“Ernest Taking Me to That Bum Restaurant” and Other References to Hemingway in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Notebooks

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Notebooks are crammed with little sketches, scenes, observations, and, uh, notes (obviously). Although they are brief, his notes on Ernest Hemingway reveal much about Fitzgerald’s agon with Papa.

Ernest—until we began trying to walk over each other with cleats.

Snubs—Gen. Mannsul, Telulah phone, Hotel O’Con­nor, Ada Farewell, Toulman party, Barrymore, Tal­madge, and M. Davies. Emily Davies, Tommy H. meeting and bottle, Frank Ritz and Derby, Univ. Chicago, Vallambrosa and yacht, Condon, Gerald in Paris, Ernest apartment.

Day with a busy man. Combine the day of Ernest’s pictures, the man of genius episode,

As to Ernest as a boy—reckless, adventurous, etc. Yet it is undeniable that the dark was peopled for him. His bravery and acquired characteristics.

Nevertheless value of Ernest’s feeling about the pure heart when writing—in other words the comparatively pure heart, the “house in order.”

That Willa Cather’s poem shall stand at beginning of Mediaval and that it shall be the story of Ernest.

Just as Stendahl’s portrait of a Byronic man made Le Rouge et Noir so couldn’t my portrait of Ernest as Phillipe make the real modern man.

Didn’t Hemmingway say this in effect:  If Tom Wolfe ever learns to separate what he gets from books from what he gets from life he will be an original. All you can get from books is rhythm and technique. He’s half-grown artistically—this is truer than what Ernest said about him. But when I’ve criticized him (several times in talk) I’ve felt bad afterwards. Putting sharp weapons in the hands of his inferiors.

Ernest Hemingway, while careful to avoid cliches in his work, fairly revels in them in his private life, his favorite being Parbleu (“So what?”) French, and “Yes, We Have No Bananas.” Contrary to popular opinion he is not as tall as Thomas Wolfe, standing only six feet five in his health belt. He is naturally clumsy with his body, but shooting from a blind or from adequate cover, makes a fine figure of a man. We are happy to announce that his work will appear in future exclusively on United States postage stamps.

Parallel of Ernest’s and French conversation as opposed to Gerald and me and U.S.A. emotional bankruptcy.

Do you know what your affair was founded on? On sorrow. You got sorry for each other. (Did Ernest borrow this one?)

Very strong personalities must confine themselves in mutual conversation to very gentle subjects. Everything eventually transpired—but if they start at a high pitch as at the last meeting of Ernest, Bunny and me their meeting is spoiled. It does not matter who sets the theme or what it is.

Ernest taking me to that bum restaurant. Change of station implied.

Ernest would always give a helping hand to a man on a ledge a little higher up.

Ernest Hemingway and Ernest Lubitsch—Dotty “We’re all shits.”

I talk with the authority of failure—Ernest with the authority of success. We could never sit across the table again.

People like Ernest and me were very sensitive once and saw so much that it agonized us to give pain. People like Ernest and me love to make people very happy, caring desperately about their happiness. And then people like Ernest and me had reactions and punished people for being stupid, etc., etc. People like Ernest and me————

Tom Fast’s story of Ernest.

Ernest and “Farewell to Arms”—producer story.

An inferiority complex comes simply from not feeling you’re doing the best you can—Ernest’s “drink” was simply a form of this.

It [For Whom the Bell Tolls] is so to speak Ernest’s ’Tale of Two Cities’ though the comparison isn’t apt. I mean it is a thoroughly superficial book which has all the profundity of Rebecca.

I want to write scenes that are frightening and inimitable. I don’t want to be as intelligible to my contemporaries as Ernest who as Gertrude Stein said, is bound for the Museums. I am sure I am far enough ahead to have some small immortality if I can keep well.

But there was one consolation:  They could never use any of Mr. Hemingway’s four letter words, because that was for fourth class and fourth class has been abolished—
(The first class was allowed to cheat a little on the matter.)
But on the other hand they could never use any two letter words like NO. They had to use three letter words like YES!

Bald Hemingway characters.

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