9 Non-Literary Reasons to Love Ernest Hemingway


Ernest Hemingway is the type of writer, renowned almost as much for his lifestyle as his work, who inspires a strange array of responses from nearly everyone. You might not like the guy, but it’s difficult to not form an opinion.

PEN Lifetime Achievement Award winner Clancy Sigal thinks you should look past whatever prejudices you may harbor for the writer that everybody called Papa. He’s written a book called Hemingway Lives! that urges us to celebrate Hemingway’s “passionate and unapologetic political partisanship, his stunningly concise, no-frills writing style, and an attitude to sex and sexuality much more nuanced than he is traditionally credited with.”

Yet that’s the problem a lot of people have with Hemingway: they don’t like him as a person, making the latest round of critics trying to turn Hemingway into the patron saint of men especially annoying! It’s certainly doing his legacy no favors.

But for sake of argument, here are some things you should appreciate about Ernest Hemingway aside from his books and signature machismo.

Years before Abercrombie & Fitch infested malls all across the country, becoming the premiere store for frat boys and “hot” people, and also years before “heritage brands” (Red Wing boots, LL Bean, etc.) became a hot menswear thing, Ernest Hemingway was rocking the look better than you can.

He may or may not have invented the Bloody Mary — but he definitely knew about it long before you did.

Hemingway gave George Plimpton a lot of great stories to tell.

He’s somehow the grandfather of Mariel Hemingway. It’s sort of still hard to believe that for some reason…

He’s also the great grandfather of Mariel’s model daughter, Dree Hemingway.

Hemingway’s cats are still around and causing trouble.

There is an Ernest Hemingway brand of marinades. Do you have your own marinade? Didn’t think so.

There’s also an Ernest Hemingway brand of flooring. It’s not clear why this is, but I figure it deserves mention.

He had great taste in books, as evidenced by this 1934 reading list he gave to a young fan.