Hemingway vs. Fitzgerald: The Rise and Fall of a Literary Friendship
by Scott Donaldson

Chapter 3
A Friendship Abroad

One friend in a lifetime is much; two are many; three are hardly possible. Friendship needs a certain parallelism of life, a community of thought, a rivalry of aim.
—Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams

After a good day's work at his craft in Paris, Ernest Hemingway joined a couple of “completely worthless” characters for a drink in the evening dank of the bar Dingo. His companions, warming up for the revelries of the night, were Lady Duff Twysden, with whom he was half in love, and Pat Guthrie, the Scotsman she was supposed to marry. These two were to appear, without much disguise, in The Sun Also Rises, but this was late April 1925 and the trip to the Pamplona fiesta ruined by sexual jealousy over Duff's amours—the crucial event that informed that novel—still lay months ahead.

After a while Hemingway would walk the half-dozen blocks home to his wife Hadley and son Bumby in their modest apartment above the sawmill on rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs, but for the present he was having a fine time absorbing the latest Montparnasse gossip with his clever and entertainingly self-deprecatory if worthless friends when in walked two men who'd first got to know each other at Princeton.

One of these, the one Hemingway took a liking to, was a tall and pleasant fellow named Dunc Chaplin who had been “a famous pitcher” in college and who seemed “extraordinarily nice, unworried, relaxed and friendly.” The other, who came right over to introduce himself and Chaplin, was Scott Fitzgerald. In contrast to Chaplin, he was rather effeminate, a man “who looked like a boy with a face between handsome and pretty.” His most striking feature was his long-lipped mouth that “on a girl would have been the mouth of a beauty.” The mouth worried Hemingway, and he was put off too by Fitzgerald's excessive flattery and invasive interrogation. Had Hemingway slept with his wife before they were married? Fitzgerald asked him. “I don't know,” Hemingway replied. “I don't remember.”

But the most memorable event of that first meeting, as it is described in A Moveable Feast (1964), was that as they drank the champagne Fitzgerald had ordered all of the delicate coloring left his face and it turned into “a true death's head” before Hemingway's eyes. No need to worry, Chaplin assured Hemingway as he ushered the comatose Fitzgerald into a taxicab: “That's the way it takes him.”

At this stage in the memoir that Hemingway wrote beginning in 1957, thirty-two years after he and Fitzgerald met and seventeen years after Fitzgerald's death, Chaplin disappears. He has done his job as a foil, a likable fellow against whom Fitzgerald's shortcomings are measured, and is no longer needed. For the rest of the three devastating chapters of A Moveable Feast devoted to Fitzgerald, Chaplin is replaced by another character whose behavior stands in implicit juxtaposition to that of poor Scott: a hungry, hard-working, happily married young writer totally dedicated to his profession who can hold his liquor and will not allow himself to waste time or money.

This character, of course, was Hemingway himself.

There was another good reason for Chaplin to vanish from Hemingway's account of his first meeting with Fitzgerald. Chaplin was not there, not at the Dingo, not in Paris, not in Europe. Hemingway invented him, in all his authoritative specificity, to lend an air of authenticity to his story. (In another version of that first meeting, cut from A Moveable Feast and closed to scholars for twenty-five years after Hemingway's death, he wrote that Fitzgerald was accompanied by a friend at the Dingo, but the friend is neither named nor characterized.)

This does not mean that we should distrust everything Hemingway tells us about his friendship with Fitzgerald. As he warns us in the preface to A Moveable Feast, “this book may be regarded as fiction. But there is also the chance,” he adds immediately, “that such a book of fiction may throw some light on what has been written as fact.” Here Hemingway implies that his rendition reveals more of the truth than any straightforward reportorial version. And in a sense he is right: readers of A Moveable Feast can learn a great deal about Fitzgerald and, especially, about Hemingway in spite of—or because of—the fictional liberties the author takes with the facts. As all writers know, there are truths that go beyond mere facts.

At the same time, however, it should be recognized that Hemingway's memoir of the years in Paris is far more reliable about his feelings toward Fitzgerald in the late 1950s than in the mid-1920s. The prevailing public view of the Fitzgerald-Hemingway friendship has been shaped by A Moveable Feast, a book in which, for whatever reasons but surely including rivalrous instincts aroused in Hemingway by the Fitzgerald revival of the 1950s, the dice are loaded against “poor Scott.” For a less biased grasp on the way it must have been when they met and became friends in 1925 and 1926, it is necessary to consult actual documents of the time—letters between the two men and what they had to say of each other to third parties.

When they met Fitzgerald was much the better-known and more-established figure. He was the author of three novels—his masterly The Great Gatsby had just been published—and of two volumes of stories, several of which had initially appeared in the high-paying Saturday Evening Post. In these stories, collected in Flappers and Philosophers (1920) and Tales of the Jazz Age (1922), and in his first novel, This Side of Paradise (1920), which recounted the adventures romantic and otherwise of a young Princetonian, Fitzgerald's characters drank and smoked and necked in open and reckless defiance of the older generation. So did Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald themselves, as if determined to become public avatars of the flappers and sheiks in his fiction. Living in or around New York, they dwindled into celebrities as the newspapers eagerly recorded their nocturnal exploits—most notably a midnight dip in the fountain outside the Plaza Hotel. They came to Europe in the spring of 1924 in order to escape the frantic partying, but geography could not alter Fitzgerald's public image. For the rest of his life—and beyond—he fought vainly to shake off his reputation as a rather lightweight chronicler of the Jazz Age.

Hemingway, on the other hand, had been based in Paris since the end of 1921. He began as a feature writer for the Toronto Star Weekly, with all of Europe as his beat, and returned briefly to Canada for the birth of his son in October 1923. He gave up journalism at the beginning of 1924, in order to devote himself entirely to fiction. Hemingway had published nothing of book length at the time he and Fitzgerald met, only a handful of stories and poems in the little magazines and two slim volumes printed in France in limited editions: Three Stories and Ten Poems (1923) and in our time (1924), a collection of brief sketches later resurrected as interchapters for In Our Time, his first book of stories. He knew about Fitzgerald's work. Hadley had been reading This Side of Paradise during their courtship; the book had “the vital throb of youth,” she thought. And he had seen Fitzgerald's fiction in the Saturday Evening Post.

Five years earlier, Ernest had sent some of his own unpolished stories to the Saturday Evening Post, which sent them right back. But those days were over, and now Hemingway was aiming for a higher target. In that sense, he could and did feel superior to Fitzgerald. There was something virtuous about seeking artistic accomplishment, never mind the financial rewards. Few of his close connections among in the avant-garde literary community in Paris were inclined to pay deference to the commercial success and celebrity of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Edmund Wilson first brought Hemingway's prose to Fitzgerald's attention. A class ahead of Fitzgerald at Princeton, the intellectually precocious Wilson was rapidly establishing himself as one of the nation's leading critics. He showed Scott his copies of Three Stories and Ten Poems and in our time early in 1924, and reviewed them favorably in the Dial for October 1924. In that same month, Fitzgerald wrote his legendary editor Maxwell Perkins from St. Raphaël, where he was applying the final touches to The Great Gatsby. The novel would be on the boat within a week, Fitzgerald promised. But the real business of the letter was to tell Perkins about (misspellings included) “a young man named Ernest Hemmingway, who lives in Paris (an American) writes for the transatlantic Review & has a brilliant future.” He didn't have in our time, Hemingway's collection of incisive vignettes, in front of him, Fitzgerald acknowledged, but he could vouch for them as “remarkable” and counseled Perkins to look Hemingway up right away. “He's the real thing.”

That was high praise, and in no way influenced by friendship. It would be another six months before Fitzgerald and Hemingway actually met. As his letter to Perkins suggests, Fitzgerald was acting as a kind of unofficial talent scout for Scribner's. He liked the role' of recommending writers, and had already been instrumental in delivering several of them to his publisher, including Ring Lardner, Thomas Boyd, Woodward (Peggy) Boyd, and John Biggs—all, unlike Hemingway, good friends of his. Lardner and Tom Boyd had been successes, Biggs and Woodward Boyd not. Hemingway would break the tie one way or the other. In a December 1924 letter to Perkins, he asked for news of all five of them, and also encouraged his editor to sign up Gertrude Stein and—in translation— Raymond Radiguet's Le bal du Comte d'Orgel.

Back in New York, Perkins took immediate action in response to Fitzgerald's tip. He went to considerable trouble to get hold of a copy of in our time, recognized the “economy, strength and vitality” of its sketches, and late inFebruary 1925 wrote Hemingway in Paris asking to see any future manuscripts. This overture from Scribner's came too late, for Hemingway was spending the winter months at Schruns, in the Austrian Vorarlberg, and did not get Perkins's letter until he returned to Paris in April. By that time, he had signed a contract with Horace Liveright, at Boni & Liveright, for In Our Time, uppercase, his first full-scale book of short stories, which appeared in October 1925.

