LITERATUREnThe Importance ofnBeing by Ernestnby Gregory McNameenThe Betrayal of HemingwaynIf Ernest Hemingway had any notionnof what would happen to his firstndrafts, miscellanea, letters received andnsent, and unfinished manuscripts afternhis death, it’s likely he would have setnfire to his study and all its contentsnbefore priming his shotgun and blowingnhis brains out on the second of July,n1961. For no sooner was he in his graventhan did the supposed guardians of hisnlegacy ransack Hemingway’s literary remains,nostensibly in the lofty interests ofnAmerican literary history, more transparentlynfor the continuing royalties thenremaining manuscripts would add tonthe trove earned by the sales of worknpublished in Hemingway’s lifetime.nFrom those looted papers soon camenthe grabbag reminiscence A MoveablenFeast, a book assembled by Hemingway’snwidow, Mary. Using variousndrafts, she . transposed passages andnchapters and rewrote substantial portionsnof the text, claiming all the whilenthat her husband had himself finishednthe book in 1960 before leaving Cuba.nAlthough she edited the book well,nMary did not treat her husband’s legacynwith anything like restraint.nSix years’later, in 1970, Islands innthe Stream was issued, patched togethernout of drafts of a huge, unfinishedncycle of stories Hemingway once hadnplanned to call Harry Morgan. Instead,nhe abandoned the project.nKnowing that the work was not up tonhis standards — and that the publishednbooks of his last years were plainlyninferior to his eady masterpieces — henpresciently destroyed most of his roughnversions. (That unfinished cycle hadnproduced, over the years, the tediousnnovel To Have and Have Not and thenfine novella The Old Man and the Sea;nHemingway made such use of hisndiscarded drafts as he thought appropriate,nsometimes successfully.) Therenfollowed Hemingway’s Selected Letters,ndrawing on private correspondencen(which he had always regardednas privileged), along with a string ofnbiographies and memoirs written despitenHemingway’s having, asked thatnno such book be issued for a hundrednyears after his death, and despite hisnhaving steadfastly refused to supplynmaterial or submit to interviews fornproposed critical and life studies.nFifteen years of silence passed beforenthe assault on Hemingway’s legacynwas renewed. Then, in 1985, Scribner’snreleased The Dangerous Summer,na piece of occasional journalismnthat Hemingway did not intend tonpublish as a book, although it camenpackaged as if Papa had wanted it thatnway. In 1959, Life magazine, the originalnpublisher of The Old Man and thenSea, sent Hemingway to Spain to coverna round of bullfights by two rivalnmatadors, the twenty-seven-year-oldnAntonio Ordoriez, whose fathernCayetano had been immortalized innThe Sun Also Rises, and Antonio’snbrother-in-law Luis Miguel Dominguin.nHemingway quickly sided withnOrdofiez, and during his stay he actednmore as a rum-soaked publicity agentnthan as a journalist. Ignoring the factnthat Dominguin was technically thenbetter bullfighter of the two, Hemingwayndescribed him as a coward andnhailed Ordoiiez as the crowning glorynof Spanish tauromachy. Hemingwaynwent home to file his story, whilenOrdoriez soon became famousnthroughout Spain for his despicablentactics — hiding behind his cape, killingnfrom the side,’ running away fromnthe tiny mediotoros he chose to fight.nHe was eventually booed oS the bullfightingncircuit.nLife had asked Hemingway for tennnnthousand words, or about 40 typescriptnpages. Its editors received a ramblingnmanuscript of one hundred and twentynthousand words, approaching the sizenof Hemingway’s classic account ofnbullfighting, Death in the Afternoon. Itnwas less a study of the Ordofiez-nDomingui’n rivalry than, as JamesnMichener put it in his glancing introductionnto the book, “a confused farewellnfrom a great and legendary figure.”nConfused it is. The reader arrivesnat ringside almost accidentally, for thenbullfights stand as anticlimaxes tonHemingway’s real story: a foggy odysseynfrom barroom to barroom, wherentired literary conversations and drunkennanecdotes of the Spanish Civil Warnare the daily pastime; from sickbed tonsickbed, where the matadors spendnmost of their hours recovering fromncarelessly earned wounds and wherenHemingway spent most of his hoursnnursing hangovers and a rotting liver;nfrom party to party, from town tontown.nIt was not one of Hemingway’snshining moments. Indeed, The DangerousnSummer approaches Hemingwaynat his worst. Swimming in the oldnman’s well-worn rhetorical tricks, thenhard underpunctuated flourishes andntough-guyisms of 30 years’ practice,nthe book reaches the point of unwittingnself-parody;nWe inspected the animals, thenpoultry and stables and the gunnroom and I went into the cagenof a wolf which had beennrecently trapped on the placenand stayed with him whichnpleased Antonio. The wolfnlooked healthy and the oddsnwere all against his having ,nhydrophobia so I figured all hencan do is bite you, so why notngo in and see if you can worknwith him. The wolf was verynnice and recognized someonenwho liked wolves.nIn the remaining two years of his life,nHemingway came to see that he hadnmisjudged both Dominguin andnOrdofiez, and he increasingly regardednthe Life essay—which the magazine’sneditors had meanwhile chopped tontheir original specifications — as annembarrassment for all concerned.nHence, unlike some of his other occasionalnjournalism, he did not shape thenSEPTEMBER 1989/49n