DescriptionErnest Hemingway Typed Letter Signed "Papa." One page, 8.5" x 11", on onion skin paper with Finca Vigia letterhead, San Francisco de Paula, Cuba, August 8, 1956. Addressed to film director Fred Zinnemann, whom Hemingway calls "Freddie," the author writes that he is "glad you decided to stay out of The Sun Also Rises. There is not much news here. Will not write any atrocity stories about the picture. You must be as sick of them as I am." The following year, the film adaptation of his 1926 novel, The Sun Also Rises, directed by Henry King, was released and Hemingway hated it, walking out after 25 minutes, though he praised Errol Flynn's performance.
Having been bedridden earlier in the year, he talks about his latest work: "Have written five stories. It was impossible to get into my book again but I will. All the stories are better than the Leopard Woman but are unsuitable for Coops /Have written them with no idea where or whether they could ever be published except in a book with stiff covers. Will get to Africa someway and finish my book and work as a game ranger . . . In the meantime will write some more stories. Stories are hard to write and it is good for me."
Hemingway was concerned about his wife, Mary's, health saying, "Her anemia is so stubborn and nothing helps it. The last time she had only 3,200,000 in the red corpuscle count. That is the lowest it has ever been and everybody is spooked. . . . now she is very tired and will go to sleep while someone is talking and wakes up dead. We have tried everything including large doses of semens which I was brought up to believe was a wonderful cure for many things. No good."
Regarding his own health, he says, "Have many fascinating things wrong with me but no time to fool with them in this life." As mentioned previously, from late 1955 until early 1956, Hemingway was bedridden due to illness. A lifelong heavy drinker, he was advised by his doctor to stop drinking in an effort to lessen his liver damage. He initially complied, but only for a time.
He continues: "Gigi, my worst boy, repayed [sic] me $500. of the $800. he borrowed when I was in Peru. . . . It is the second time in my life anyone has ever repaid a loan I made them and I am very touched but wary. Why could I not have been born a more noble old man? I think I was quite noble when young as I cannot remember doing anything worse than breaking both arms of a boy that tried to stab me. Broke them with a tire iron. But he was a no good boy and I thought the action was reprehensible on both our parts."
Two months after writing this letter, Hemingway returned to Europe, but became ill during the trip and was treated for high blood pressure, liver disease, and arteriosclerosis. He returned to Cuba in 1957.
Condition: Spots of toning at the right edge, which also shows damage with a minor loss of paper not affecting the text. Two tears at the right edge, one measuring 2" and one measuring 1", have been repaired on the verso with adhesive causing some ghosting on the recto. There are two additional small tears at the left edge near the upper left corner.
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