Presumably Fitzgerald learned this news at the Dingo bar meeting in late April. On May 1, after chiding Perkins for losing a crop of promising young English writers to Knopf and other firms, talent scout Fitzgerald reported that “Liverite has got Hemingway!” but at once proposed an alternative: “How about Radiguet?” Three weeks later Fitzgerald was ready to concentrate his efforts on Hemingway alone. Their friendship had progressed during the interim. “Hemminway is a fine, charming fellow,” Fitzgerald wrote Perkins about May 22, “and he appreciated your letter and the tone of it enormously. If Liveright doesn't please him he'll come to you, and he has a future. He's 27.” In fact Hemingway was 25 at the time. Either Fitzgerald, 28 himself, got it wrong, or Hemingway wanted him to think he was older.

Despite his relative youth Hemingway had lived a far more adventurous life than Fitzgerald. In contrast to Hemingway's service with the American Red Cross in Italy, where he was seriously wounded, and decorated by the Italian army, Fitzgerald served stateside. As a newspaperman Ernest interviewed many of the great figures of the time, including Lloyd George, Clemenceau, and Mussolini. During his years overseas he had also become friendly with such distinguished modernist writers as Gertrude Stein, Ford Madox Ford, and Ezra Pound. Over six feet tall, a sturdy 190 pounds, and darkly handsome, he formed a striking contrast to the slightly built, blond Fitzgerald, who stood five feet eight inches and weighed about 140 pounds. And there was an unmistakable charisma about Hemingway. In those days, as Hadley recalled, men loved him, women loved him, children loved him, even dogs loved him—but men most of all, for Hemingway had a remarkable gift for inspiring (and later breaking off) male friendships. Fitzgerald, by way of contrast, was particularly inept at developing relationships with male companions. His tendency was to make heroes out of them, often to the discomfort of both parties.

There was every good reason for Fitzgerald to make a hero out of Hemingway. He envied Hemingway his wartime experience, and admired his learned capacity to face down fear. “As to Ernest as a boy—reckless, adventurous, etc.,” he wrote in his notebooks. “Yet it is undeniable that the dark was peopled for him. His bravery and acquired characteristics.” Hemingway was given to exaggerating the extent of his military background. He had fought with the crack Italian Arditi, he maintained, although in truth he had been wounded after only a few weeks at the front as a Red Cross ambulance driver. Similarly he pretended to an unwarranted expertise in his athletic endeavors, although he was only a run-of-the-mill football lineman in high school and a somewhat clumsy if quite powerful boxer.

Fitzgerald was never able to shake off what he called his “two juvenile regrets”: not playing football at Princeton and not getting overseas during the war. He used to conjure up dreams of glory to ward off insomnia. “Once upon a time they needed a quarterback at Princeton… I weigh only one hundred and thirty-five, so they save me until the third quarter….” Or: “The headquarters staff and the regimental battalion commanders… have been killed with one shell. The command devolved upon Captain Fitzgerald. With superb presence…” It seemed to him that Hemingway had achieved what he could only dream about, and that in consequence he would forever be disadvantaged as a writer. Hemingway was inclined to agree. “[T]he reason you are so sore you missed the war,” he wrote Fitzgerald in December 1925, “is because war is the best subject of all. It groups the maximum of material and speeds up the action and brings out all sorts of stuff that normally you would have to wait a lifetime to get.” Fitzgerald soon came to admire Hemingway for his discipline and dedication to his craft as well, and adopted him as his “artistic conscience.” According to Arnold Gingrich, the Esquire editor who persuaded both men to write for his magazine during the 1930s, Fitzgerald “was so 'gone' on Ernest,” from the beginning, that “the degree of his admiration was, as among grown men, almost embarrassing.”

The City of Light

Nothing better illustrates the difference between Fitzgerald and Hemingway, and their varying circumstances, than the way they lived in and reacted to Paris. Newlyweds Ernest and Hadley Hemingway sailed from New York to Le Havre in mid-December 1921, and spent most of the succeeding five years in two rented apartments on the Left Bank: during 1922 and 1923 at 74, rue du Cardinal Lemoine in a working-class neighborhood near the place de la Contrescarpe, andfrom 1924 through 1926 at 113, rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs in avant-garde Montparnasse.

The move from the somewhat gritty Cardinal Lemoine neighborhood, where there was a bal musette, or kind of dance hall, downstairs from their apartment, to the artistically advanced and sexually charged milieu of Montparnasse did not signal a change in Ernest and Hadley's financial position. (Hemingway was never so poor as readers of A Moveable Feast—a book in which he celebrates the benefits of hunger to a working artist—might assume. Although he and Hadley had to be careful about expenditures, the favorable exchange rates and her small trust fund provided enough to make ends meet.) But the area around the intersection of the boulevards Montparnasse and Raspail, where the cafés Dôme and Select and Rotonde catered to Paris's aspiring young writers and painters and those tourists and expatriates who hoped to be confused with them, did represent a distinct deviation in lifestyle.

Shortly after arriving in Paris Hemingway visited his scorn on the Americans who idled away their time in the cafés of Montparnasse. The “scum of Greenwich Village,” he wrote, had been skimmed off and ladled onto the area around the Rotonde. They were “nearly all loafers” pretending to be artists. Instead of actually working, they boasted about what they intended to do and denigrated the accomplishment of others who received any recognition. In early drafts of the beginning of The Sun Also Rises, written after the Hemingways had moved to Montparnasse, Jake Barnes as narrator describes the area with similar distaste. The “Quarter state of mind” was principally one of contempt, he maintained. “Everybody… loathes almost everybody else and the quarter itself.” Certainly this was true of Jake Barnes himself. He cast a jaundiced eye at the area's drunks and homosexuals, “frail young men” who “take flight like the birds” to visit the Basque Coast, and then “return again even more like the birds.” Yet Barnes, like his creator, was drawn to this despised setting because it was where he could find Lady Brett Ashley and enter the world of sexual intrigue depicted in the opening chapters of The Sun Also Rises.

The Paris Hemingway recalls with affection in his writing, the Paris where he and Hadley were “very poor and very happy,” the Paris that was “the town best organized for a writer to write in that there is,” was not Montparnasse but the working-class Paris he first lived in when he came overseas.

As Hemingway's character, the failed writer Harry, is dying in “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” (1936), he thinks of all the places he's never written about and considers trying to capture them by dictation. But, he decides,

[y]ou could not dictate the Place Contrescarpe where the flower sellers dyed their flowers in the street… and the old men and the women, always drunk on wine and bad marc; and the children with their noses running in the cold; the smell of dirty sweat and poverty and drunkenness at the Café des Amateurs and the whores at the Bal Musette they lived above.

The details add up to an ugly cityscape, yet in that quarter “he had written the start of all he was to do” and so for Harry as for Hemingway there “never was another part of Paris that he loved like that, the sprawling trees, the old white plastered houses painted brown below, the long green of the autobus in the round square, the purple flower dye upon the paving, the sudden drop down the hill of the rue Cardinal Lemoine to the River, and the other way the narrow crowded world of the rue Mouffetard.” It's a love song, that description, conveying Hemingway's sense of a paradise lost with the end of his Paris apprenticeship as a writer and the end of his first marriage.

Whether living in a working-class neighborhood he later romanticized or in the Montparnasse that simultaneously attracted and repelled him, Hemingway made every effort to integrate himself into the community. Most of his and Hadley's closest companions were Americans or British living in France—writers and newspapermen—but they also learned demotic French and made friends among the Parisians they encountered during their daily rounds. It was different with Fitzgerald.

Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald first came to Europe on a short tour in 1921 and then returned in 1924 to stay for more than two years. The 1921 visit was something of a disaster. Fitzgerald's reaction to Europeans generally and to the Italians and the French in particular smacked of ugly Americanism. England had its attractions; there was a memorable luncheon with Winston Churchill's mother, the famous Jennie Jerome, and a visit to Oxford, which Fitzgerald declared “the most beautiful spot on the earth.” Across the channel, however, lay France, which proved to be “a bore and a disappointment” to begin with and then worse. The country made him sick, Fitzgerald wrote Edmund Wilson, along with “[i]ts silly pose as the thing the world has to save. I think it's a shame that England and America didn't let Germany conquer France.” Moreover, he thought French culture was on the skids, for culture “follows money” and hence would gravitate to a new capital in New York.

All of his observations, he confessed to Wilson, might be “philistine,” but his old Princeton friend did not let him off so easily. Fitzgerald was so “saturated” with American customs and mores, he wrote back, with “hotels, plumbing, drugstores,aesthetic ideals and vast commercial prosperity,” that he couldn't appreciate the superiority of French institutions. He hadn't allowed France time enough to sink in. “The lower animals die when transplanted,” Wilson sarcastically reminded him.

Three years later, the Fitzgeralds decided to give the Continent another chance, this time for a more extended stay. Tiring of habitual weekend partying on Long Island, Fitzgerald decided to come to France to finish The Great Gatsby. As he later put it, “[w]e were going to the Old World to find a new rhythm for our lives, with a true conviction that we had left our old selves behind forever.” Fitzgerald managed to complete his great novel within a few months time in France, but he was always a foreigner abroad, never lighting for long in one place, never allowing himself to absorb foreign customs or styles of life. In effect, he and Zelda remained tourists throughout their two and a half years abroad—“rich tourists,” as biographer André Le Vot noted, “who spoke the language badly and dealt mostly with paid employees.” Hemingway stated the case more damningly in A Moveable Feast. At the time, he wrote, “Scott hated the French, and since almost the only French he met with regularly were waiters whom he did not understand, taxi-drivers, garage employees and landlords, he had many opportunities to insult and abuse them.”

