Ernest Hemingway Revisits New York

by KAIYUN CHENStaff Writer

The Ernest Hemingway: Between Two Wars exhibit at The Morgan Library Kaiyun Chen/The Quadrangle
The Ernest Hemingway: Between Two Wars exhibit at The Morgan Library Kaiyun Chen/The Quadrangle

Ernest Hemingway, a writer during the 20th century, created written pieces well received by many. A new exhibition, Ernest Hemingway: Between Two Wars, is open for view at the Morgan Library and Museum through Jan. 31, 2016. The showcase displays the life and works of this influential figure in literature.

“This is the first-ever major museum exhibit on Hemingway,” the museum managers of the Communication and Marketing Department said. They clarified that in order to fulfill the Morgan mission to “preserve, build, study, present and interpret a collection of extraordinary quality,” the museum organizes public displays of works right in the city. The Morgan established partnership with the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum for the collection of Hemingway’s works to travel from Boston to New York.

The exhibition starts with a Hemingway quote from one of his interviews, “I always wanted to be a writer.” This statement is supported by the presentation of Hemingway’s first published written piece for his high school newspaper. Walking into the display room, the viewer explores Hemingway’s life through his literary works. From his first published book, “Three Stories and Ten Poems,” to his last book, “The Old Man and the Sea,” one is guided through Hemingway’s life from high school to death.

Fond of Hemingway’s work, F. Scott Fitzgerald, the author of “The Great Gatsby,” realized the need to mentor and promote him. The strict criticism through edits on drafts revealed Fitzgerald’s assistance for this new writer and their developing friendship.

According to the exhibit, some of his most significant experiences in life were the wars he lived through. In 1925, Hemingway told Fitzgerald, “War is the best subject of all.” Participating in both World War I and World War II, Hemingway continued to write, often referencing his own wartime experiences.

Throughout the exhibit, one can see the way Hemingway’s thoughts flowed. The viewer observes how his ideas developed from one draft to the next. The works were written not only on worn out notebooks, but notepaper from the American Red Cross and even telegram sheets. Wherever he traveled, whatever went on, Hemingway had ideas and thoughts, and any paper available became useful for his recording.

The exhibit also points out Ernest Hemingway’s visit to New York In Feb. 1926. Documents reveal the encounter between Dorothy Parker, an American writer, and Hemingway, a rare visitor of the city. Later in her article, “The Artist’s Reward,” written for the New Yorker, she states that Hemingway “avoids New York because he known it’s not good for him.” It was a place too full of busy people and filled up schedules, according to Hemingway. In a letter written by Hemingway in 1923, he stated he “wouldn’t live in [New York] for anything.”

This exhibition brings Hemingway’s soul to New York. The showcase allows the viewers to take time off their busy schedules and gather to enjoy his literary works. With the advantage of free admission on Fridays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., the museum is a fantastic place to visit. Located on 225 Madison Ave. at 36th Street less than one hour by train from Manhattan College, the original works of various great artists, photographers, and writers are exposed for both research opportunities and simple pleasure.