That Time Ernest Hemingway Described His Ideal Bro Paradise

Illustration for article titled That Time Ernest Hemingway Described His Ideal Bro Paradise

In between comparing dicks and boozing it up around Paris, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald found time to write letters to each other (Hemingway’s letters were basically telegrams and Fitzgerald’s reeked of booze and cigarettes). Sometimes, they exchanged idle gossip, but other times, as is evident in a letter from the newly-published The Letters of Ernest Hemingway: Volume 2, the correspondence focused on the relative merits of monogamy and polygamy.


Earlier this morning, The Daily Beast excerpted a letter Hemingway wrote to Fitzgerald from Spain in 1925 that veers into crap email from a dude territory, except for, you know, the fact that it’s a pen-and-ink letter. There’s even a passive-aggressive line urging Fitzgerald to give Zelda Hemingway’s love, but the really cefad-y bit comes about halfway through, when Hemingway starts describing his ideal bro paradise:

To me heaven would be a big bull ring with me holding two barrera seats and a trout stream outside that no one else was allowed to fish in and two lovely houses in the town; one where I would have my wife and children and be monogamous and love them truly and well and the other where I would have my nine beautiful mistresses on 9 different floors and one house would be fitted up with special copies of the Dial printed on soft tissue and kept in the toilets on every floor and in the other house we would use the American Mercury and the New Republic. Then there would be a fine church like in Pamplona where I could go and be confessed on the way from one house to the other and I would get on my horse and ride out with my son to my bull ranch named Hacienda Hadley and toss coins to all my illegitimate children that lined the road. I would write out at the Hacienda and send my son in to lock the chastity belts onto my mistresses because someone had just galloped up with the news that a notorious monogamist named Fitzgerald had been seen riding toward the town at the head of a company of strolling drinkers.

There’ll be an old bank of novelty pinball machines, an air hockey table, a dart board, and THREE pool tables. NO CHICKS. If Ernest Hemingway could have ever appeared on House Hunters, he would have totally been that guy who kept interrupting the realtor to say, “I for sure need a man cave. No man cave is a deal breaker to me. I am willing to pay 50 percent above asking price for a low-ceilinged basement that I can drag a quarter keg of beer into while I bathe in my own potato chip farts.”

[The Daily Beast]

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Joseph Finn

Ugh, Hemingway. I'll never understand how he somehow got a Nobel and Borges, Nabokov, Joyce and Twain never won. (Then again, the list of authors who won over Twain is just dumbfounding.)