The Fitzgeralds sailed for France early in May 1924, and after little more than a week in Paris (where for the first time they met Gerald and Sara Murphy, the elegant expatriates whose lives were to intersect so closely with theirs and the Hemingways'), traveled south to the Riviera, initially putting up at Grimm's Park Hotel in Hyères and then taking an elegant villa at Valescure, near St. Raphaël. There Scott finished his novel, and Zelda had an affair with a handsome French aviator named Edouard Jozan. In a satirical piece written for the Saturday Evening Post that summer, Fitzgerald skewered the pretensions of American travellers abroad—and to some extent of Zelda and himself.

“The trouble with most Americans in France,” [a young American man remarks], “is that they won't lead a real French life. They hang around the big hotels and exchange opinions fresh from the States.” “I know,” [a young American woman agrees]. “That's exactly what it said in the New York Times this morning.”

With his novel safely on its way to Scribner's, Scott and Zelda again pulled up stakes to spend a dismal winter at a series of hotels in Italy. They were still there on Gatsby's publication day, April 10, 1925. Two weeks later they sailed from Naples to Marseille on the S.S. President Garfield, their Renault on board. They planned to drive the rest of the way to Paris, but the car broke down and they left it in Lyon to complete the journey by train. By May 1, Fitzgerald had met Hemingway and leased an expensive but gloomy furnished apartment at 14 rue de Tilsitt near the Arc de Triomphe for the eight months from May 12 to January 12.

As Fitzgerald recalled five years later, Paris was a tonic to his spirits after the unhappy months in Rome and Capri. Gatsby was not the financial success he had hoped it would be; he predicted first-year sales of 80,000 copies, and the book sold fewer than 20,000. But some of the reviews were excellent, especially that of Gilbert Seldes in the August issue of the Dial. In his novel, Seldes wrote, Fitzgerald has “gone soaring in a beautiful flight,” leaving behind him all the writers “of his own generation and most of his elders.” Even the qualified approval he got from respected mentors like Wilson and H.L. Mencken was encouraging. With some justification Fitzgerald could regard himself “the biggest man in my profession… everybody admired me and I was proud I'd done such a good thing.” In Paris, he easily found convivial companions to help him turn the warm months of 1925 into a summer of “1000 parties and no work.” But there were close friendships formed too, with Gerald and Sara Murphy and above all with Hemingway, “an equal and my kind of an idealist.” While Zelda stayed home ill, Scott visited the Murphys for cocktails in the garden of their house at St. Cloud, and “got drunk with [Hemingway] on the Left Bank in careless cafés.” Booth Tarkington, the famous author of Penrod, Seventeen, and The Magnificent Ambersons, met the two young writers one afternoon. Tarkington thought Hemingway looked like “a Kansas University football beef,” while Fitzgerald was “a little tight.” They were having a good time together, Tarkington could see. He gathered they'd been up all night.

Hemingway recorded no mutual intoxications in A Moveable Feast. There Fitzgerald is repeatedly inebriated, while Hemingway remains sober enough to take charge of the situation. This is especially apparent during their trip to Lyon to recover Fitzgerald's Renault, a journey undertaken soon after their first meeting. In Hemingway's account of that journey, written in the late 1950s and published in A Moveable Feast, Fitzgerald emerges as a childish hypochondriac, a foolish spendthrift, an emasculated husband, and a morally flawed artist compromising his talent by writing formula fiction for the slick magazines. He only agreed to accompany Fitzgerald, Hemingway asserted, because he hoped to learn something about writing from a successful older professional. Except for an extensive plot summary of the novels of Michael Arlen, Fitzgerald offered nosuch instruction. But by his behavior he did teach Hemingway an important lesson about what a writer should not do: squander his ability and feel sorry for himself. After a day on the road with Fitzgerald, Hemingway maintained, he “felt the death loneliness that comes at the end of every day that is wasted in your life.”

At this point, the caution flag must go up, for there is persuasive evidence that at the time, both Hemingway and Fitzgerald enjoyed the trip to Lyon. Writing to Ezra Pound, Hemingway emphasized the amount of wine they'd consumed: “Didn't miss one vintage from Montrachet to Chambertin. Elaborate trip.” And in a June 9 letter to Max Perkins, he reported that he and Scott “had a great trip together driving his car up from Lyon through the Cote D'Or.” The top of the Renault had been damaged in some way, and Zelda had ordered it cut off entirely. In A Moveable Feast, when it begins to rain hard as they are driving to Paris, this foolish decision serves as but one example of Fitzgerald's general incompetence. In correspondence between the two men, however, the car's condition became a kind of running gag. In April 1931, for example, Hemingway wrote Fitzgerald that he “look[ed] forward like hell” to seeing him in Europe in the fall. “We might take one of those topless motor trips,” he added. As for Fitzgerald's reaction to the journey, in a letter to Gertrude Stein he reported that “Hemingway and I went to Lyons… to get my car and had a slick drive through Burgundy. He's a peach of a fellow and absolutely first-rate.”

According to A Moveable Feast, Hemingway was prepared to forgive Fitzgerald all the weaknesses of the Lyon trip once he'd read The Great Gatsby. At the time, Hemingway said, he did not think of Fitzgerald as a serious writer, but from the “shy and happy” way Fitzgerald talked about his new novel, he felt sure it would be worth reading. And so it proved to be. After reading The Great Gatsby, Hemingway wrote in his memoir, he “enlisted” as Fitzgerald's friend and helpmeet. “When I had finished the book I knew that no matter what Scott did, nor how he behaved, I must know it was like a sickness and be of any help I could to him and try to be a good friend.” The effect of this passage is to portray Hemingway as Fitzgerald's benefactor, when in fact it was very much the other way around. One thing Hemingway did do for Fitzgerald, however, was to take him to see Gertrude Stein.

From the start, Hemingway had a knack of ingratiating himself with famous authors and making them his advocates. He arrived in Paris with glowing letters of introduction from Sherwood Anderson, whom he had befriended in Chicago. The twenty-two-year-old Hemingway had “extraordinary talent,” Anderson wrote. He and Hadley were “delightful people to know.” Therewere four letters. The first two paved the way to friendships with the engaging and well-connected Lewis Galantiere and with Sylvia Beach, who ran the bookstore-lending library called Shakespeare and Company. The walls of the store were covered with photographs of writers, many of whom Beach knew. An admirer and sponsor of James Joyce, she took to young Hemingway at once. No one he ever knew, he was later to say, had ever been nicer to him.

The other two letters were to Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein, writers with international reputations. When Ernest and Hadley went to tea at Pound's, the poet held forth while Hemingway sat silent, taking it all in. Soon thereafter, he composed a satirical sketch pillorying Pound's pretentiousness and wild-haired Bohemian appearance. Fortunately, Galantiere talked him out of publishing the piece; Pound and Hemingway subsequently formed a close bond. They boxed and played tennis together, and Pound applied his sharp editorial eye to Hemingway's prose. The work came back to him blue-penciled, and stripped of adjectives. Writing for a newspaper, Hemingway found, was not the same as writing for a poet. His best critic, though, proved to be Gertrude Stein. “Ezra was right half the time,” Hemingway told poet John Peale Bishop. “Gertrude was always right.”

In March 1922, the Hemingways paid their first call on Stein at 27, rue de Fleuras—a comfortable apartment whose walls were filled with paintings by Picasso and other modern masters. The Buddha-like Gertrude discussed writing with Ernest, while her tiny companion Alice B. Toklas took Hadley aside to chat about domestic matters. Hemingway listened to Stein's pronouncements with passionate intensity. “She has a wonderful head,” he wrote Edmund Wilson in November 1923. He found her method invaluable for analyzing anything and for making notes on a person or a place. As for Stein, she liked Hemingway immediately. “He is a delightful fellow,” she reported to Anderson. Toklas, who was given to jealousy, thought that Ernest, with his dark luminous eyes and flashing smile, was entirely too attentive to Gertrude. Nonetheless a close bond was formed. Stein and Toklas became godparents to the Hemingways' son. Gertrude read Ernest's early writing, and told him that it contained too much description, and not particularly good description. “Begin over again and concentrate,” she advised. She also urged him to quit his newspaper job. If you keep on with journalism, she warned, “you will never see things, you will only see words and that will not do….”

Hemingway profited from her advice, and did what he could by way of recompense. Early in 1924, Pound persuaded Ford Madox Ford to take Hemingway on as sub-editor of the Transatlantic Review. Thereafter Hemingway saw to itthat substantial sections of Stein's unpublished work, The Making of Americans, were printed in the journal, beginning in April 1924. In due course their relationship would turn sour, but as of 1925 Hemingway and Stein were still on good terms. He brought a number of American writers to her salon, and in doing so confirmed his standing in the Parisian literary community. He brought John Dos Passos to call, he brought Archibald and Ada MacLeish, he brought Donald Ogden Stewart and Nathan Asch, he brought Ernest Walsh and Evan Shipman, and in mid-May 1925 he brought Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.

