yetrnin 1928 his sister Marcelline was “vacationingrnin Spain.” And Hemingway’srnfalse statement that he did not commitrnadultery with Pauline Pfciffer is quoted,rnwithout comment, as if it were true.rnWorst of all, for someone who hasrnpublished half a dozen books on Hemingway,rnare the numerous factual errors.rnCalling a bull “virile” is absurd. A woman’srnconfinement takes place before, notrnafter, the birth of her child. The HotelrnBrcvoort is near Washington Square, notrnin midtown Manhattan. France docsrnnot celebrate the American MemorialrnDay. St. James never visited and wasrncertainly not buried in Santiago dernCompostela. Ezra Pound was not thernfather of his wife’s son. The events inrnthe Murphys’ social life were not “unexpected,”rnbut always carefully planned.rnGerald Murphy (who never wore arnbowler) was not a “first-rate painter,”rnbut gave up painting (he said) becausernhe was second-rate. Reynolds says Hemingwayrndisliked “pre-winter weather.”rnBut the plaque under his statue inrnKctchum reads: “Best of all, he liked thernfall.” Hemingway was not forced torn”sign away his son and wife,” but arnbandoncd them for another woman.rnPauline Pfciffer did not give up her soulrnto marry Hemingway. She persuadedrnhim to convert to Catholicism and hurtrntheir marriage by refusing to practicernbirth control. Dos Passos, whom Revn-rn36/CHRONICLESrnrnrn