Tuesday, May 10, 2016

No Comment: "Overhead"

Hemingway liked to talk about how life sometimes bent people, sometimes in such a way that they healed and went on, stronger because of the hurt. He said life sometimes broke people, too. But he never really came to terms with that. Maybe he couldn’t. Maybe at the very end Hemingway understood being truly broken, beyond healing, and that was why he went down to the hallway that fine sunny morning outside of Ketchum and put both barrels of the shotgun to his forehead, just above the eyes, and pulled both triggers.

—Jack M. Bickham, Overhead. Tor, 1993 (© 1991) page 279. 


Mathew Paust said...

Here's a good piece by Norman Mailer on what he suggested was Hemingway's suicidal temperament: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1963/02/01/punching-papa/

In another piece, I believe included in Advertisements for Myself, Mailer suggested Hemingway sat with the shotgun at his head morning after morning, easing the trigger back just far enuf before the hammers would fall, pulling it back a little further each morning--pushing the existential envelope--until...

Mathew Paust said...

Here it is. I just had to scroll down a tad: http://pangrammaticon.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-death-of-ernest-hemingway.html

Ben Boulden said...

Thanks Matt. I've never read the Norman Mailer piece. I particularly liked the following quote:

"Not if it went down that way. When we do not wish to live, we execute ourselves. If we are ill and yet want to go on, we must put up the ante. If we lose, it does not mean we wished to die."

Such a masculine thought, and one I think Hemingway would have approved of.