“Dear Friends,” Hemingway wrote Stein and Toklas prior to that meeting, “Fitzgerald was around yesterday afternoon with his wife and she's worth seeing so I'll bring them around Friday afternoon unless you warn me not to.” The visit went well, and Fitzgerald left a copy of Gatsby with Stein. On May 22, she wrote him from their summer place at Belley: “Here we are and we have read your book and it is a good book.” She liked the melody of his dedication, “Once Again to Zelda.” She liked it that he wrote “naturally in sentences and one can read all of them.” She liked his creation on the page of a contemporary world much as Thackeray had done “in Pendennis and Vanity Fair and this isn't a bad compliment.” Fitzgerald must have been delighted with such praise, though less so with Stein's comparison of Gatsby with This Side of Paradise, a novel published five years earlier that he was half inclined to repudiate. As compared with Paradise, Stein asserted, Gatsby was “as good a book and different and older and that is what one does, one does not get better but different and older and that is always a pleasure.” In closing, Stein asked the Fitzgeralds to call when she returned in the fall. She sent the letter via Hemingway, having misplaced the Fitzgeralds' address.

Ignoring the comment about not getting better since Paradise, Fitzgerald replied to Stein with a show of deference. He could only hope to live up to her approbation. He was basically a “second rate person compared to first rate people.” He was content to let her, and the one or two people like her who were acutely sensitive, “think or fail to think for me and my kind artistically.”

If he could write a book as fine as Gatsby, Hemingway felt, Fitzgerald could do something even finer. And settled into his rue de Tilsitt apartment, Fitzgerald was eager to get on with his writing. Most of the previous winter he had done little besides reading and revising the edited manuscript and galleys of Gatsby. Now he had a new novel in mind, a book about American expatriates in France that would not emerge as Tender Is the Night for another nine years. During the interim Fitzgerald wrote some of his finest short stories, including “The Rich Boy” (1926) and “Babylon Revisited” (1931). But the long gapbetween novels damaged his reputatation and caused him tremendous personal distress. As Hemingway came to regard the situation, Fitzgerald had two tremendous handicaps to overcome as a working writer: his drinking and his wife.

Two Weaknesses

A friend should bear his friend's infirmities,
But Brutus makes mine greater than they are…
All his faults observed,
Set in a notebook, learn'd, and conn'd by rote.
—Cassius, in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

A man's friendships are, like his will, invalidated by marriage—but they are also no less invalidated by the marriage of his friends.
—Samuel Butler

One of the more cryptic observations in Fitzgerald's notebooks reads: “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 is impossible to date this comment precisely, or to be sure of its meaning. But it seems likely that the inferiority complex in question was that of Fitzgerald himself rather than of the aggressively confident Hemingway, and that “Ernest's 'drink'” referred to a warning from Hemingway that liquor was preventing Fitzgerald from doing his best work. Certainly Hemingway felt that Fitzgerald's weakness for drink was debilitating.

From the beginning Hemingway made fun, in print, of Fitzgerald's trouble with alcohol. In The Torrents of Spring (written in November 1925), Hemingway intruded to remark that “[i]t was at this point in the story, reader, that Mr. F. Scott Fitzgerald came to our home one afternoon, and after remaining for quite a while suddenly sat down in the fireplace and would not (or was it could not, reader?) get up and let the fire burn something else so as to keep the room warm.” This incident had no bearing on the rest of the story, Hemingway acknowledged, but just the same, he chummily went on, things like this did happen, and “think what they mean to chaps like you and me in the literary game.” Before dropping the subject,he observed: “Need I add, reader, that I have the utmost respect for Mr. Fitzgerald, and let anyone else attack him and I would be the first to spring to his defense!”

Hemingway fashioned another version of this same incident twenty-eight years later. In a letter to Charles Poore, he reported that he had sent his Pulitzer Prize check (for The Old Man and the Sea) to his son Bumby, now in service as “Capt. John H. Hemingway 0-1798575 who helped me write The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms and rendered a signal service to literature by pulling Mr. Scott Fitzgerald out of the fireplace where he had gone to sleep when we lived at 115 Rue Notre Dame des Champs.” Both in this letter and in The Torrents of Spring, Hemingway underscored Fitzgerald's immature behavior by referring to him as “Mr.”

During their Paris years Hemingway may well have decided that his friend was fair game because of his celebrity. The “Who's Who in Paris” column of the Chicago Tribune's Paris edition for December 7, 1925, featured a handsome photograph of Fitzgerald, accompanied by a story based on Ellin Mackay's observation that “the trouble with our elders is that they have swallowed too much of F. Scott Fitzgerald” and particularly his stories about debutantes like herself. Fitzgerald, the Tribune reported, was “popularly credited with the discovery of the flapper” and with exploiting “the gin and jazz crazed milieu of modern New York.” This kind of publicity demeaned Fitzgerald in the eyes of his fellow authors. He was as ambitious as the next man, Dos Passos remarked, but he did not covet the Fitzgeralds' kind of Sunday supplement celebrity: that “set his teeth on edge.”

In a satirical piece Hemingway raised an eyebrow at Fitzgerald's dilatory work habits, and by implication the drinking that led to them. His comic article, entitled “My Own Life,” appeared in the then-new New Yorker for February 12, 1927. Therein Hemingway focused on a number of people he'd supposedly broken off relations with (uncannily, in many cases he subsequently did end these relationships), including “Gertrude Stein, My Wife, Benchley, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Donald Ogden Stewart” and promising “Next Week How I Broke with Dos Passos, Coolidge, Lincoln, Mencken and Shakespeare.” The section on Fitzgerald, cut out of the typescript before publication, read as follows:

How I Broke with F. Scott Fitzgerald

I tried hard to break with Fitzgerald but the maid said that both Mr. and Mrs. Fitzgerald were sleeping and could not possibly be wakened. I went out and broke with the cabman instead.

In these accounts and in direct correspondence between the two men, Fitzgerald's drinking was invariably treated as a joke, but the humor carried anundercurrent of disapproval. Work and the bottle both figure in the course of a friendly letter to Fitzgerald of May 1926, for example. Hemingway asked how Fitzgerald was feeling and if he were “really working on his novel” and followed that question with another: “Is it true that you have become blind through alcoholic poisoning and had to have your pancreas removed?” To soften that brutal inquiry, Hemingway allowed in closing that he was “thinking of going out in a few minutes, and getting very cock eyed drunk.”

Perhaps Hemingway's most interesting document on Fitzgerald's drinking during the 1920s is a handwritten sketch drafted for possible use in A Moveable Feast. In this sketch, Hemingway answers his son Bumby's questions about Fitzgerald “[a]fter [he] had taken to turning up drunk quite frequently.”

“Monsieur Fitzgerald is sick Papa?”

“He is sick because he drinks too much and he cannot work.”

“Does he not respect his metier?”

“Madame his wife does not respect it or she is envious of it.”

“He should scold her.”

“It is not so simple.”

Fitzgerald, temporarily on the wagon, comes to visit Hemingway later that day, and Bumby drinks a ballon (half a glass) of beer as an example to show Fitzgerald how a man should control his drinking. After Fitzgerald leaves, “full of mineral water and the resolve to write well and truly,” Bumby once more interrogates his father.

Was Fitzgerald “demolished mentally by the war?” he inquires. No, that was not his problem. “Poor Monsieur Fitzgerald,” the boy goes on. “He was very nice today to remain sober… Will everything be all right with him Papa?” Hemingway could not reassure his son on that score. “I hope so,” he answers. “But he has very grave problems. It seems to me that he has almost insurmountable problems as a writer.”

As this excised passage demonstrates, Hemingway believed that Fitzgerald's drinking could largely be attributed to his wife Zelda. And in two of the three chapters on Fitzgerald actually printed in A Moveable Feast—“Hawks Do Not Share” and “A Matter of Measurements”—she is portrayed as the single most “insurmountable problem” confronting him. In the first of these, the scene is a luncheon at the Fitzgeralds' ornately but badly furnished apartment, during which Hemingway conceives a strong dislike for Zelda. Everything is contrived to put her in the worst possible light. Hungover from the previous night's party, she does not look her best. Her eyes are tired, her face is drawn, and her “beautiful dark blonde hair” has been ruined by a bad permanent.

Despite her hangover, Zelda accuses Scott of having been a “kill-joy” or a “spoilsport,” and she smiles happily with her hawk's eyes as she watches him drink the wine at lunch that would make it impossible for him to work later that day. According to Hemingway, Fitzgerald was trying to stop drinking and to concentrate on his writing, while Zelda—who was “jealous of his work”—encouraged him to indulge himself. In describing his initial reaction to Zelda, however, Hemingway probably misrepresented the facts. By way of contrary evidence there is his letter to Stein and Toklas about Zelda's being “worth seeing,” as well as a second version of the luncheon meeting written for A Moveable Feast but not published. In this account, Zelda is neither hungover nor jealous of her husband's work. Moreover, although her face was drawn and “the only thing[s] beautiful about her” were the tawny smoothness of her skin, the lovely color of her hair (albeit ruined by the unsuccessful permanent wave), and her wonderful light and long legs, and although she was “very spoiled” and said things that made little sense and he did not like her, that night Hemingway “had an erotic enough dream about her.” He told her about it the next time they met, and she was pleased. “That,” Hemingway wrote, “was the first and last time” he and Zelda had anything in common.

