Coffee With Hemingway, by Kirk Curnutt
Ever dream about a little face time with one of your favorite celebrities? Streisand, perhaps? Sinatra? Elvis? Bono? Would such a meet-up edify, or would it disappoint?
I’ve never thought that I’d enjoy such an encounter with my favorite writer, but in Curnutt’s imaginative hands, the story reveals much of what Hemingway was about. To be sure, he’s abrasive here, and he’s constantly toying with words and names as he holds court. What’s revealed here? I’ll list just a few bon mots:
“The only writing that’s any good is what you make up, out of your imagination. That’s what makes things ring true. Good writing has truths that aren’t necessarily facts.”
“(Expatriation) teaches you dislocation, which sharpens the memory and makes you able to recall details you take for granted when you’re in the actual place you’re writing about.”
“…journalism is a racket. It puts a dollar value on your words that’s destructive.”
This small book, containing a brief read, distills Papa’s attitude toward life and writing quite well, and any reader or writer would find it well worth the hour or so it would take to read.
My rating: 19 of 20 stars