“Why not make the Jew a bounder in literature as well as in life? Do Jews always have to be so splendid in writing?”
Ernest Hemingway to Max Perkins, Dec. 21, 1926.
Having previously written about the early twentieth-century writers T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and Robinson Jeffers, I felt it was high time that I addressed the work and thought of an altogether more controversial and ambiguous literary figure of the same period — the inimitable Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway may seem an odd choice to profile for a White advocacy site and, moreover, in his last and only appearance at The Occidental Observer, now some three years ago, he proved very controversial and divisive indeed. He was a supporter of the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War, and, in For Whom the Bell Tolls, the novel based on his experiences in Spain, one senses that Hemingway is ventriloquizing when one of his characters responds to the question “Are you a Communist?” with the reply “No, I am an anti-fascist.” Most sensationally however, at least one 2017 text written by a former CIA officer has made the claim that Hemingway was recruited as a Soviet agent in 1940 by two of the top NKVD agents then operational in the United States — the Jew Jacob Golos and the Soviet Jewish spy king Abram Osipovich Einhorn. Both men had in turn provided leadership and support to the notorious spying cell run by Julius Rosenberg. Returning to the title of the last TOO article on the man, we have to once more ask who is the “real” Ernest Hemingway? Was he, as one critic responded to the last piece, “not a great White man”? Or is he, as Robert S. Griffin insists, “an exemplary white historical figure”?
The ambiguity, and even hostility, surrounding Hemingway is not without reason. Even setting aside the “enemy agent” accusations, Hemingway was, in several respects, intellectually of what might be termed ‘the Old Left,’ in the sense that he tended towards support for economic socialism, pursued ideological comradeship with blue collar workers and veterans, and had many friends with similar political tastes. His alcoholism, confrontational character, philandering, and final descent into mental illness and suicide could lead some to perceive the author as little more than a debauched degenerate. This behavior was in all likelihood rooted in genetic causes — and almost certainly reverberated flamboyantly in his son Gregory, an alcoholic transvestite who occasionally called himself Gloria, had surgery to create one “breast,” and finally died in the Miami-Dade Women’s Detention Center a day after being arrested for indecent exposure.
In other respects, however, before his final decline, Hemingway was perhaps the quintessential, unreformed White rogue, a kind of throwback to the ancient, uncivilised Indo-European who defies strictly moralistic explanations. He was a rank individualist, antagonistic to all forms of authority and authoritarian government, Stalin’s included. Of course, his third wife, Martha Gellhorn, was Jewish, and yet he publicly explained his decision not to have children with her as being due to his aversion to having children with Jewish genes.1 He embraced the lifestyle of the masculine bon vivant, had a strong distaste for what he called “queers” “fairies” and “faggots,” enjoyed his experience observing colonialism in Africa, and loved nature and outdoor pursuits. On a more personal level, he wrote one of my favourite short novels, The Old Man and the Sea, a literary masterpiece on the themes of masculine endurance and stoicism, and influenced two of my favourite twentieth-century modernist writers, William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy. Hemingway remains, if nothing else, as enigmatic as ever. As we are now just couple of years away from the 60th anniversary of his death, is there anything in Hemingway’s life and work that retains value for the White man of today? Read more