Special Delivery to Scribner's

Now I know that there is nothing you can do about any writer ever. The seeds of their destruction are in them from the start, and the thing to do about writers is get along with them if you see them, and try not to see them.
—Ernest Hemingway, “The Art of the Short Story”

However Ernest Hemingway and Zelda Fitzgerald may have felt about each other at first blush, there can be no doubt that after Scott and Ernest's initial meetings—at the Dingo, at the rue de Tilsitt apartment, at Stein's salon, on the trip to Lyon—F. Scott Fitzgerald became Hemingway's enthusiastic advocate and supporter. Something of the shape and color of their friendship, as it developed during 1925 and 1926, is communicated in their occasional letters. Fromthe beginning Hemingway adopted a tone of light sarcasm at Fitzgerald's expense, a tone meant to suggest his superior wisdom and maturity. Fitzgerald attempted a complementary sort of masculine raillery in response, but that sort of rhetoric did not come naturally to him. Almost always in correspondence, Fitzgerald sounds as if he were on the defensive.

The first surviving letter between them was written July 1, 1925 from Hemingway in Pamplona, where he had gone for the fiesta and bullfights, to Fitzgerald in Paris. In a set piece, Hemingway conjured up two hypothetical heavens. Fitzgerald's idea of heaven, he speculated, would be “[a] beautiful vacuum filled with wealthy monogamists, all powerful and members of the best families all drinking themselves to death.” In contrast, Hemingway went on, his heaven would include two barrera seats in the bull ring, a trout stream, and two houses, one for his wife and children and the other for his nine beautiful mistresses. Without exactly saying so, this comparison disparaged Fitzgerald's excessive devotion to his wife, his admiration for the rich, and his fondness for the bottle, while drawing attention to Hemingway's aggressively masculine pursuits.

Where Hemingway made light of his friend, the first extant letter of Fitzgerald to Hemingway—written November 30, 1925 after passing out at the Hemingways' flat—struck a characteristic note of apology. Fitzgerald was “quite ashamed” of his drunken behavior, and did his best to pass it off with a joke: “the deplorable man who entered your apartment Sat. morning was not me but a man named Johnston who has often been mistaken for me.” At the same time, however, Fitzgerald also found it necessary to issue a disclaimer. Perhaps as a consequence of the expansiveness brought on by alcohol, Fitzgerald had inflated the price his stories could command. “For some reason I told you a silly lie—or rather an exaggeration… The Saturday Evening Post raised me to $2750 [per story] and not $3000, which is a jump of $750.00 in one month.” Either of these figures must have sounded astronomical to Hemingway, who at the time had earned very little for his fiction. Moreover, he did not think it seemly to discuss financial matters so openly. The situation had come up before, at the rue de Tilsitt luncheon when Fitzgerald insisted on showing Hemingway the ledger in which he recorded the dates of publication of his stories and novels along with the amount of money they had brought in. His fiscal triumphs soon became a source of satirical commentary between them.

In his letters, Hemingway acted the role of moral and social counselor to a companion who, while older and more successful, could still use considerable straightening out. This, despite the fact that throughout 1925 and 1926 the established professional Fitzgerald threw himself into a campaign to promote and advance Hemingway's career. The primary goal was to deliver Hemingway to editor Maxwell Perkins at the house of Scribner. This took some doing, since Hemingway had a three-book contract with Boni & Liveright. Yet by early 1926, by virtue of considerable calculation on Hemingway's part combined with Fitzgerald's artful cooperation, the shift of publishers was successfully completed.

Even before Boni & Liveright brought out In Our Time, Hemingway was contemplating leaving them. In August 1925, the Paris-based author Jane Heap wrote him that if he wasn't happy with Liveright, she knew a publisher's representative who wanted to see him. (This may have been William Aspenwall Bradley, of Knopf). Hemingway replied that Boni & Liveright had an option on his next three books, but with a loophole: “said option to lapse if they refuse any one book.” Although he couldn't “talk business now” he was certainly interested in meeting her friend, for “you can't ever tell what might happen.” In fact he was not enthusiastic about his agreement with Liveright. He'd gotten a mere $200 advance for In Our Time, and the in-house support for his book was not strong. They made him omit “Up in Michigan” entirely, and altered “Mr. and Mrs. Elliot.” Besides, Liveright was the publisher of Sherwood Anderson, who had befriended and encouraged him, and that circumstance might encourage the critics to draw invidious comparisons between them. He wanted to be his own man, not Anderson's or Stein's disciple.

The overture from Jane Heap was but one among several that came Hemingway's way during the summer and fall of 1925. Fitzgerald was aiming him toward Scribner's, and could do so with no pangs of conscience, inasmuch as Boni & Liveright had openly importuned him to abandon Scribner's and publish his next book with them. Scribner's sounded good to Hemingway, who was impressed by the supportive letters of Max Perkins. Perkins enthusiastically praised his work, which was more than Horace Liveright had done. Perkins also went out of his way to do the young author a favor. Originally, Perkins had asked him for a copy of the hard-to-obtain in our time, but Hemingway said he was sorry, he didn't have a single copy of his own. Thereupon Perkins searched for and secured one, and sent it to the author, accompanied by a request that must have pleased him. If Hemingway should happen to come across another copy, Perkins wrote, he'd be delighted if he would sign it and send it to him.

In literary circles, the word was getting around about Hemingway. Well-known novelist Louis Bromfield was singing his praises. So were his friends John Dos Passos and Donald Ogden Stewart. Hemingway's attractiveness as aliterary property rose abruptly during the months after the 1925 fiesta of San Fermin at Pamplona. In a nine-week spurt, he completed the first draft of a novel called Fiesta (later, The Sun Also Rises) based in good part on the people and events of the Pamplona trip. Short stories were one thing, but publishers might make a great deal of money on a successful novel, and now he had a novel to promise them.

In Our Time, Hemingway's book of stories, appeared on 5 October 1925. “Isn't Ernest Hemingway's book fine?” Fitzgerald wrote Perkins immediately. Fitzgerald also turned out a highly laudatory review of In Our Time, which did not appear (in the Bookman) until May 1926. Meanwhile, the initial notices were extremely strong for a first book of stories. Reviewers admired Hemingway's spare and powerful style. “His language is fibrous and athletic, colloquial and fresh, hard and clean,” commented the New York Times Book Review; “his very prose seems to have an organic being of its own.” Hemingway was more than an accomplished stylist, according to Time. “Make no mistake,” the newsmagazine announced, “Ernest Hemingway is somebody; a new, honest, un-'literary' transcriber of life—a writer.”

Despite such laudatory reviews, Boni & Liveright did little to promote Hemingway's book. The first printing was only 1,335 copies, and the advertising consisted of a single pre-publication announcement in Publishers Weekly and two ads in the New York Times Book Review. All of the advertisements, like the book jacket itself, relied on blurbs from better-known writers. The jacket featured quotes from anthologist Edward J. O'Brien and critic Gilbert Seldes, as well as writers Anderson, Dos Passos, Stewart, Waldo Frank, and Ford Madox Ford. In the ads, Sinclair Lewis was added to the gallery of endorsers, but the greatest emphasis was placed on Sherwood Anderson, who had recommended Hemingway to Liveright in the first place. “Mr. Hemingway is young, strong, full of laughter and he can write,” the New York Times Book Review ad of October 11, 1925 quoted Anderson. “The pen feels good in his hand.” That was the last effort Boni & Liveright made for Hemingway's book. It was not even mentioned in the firm's two major New York Times Book Review ads for the Christmas season.

Understandably enough, Hemingway objected to Boni & Liveright's small first printing and lack of advertising backup. “Evidently they made up their minds in advance that it was not worth while trying to sell a book of short stories whether anyone wanted to buy it or not,” he wrote Harold Loeb, the model for Robert Cohn in The Sun Also Rises and the author of a novel, Doodab,that was published by Boni & Liveright in the same season as In Our Time. He thought the massing of blurbs on the jacket put the reader off. And he was undoubtedly annoyed by the clear association of his work with Anderson, a connection that the reviewers spelled out. “Sherwood Anderson is there leading the chorus [of blurb-contributors], and Mr. Hemingway's work is most like his,” the New York Post observed. Still worse, the New York Sun commented that Hemingway's writing did not yet have “the big movement, the rich content of such a book as [Anderson's] Dark Laughter.” This comparison was particularly galling, since Hemingway believed that Anderson had entirely lost his touch in Dark Laughter.

With the first draft of The Sun Also Rises completed and his name reverberating around the halls of publishing offices in New York, by November 1925 Hemingway was in a strong bargaining position. He determined then to break his contract with Liveright and switch to Scribner's—or possibly to some other bidder for his services. The way he severed himself from Liveright was to write a lightweight satire, The Torrents of Spring, that was clearly a parody of Sherwood Anderson, his former benefactor and Boni & Liveright's best-selling author. He dashed off this 28,000-word book in ten days. It was “[p]robably unprintable, but funny as hell,” he wrote Ezra Pound on November 30. “Wrote it to destroy Sherwood and various others.”

A week later, he put The Torrents of Spring in the mail to Horace Liveright, along with a letter that simultaneously insisted on the merits of his ten-day wonder and talked tough about the conditions he was prepared to demand should Liveright accept it. This was not the long novel Liveright was anticipating, Hemingway announced: he'd be rewriting that book, now called The Sun Also Rises, over the winter. But the short satirical book he was submitting belonged to the literary tradition established by Fielding's Joseph Andrews: Scott Fitzgerald was “very excited about it,” and Louis Bromfield thought it was one of the funniest books he had ever read. Still, Hemingway cautioned, “If you take it you've got to push it.” Liveright had made a hash of In Our Time, but “this book you can sell and it must be given a fair play.” Furthermore, he wanted an advance of $500 as a guarantee that Torrents would get a fair share of advertising support.

Both author and editor understood (though Hemingway did not articulate this possibility in his letter) that if the firm turned his satire down, that would sever their three-book contract. Hemingway wanted to make it difficult if not impossible for his publishers to accept the book. “The only reason” they might reject Torrents, he acknowledged, “would be for fear of offending Sherwood.”But, he pointed out, it would be in Boni & Liveright's interest to differentiate between him and Anderson, “and you might as well have us both under the same roof and get it coming and going”—that is, Hemingway as the comer and Anderson on his way out.

This was not the letter of a man unsure of his ground. Hemingway praised his own work, chided his publisher for past mistreatment, demanded conditions, and in closing asked for an immediate decision. He and Hadley and Bumby were spending another winter at Schruns in Austria; Liveright should cable him there “at once” about his decision, he instructed. If Liveright didn't want to publish it, Hemingway admitted, he had “a number of propositions” to consider. But, he wrote in closing, “I want you to publish it… because it is a hell of a fine book and it can make us both a lot of money.” In this letter, Hemingway was having it both ways. Probably he realized that Torrents was, for Boni & Liveright anyway, “unprintable.” But if they did decide to publish it anyway, he wanted it done on his terms.

To what extent Fitzgerald became involved in Hemingway's contract-breaking scheme is uncertain. Fitzgerald did send Horace Liveright a letter endorsing the merits of The Torrents of Spring. “[I]t seems about the best comic book ever written by an American,” he said. This was an exaggeration, for as a humorist Hemingway was not in the same league with Donald Ogden Stewart and Robert Benchley. The Torrents of Spring is full of attempts at verbal slapstick, only some of which come off. Despite Fitzgerald's overstated enthusiasm for Torrents, however, there is no reason to suppose that he was complicit in any sort of subterfuge. In his letter of endorsement, in fact, Fitzgerald admitted straightforwardly that he hoped Liveright would turn the book down, for he was “something of a ballyhoo man for Scribners” and would like to see Hemingway “rounded up in the same coop” with him. That kind of honest talk gave Liveright fair warning about what might happen if he rejected Torrents.

Liveright was over a barrel, and did not respond with his decision on the manuscript for three weeks. In the interim, Hemingway in Schruns wrote Fitzgerald in Paris twice, with no mention whatever of Liveright or Scribner's or Torrents, except to confess that he had exacerbated a sore throat by reading the entirety of the book aloud to the Murphys. In the second missive, probably written the day before Christmas, Hemingway commented amiably enough that he'd gotten a letter from Fitzgerald and it was good to know that “somebody spells worse than I do.” Hemingway was right about that. He was not a good speller, but Fitzgerald was an extremely poor one. He spelled by ear alone, and never developed an eye for the way the word should look on the page. He was especially weakon proper names, and was capable of spelling Ezra Pound's surname as “Pount.” So it was natural enough that Fitzgerald persistently misspelled Hemingway's last name, usually as “Hemminway.” Writing Archibald MacLeish in December 1925, Hemingway observed that Fitzgerald had invented that spelling and he didn't know why Fitzgerald used two m's unless it was because there were two t's in Scott. Over a period of time, the mistake about his name became a source of exasperation. As Hemingway wrote Malcolm Cowley in 1951, “two mm's mean bastard; Hemenway means Silk Company, and such a long name as Hemingway was really asking too damn much of Scott.” In other correspondence at about the same time, Hemingway began to style Fitzgerald as “FitzGerald.”

By way of keeping the pot on the boil, Fitzgerald wrote Perkins late in December that he hoped “Liveright would lose faith in Ernest.” Horace Liveright didn't do that, exactly. On December 30 he cabled Hemingway in Schruns: REJECTING TORRENTS OF SPRING. PATIENTLY AWAITING MANUSCRIPT SUN ALSO RISES. WRITING FULLY. In the promised letter Liveright spelled out his reasons for turning down Torrents. “Apart from the fact that it is a bitter, and I might say vicious caricature of Sherwood Anderson, it is entirely cerebral.” Who on earth did Hemingway expect to buy the book? Then, without mentioning the conditions of the three-book contract, Liveright reiterated his eagerness to see Hemingway's novel.

Hemingway did not wait for Horace Liveright's letter to cross the Atlantic before taking the next step in his campaign to switch publishers. On December 31-January 1, he wrote Fitzgerald a long letter that in effect commissioned him to serve as his lieutenant in making the change. “I have known all along that they could not and would not be able to publish [Torrents] as it makes a bum out of their present ace and best seller Anderson,” he confessed. “I did not, however, have that it mind when I wrote it,” he added somewhat disingenuously. That sentence makes it seem highly probable that if Hemingway did in fact write Torrents for the specific purpose of breaking his contract, he did so without consulting Fitzgerald. The rest of the letter backs up that interpretation, for in it Hemingway describes as if for the first time the provisions of his contract with Liveright. In Our Time was the first book, and Liveright had options to publish the next two. But if they did not exercise this option within sixty days of receiving the manuscript of the second book (in this case, The Torrents of Spring), their option rights to the third book {The Sun Also Rises) would lapse. “So I'm loose,” Hemingway asserted. “No matter what Horace may think up in his letter to say.”

Hemingway's well-calculated letter to Fitzgerald reiterated his promise to allow Maxwell Perkins first crack at his work once he was released fromLiveright. But now there was competition on the field. He'd been approached by William Aspenwell Bradley from Knopf. And Louis Bromfield, interceding directly with his publisher Alfred Harcourt, had elicited a promise of an advance once Hemingway was free. For Harcourt as for everyone else, Hemingway's novel-in-progress was the prize, with the satirical Torrents the second and lesser part of the bargain. As Harcourt wrote Bromfield for relay to Hemingway, “Hemingway is his own man and talking off his own bat. I should say, Yea Brother, and we shall try to do the young man as much credit as he'll do us, and that's considerable. I'd like to see his Anderson piece. It's a chance for good fun, if not for too much money for either of us. Hemingway's first novel might rock the country.” In passing on this quotation to Fitzgerald, Hemingway was obviously applying pressure. He wasn't going to “Double Cross” Fitzgerald and Perkins, he maintained. Still, other publishers were interested.

After presenting this situation, Hemingway laid out a scenario involving Fitzgerald as a principal player. “It's up to you how I proceed next,” Hemingway claimed. Then he advanced his plan. He was going to wire Liveright to send the manuscript of Torrents to Don Stewart at the Yale Club in New York, and then wire Don to deliver the manuscript to Perkins. As for Fitzgerald, “[y]ou can write Max telling him how Liveright turned it down and why and your own opinion of it. I am re-writing The Sun Also Rises and it is damned good. It will be ready in 2-3 months for late fall or later if they wish.” To make sure that Fitzgerald did write Perkins, Hemingway stressed that he was jeopardizing his chances with Harcourt by going to Scribner's first. He was only doing so because of the impression he'd formed of Perkins from their correspondence and what Fitzgerald had told him. Besides, he'd like to be lined up with Fitzgerald there.

Time was of the essence, and so Hemingway directed Fitzgerald, “an important cog in the show,” to mark his letter for either the Majestic or the Paris, mail boats scheduled to leave January 5. That way it would get to New York fastest. And oh yes, he wanted an advance of $500 for Torrents. In effect Hemingway was relying on Fitzgerald to make his case and negotiate his terms at Scribner's, a role Fitzgerald was eager to play. In closing his letter, Hemingway added the afterthought that perhaps he should go to New York in person to settle things. The trouble was that his passport had run out and the new one he'd applied for would not arrive for a few weeks. Early in February Hemingway did travel to New York to cement the deal with Scribner's. By that time Fitzgerald had done a considerable amount of maneuvering behind the scenes.

As a first step, he cabled Perkins on January 8: YOU CAN GET HEMINGWAYS FINISHED NOVEL PROVIDE YOU PUBLISH UNPROMISING SATIRE. HARCOURT HAS MADE DEFINITE OFFER. WIRE IMMEDIATELY WITHOUT QUALIFICATIONS. To Perkins, if not to Liveright, Fitzgerald delivered his true opinion of the commercial potential of Torrents. Throughout the negotiations of the succeeding six weeks, Fitzgerald played the dual role of adviser-confidant to publisher Perkins and agent-advocate to author Hemingway. Sensing the urgency of the competing “offer” from Harcourt (whose letter to Bromfield was not, in fact, a contractual commitment), Perkins cabled back immediately, PUBLISH NOVEL AT FIFTEEN PERCENT AND ADVANCE IF DESIRED. ALSO SATIRE UNLESS OBJECTIONABLE OTHER THAN FINANCIALLY. On the strength of the critical success of In Our Time and Fitzgerald's recommendation, Perkins was willing to commit Scribner's to publish both The Torrents of Spring and The Sun Also Rises, sight unseen. And he was willing to do so even though he anticipated taking a loss on Torrents. But Perkins was worried that his “qualification,” the “unless objectionable” phrase, might be “fatal,” and on January 11 sent another, more positive cable to back up the first one: CONFIDENCE ABSOLUTE, KEEN TO PUBLISH HIM. His sole reservation, he explained to Fitzgerald in a following letter, was that Hemingway's satirical book might overstep legal boundaries. “I did my best with that cable,” Perkins delicately explained, “but there was a fear that this satire—although in the hands of such a writer it could hardly be rightly so upon any theory—might be suppressible.” Then he made a sales pitch for Fitzgerald to relay to his friend. He had no criticism of Harcourt, “an admirable publisher.” But Scribner's would be better for Hemingway, for they were “absolutely loyal to [the] authors” they believed in, and would support them “in the face of losses for a long time.” Hemingway might need that kind of a publisher, for it did not seem likely to Perkins that “he could come into a large public” right away.

Meanwhile, Fitzgerald had heard directly from Horace Liveright, who had not forgotten Fitzgerald's hint about switching Hemingway to Scribner's. Enclosing a copy of the letter about rejecting Torrents he'd sent Hemingway, Liveright maintained that he himself liked the satire better than any of his partners, who concurred that it was “just bad.” But the point of his letter was that Fitzgerald should not “get so hilariously enthusiastic” about this rejection as to believe that Boni & Liveright were “in any way giving up Hemingway.” They had a contract, Liveright was confident that Hemingway had “a big future,” and he “absolutely” planned to go through with that contract. He even proposed Doran as an alternative publisher for Torrents, one that, presumably, would not try to lure Hemingway away from Boni & Liveright. Fitzgerald might want to give the book to Scribner's, Liveright wrote, but he thought Doran could do more with it. On a friendly concluding note, Liveright mentioned that he'd been “swept off his feet” by The Great Gatsby, commented that the firm had just completed its best publishing season, and announced that his partner, T.R. (Tom) Smith, was on his way to Paris where he hoped to see Fitzgerald.

Undeterred by Liveright's letter, Fitzgerald continued to act as unofficial representative of Scribner's in France. Writing to Perkins soon after his January 8 cable, he elaborated on the prospects for Torrents. “I loved it, but believe it wouldn't be popular… probable sale 1000 copies.” But Hemingway was “dead set” on having the satire published in advance of his novel. Ernest thought that Liveright's refusal set him free, but Scott wasn't so sure about that. Harcourt and Knopf were interested, but if Hemingway was legally free, Fitzgerald was “almost sure” he could deliver the satire and novel to Scribner's to be contracted for “tout ensemble.” In this letter Fitzgerald stressed the importance of his dual function as friend to Hemingway and unofficial overseas representative of Scribner's. He and Hemingway were “very thick,” Fitzgerald wrote, but everything he told Perkins about him was to stay confidential. After supplying Hemingway's address in Schruns, Fitzgerald added a cautionary note for his editor: “Don't even tell him I've discussed his Liveright and Harcourt relations with you.” In his next letter to Perkins, Fitzgerald emphasized the competitive situation. Without mentioning his letter from Horace Liveright, Fitzgerald told Perkins he was sure Liveright would fight “like the devil” to keep Hemingway, “because he's crazy to get Ernest's almost completed novel The Sun Also Rises.” Harcourt and Knopf were after him too, and Hemingway was coming to New York to straighten everything out. Perkins could see Hemingway then and was sure to like him. He was “one of the nicest fellows” Fitzgerald had ever known. But Hemingway was also “very excitable” and Fitzgerald couldn't guarantee what he would decide. At the moment he was “favorably disposed” toward Scribner's and inclined to sign with them, provided he wasn't bitched by some terrible contract with Liveright. To hear Hemingway talk, Fitzgerald added, “you'd think Liveright had broken up his home and robbed him of millions,” but that was only because he didn't understand publishing.

In fact Hemingway understood the legal side of the business very well, judging from the January 19 letter to Horace Liveright in which he reviewed the terms of the contract and declared himself free to give his future books to whichever publisher offered him the best terms. They had a three-book contract, Hemingway began. In Our Time was the first book. The Torrents of Spring washis second completed book. The contract held that if Liveright did not decide to publish his second book within sixty days of receipt of the manuscript, the firm's option on that book—and on the third—would lapse. The contract also said that one of the three books submitted was to be a full-length novel, but it did not specify that the second book had to be the novel. It could just as easily be a book of short stories or a humorous book. Then Hemingway asserted that he had submitted Torrents to Liveright “in good faith,” a curious phrase inasmuch as no one, including Liveright, had challenged him on that point. Publishers, he knew, were not in business for their health, but Liveright could hardly expect to reject his books “as they appear while sitting back and waiting to cash in on the appearance of a best seller: surely not all this for $200” [the In Our Time advance]. He would come to see Liveright when he got to New York, but the contract was broken, and that was that.

Hemingway crossed on the Mauretania, which docked in New York February 9. The next day he fulfilled his promise to Liveright, stopping by his office to officially sever connections. The day after that, he went to see Perkins and signed a contract advancing $1,500 for both Torrents and Sun against a royalty of 15 percent. “I am extremely grateful to you for intervening about Hemingway,” Perkins wrote Fitzgerald March 4. “He is a most interesting chap about his bull fights and boxing.” That letter crossed one from Fitzgerald, in which he warned Perkins that Hemingway was “temperamental in business” as a result of his dealings with “bogus publishers” overseas. Be sure to “get a signed contract” for The Sun Also Rises, Fitzgerald advised, somewhat after the fact. His comments were confidential, he added. “Please destroy this letter.”

“Fifty Grand” and Money

We secure our friends not by accepting favors but by doing them.

Scribner's held an advantage over the other firms wooing Hemingway. They published not only books, but also Scribner 's magazine, a monthly aimed at a middlebrow, middle-class audience. When purchasing stories, the magazine was naturally biased in favor of submissions from Scribner's authors. Back in Paris Fitzgerald had been telling Hemingway that he ought to sell his stories to periodicals that, unlike the little magazines, would pay a decent price for them. Scribner's magazine was one such market, and luckily it was affiliated with his publisher. To make his point, Fitzgerald took it upon himself to write Perkins on December 1, 1925 asking if Robert Bridges, the editor of the magazine, would like to see Hemingway's “new short pieces.” On the strength of an encouraging reply, Fitzgerald submitted Hemingway's “Fifty Grand” for consideration. During the next six weeks, while Ernest was making up his mind about publishers, Fitzgerald repeatedly importuned Perkins about the matter.

Hemingway was anxious “to get a foothold in your magazine,” Fitzgerald wrote in one mid-January letter. In the next, he asserted that Ernest was favorably disposed toward Perkins because of the good letters he'd written Ernest and because of “the magazine… if Bridges likes his work and if you'll take Torrents he's yours absolutely.” Perkins, who was by this time sold on Hemingway, felt the pressure. On February 3, he wrote Fitzgerald enclosing a copy of his letter to Hemingway accepting “Fifty Grand” for $250, with conditions. The story was “magnificent,” but it ran longer than Scribner's arbitrary 8,000-word limit. Could Hemingway cut it by 1,500 words, so that it would fit?

Perkins concluded his letter to Hemingway, dated February 1, with a curiously offhand remark. He'd read in the papers, Perkins said, that Hemingway was working on a novel, and a lot of people, himself included, would be eager to see it. This was a disingenuous observation, considering that Perkins and Fitzgerald had been in correspondence about the possibility of securing Hemingway's novel for some time. Obviously, Perkins did not wish Hemingway to know of this behind-the-scenes work. The point is clearly made in the letter Perkins sent Fitzgerald. It was unfortunate that they had to ask Hemingway to make cuts in the very first story they had seen, Perkins wrote. The stipulated revision might put him off, might compromise Scribner's chances of signing up The Sun Also Rises. “Thanks ever so much for sending the Hemingway” story, he told Fitzgerald. “If only we could get the novel!”

A week later, Scribner's did get the novel, leaving the issue of what to do with “Fifty Grand” up in the air. In the light of Hemingway's convoluted dealings with Liveright and Scribner's, there is a certain ironic appropriateness that this particular story should have been involved. “Fifty Grand” is a boxing story dealing with a double cross, or really a double double cross, in which competing fighters bet against themselves and then try to throw the fight by fouling eachother. Its 10,000 words make it one of Hemingway's longest stories, longer than everything except “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” and “The Undefeated” among the forty-nine in the 1938 Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway. In this instance, Fitzgerald and Hemingway knew something about its length that Perkins did not: that before submitting the story to Scribner's magazine, Scott persuaded Hemingway to make some important excisions at the beginning.

The best-known of these, because Hemingway later commented on it with resentment, involved the anecdote that originally led off “Fifty Grand”:

“Say, Jack,” I said. “How did you happen to beat Leonard?”

“Well,” Jack says. “Benny's a pretty smart boxer. All the time he's in there he's thinking and all the time he's thinking I'm hitting him.”

Hemingway cut this “lovely revelation of the metaphysics of boxing” when Fitzgerald—who according to Hemingway had heard the story about Jack Britton and Benny Leonard only once before—told him it was an “old chestnut.” His “humility” was in ascendance at the time, Ernest explained in “The Art of the Short Story” (1959), and he made the mistake of trusting Scott's judgment. “They will all con you, gentlemen,” Hemingway went on in the wise-guy tone of that essay. “But sometimes it is no[t] intentional. Sometimes they simply do not know. This is the saddest state of writers and the one you will most frequently encounter.” As it stands, this passage characterizes Fitzgerald as well-intentioned but both ignorant and incompetent. What Hemingway does not reveal—what he never publicly revealed—was that he cut considerably more than that opening dialogue as a consequence of Fitzgerald's suggestions.

Two documents in the Hemingway collection at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston testify to this fact. One is Hemingway's handwritten comment on a typescript of “Fifty Grand” that reads, “1st 3 pages of story mutilated by Scott Fitzgerald with his [undecipherable].” The other, a brief and apparently incomplete critique of the story in Fitzgerald's handwriting, turned up stuffed inside a late 1925 letter from Sylvia Beach to Hemingway. Fitzgerald's note suggests that Hemingway should lop off the first six (presumably handwritten) pages of his story. “Perhaps its conciseness makes it dull,” Fitzgerald commented, “…the very impossibility of fixing attention for amount of time; the very leaving in only high spots may be why it seemed a slow starter.” Following Fitzgerald's suggestion, Hemingway deleted about two and a half typewritten pages, or approximately 500 words, most of them devoted to establishing the prizefight ambience of the story through conversations in the gym and in a bar near Madison Square Garden. Half a dozen characters were introduced in this aborted beginning, along with a suggestion appropriate in a story about fixed bouts and double crosses—that heavyweight champion Gentleman Jim Corbett was a good enough “actor” to throw fights. With this background deleted, “Fifty Grand” begins with plot: a reference to the forthcoming fight between champion Brennan and challenger Walcott.

“My loyal and devoted friend Fitzgerald, who was truly more interested in my own career at this point than in his own, sent me to Scribner's with the story,” Hemingway wrote in “The Art of the Short Story.” This was accurate enough about Fitzgerald's commitment to Hemingway's cause, but pointedly omitted mention of his editorial doctoring. In his 1959 version of what happened, Hemingway ignores Fitzgerald's involvement and presents himself as his own best editor. “I explained without heat nor hope, seeing the built-in stupidity of the editor of the magazine [Bridges] and his intransigence, that I had already cut the story myself.” He had cut it “for keeps” when he wrote it, Hemingway asserted, “and afterwards at Scott's request” had even cut out the Benny Leonard-Jack Britton anecdote.

A good place to “amputate” stories was at the beginning, Hemingway also commented in this essay, without admitting that this had already been done. In any case, he knew how difficult it would be to make further excisions, and when Scribner's asked for them, he refused to try. Perkins did not let the matter drop there. Undoubtedly influenced to some degree by Fitzgerald's prodding, he took over as agent for Hemingway's “most excellent” fight story, and shipped it off with his recommendation to other major magazines. It was the first thing Hemingway mentioned to Perkins when he got back to Schruns from his trip to the States and heard that Collier's had turned down “Fifty Grand.” He was sorry about that, but not surprised, for the story was “quite hard in texture” and not what they wanted at all. It would have “meant very much to me in various ways” for the story to appear in Scribner's. Now he supposed the story would come back from the Saturday Evening Post and Liberty—where Perkins planned to send it next—and so it did.

Troubled by these repeated rejections, Hemingway decided to allow an outsider to try reducing “Fifty Grand” to Scribner's magazine length. The writer Manuel Komroff was given the assignment of cutting 1,500 words, but couldn't do it. He managed to reduce the story by only 200 words before returning the manuscript to Hemingway. Further cuts would only harm the story, he believed.When these initial efforts failed, Perkins enlisted the Paul Reynolds literary agency, and their “man [Harold] Ober, whom Scott knows about,” in the attempt to sell “Fifty Grand.”

The story was rejected half a dozen times before finally appearing, without any further cuts, in the Atlantic Monthly for July 1927. In the interim Hemingway sent Perkins several stories much shorter than “Fifty Grand.” He was trying to write “the shortest ones first,” he sarcastically reported on April 1, 1926. Hemingway was somewhat mollified when Scribner's accepted “The Killers” in September 1926, but the experience with his prizefight story continued to rankle. He'd like to see “Fifty Grand” published “sometime before boxing is abolished,” he wrote Perkins. He hoped it would fetch a good price in order to “try and get back some of the postage.”

With Hemingway safely delivered to Scribner's, Fitzgerald continued his efforts to promote his friend's career. The review/article of In Our Time he had written in the fall of 1925, called “How to Waste Material: A Note on My Generation,” finally emerged in the Bookman's May 1926 issue. Fitzgerald submitted the piece first to H.L. Mencken at American Mercury, but as he expected—“since it was a blurb for Hemmingway whom you don't like”—Mencken turned it down. Actually, the review was a two-part effort, part two in praise of Hemingway, and part one consisting of a diatribe against various contemporary writers who “botched their books” by trying too hard for prototypically “American” subject matter. Such writers, he declared, were “insensitive, suspicious of glamour, preoccupied exclusively with the external, the contemptible, the 'national' and the drab.” Among those he had in mind were novelists who struggled to write “significantly” about city tenement dwellers, small town businessmen, and—especially—farmers. Warming up for his essay, he savaged this last category of book, and his friend Tom Boyd, in a letter of mid-1925 to Maxwell Perkins. A few years before, Fitzgerald urged Perkins to publish Boyd, a newspaperman he met during his 1921-1922 stay in St. Paul, and as a result Scribner's brought out Boyd's World War I novel Through the Wheat in 1923. Fitzgerald liked that book, but he did not feel the same about Boyd's second novel, Samuel Drummond (1925), a hackneyed tale—as he put it to Perkins—of the “Simple Inarticulate Farmer and his Hired Man Christy.” Hemingway encouraged Fitzgerald in these denigrating opinions about his former protégé. “Did you ever read [Norwegian novelist Knut Hamsun's] The Growth of the Soil?” he asked Fitzgerald in December 1925. “And then for Christ sake to read Thorn Boyd.”

Having disposed of much of the competition, including by implication Sherwood Anderson and Sinclair Lewis, Fitzgerald went on to celebrate the virtues of Hemingway's In Our Time and especially “Big Two-Hearted River,” which he ranked among the best contemporary short stories. It was the account of a boy on a fishing trip, nothing more, Fitzgerald commented, but he had “read it with the most breathless unwilling interest [he had] experienced since Conrad first bent [his] reluctant eyes upon the sea.” In addition, stories like “The End of Something” and “The Three-Day Blow” represented something unself-consciously fresh and arresting in American fiction. There was no exposition at all. Instead, “a picture—sharp, nostalgic, tense—develops before your eyes. When the picture is complete a light seems to snap out, the story is over.” Many readers may have grown weary of repeated admonitions to watch this new writer or that, Fitzgerald concluded. This time it was different; he felt “a renewal of excitement at these stories wherein Ernest Hemingway turns a corner into the street.”

Fitzgerald manifestly hoped his review would give Hemingway's reputation a boost. “See my article on Hemingway,” he advised Perkins in May 1926—“it's pretty good.” Then again in June: “Do you think the Bookman article did him any good?” Hemingway himself adopted a superior view of the entire endeavor. He was glad that Fitzgerald realized all criticism was “horse shit without horse shit's pleasant smell nor use as fertilizer,” he observed in a letter of late April. Hadn't seen the Bookman, Hemingway added. “Nevertheless I thank you for services rendered.” When Fitzgerald objected to the sardonic tone of that remark, Hemingway smoothed away the issue. “Sorry my letter was snooty,” he wrote in late May. “You were saying how little you valued critical articles unless they were favorable for practical purposes… That's what all the services rendered was about.”

Hemingway's cavalier attitude did not deter Fitzgerald from his campaign of support. He even attempted to enlist others in the cause. Soon after the appearance of the Bookman piece, he encountered novelist Glenway Wescott on a Riviera beach. