RARA-AVIS: Owen Wister and Ernest Hemingway

From: Richard Moore ( moorich@aol.com)
Date: 18 Oct 2007

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, Michael Robison
<miker_zspider@...> wrote:
 I finished The Virginian a few
> weeks back. I commented heavily in the margins as I
> was reading it and meant to get around to putting
> together some thoughts on it but it hasn't happened.
> The main thing I wanted to comment on was the
> variations I saw in the Virginian as compared to
> Cooper's Natty Bumppo, and how that related to the
> first hardboiled heroes of Daly and Hammett and later
> Hemingway's code hero. I'll have to get around to
> that one of these days.
> I think a great topic worthy of discussion would be
> literature that led up to the noir and hardboiled
> genre.
> miker

Owen Wister, author of The Virginian, was a friend and mentor to Ernest Hemingway. They met in Wyoming and became hunting and fishing companions. Wister early on recognized Hemingway's talent and became something of a mentor to him. Hemingway always treated Wister with great respect and to my knowledge never turned on him as he did with Stein and other early supporters. Wister once realized that Hemingway was hard up for cash and unsolicited sent him a check for $500. Hemingway never had to cash it because a book advance made it unnecessary but it was a gesture of support and friendship he never forgot.

When A FAREWELL TO ARMS was banned in Boston, Maxwell Perkins reached out to Wister, who gladly came out in public defense of the novel which he had originally read and critiqued in draft manuscript.

Richard Moore

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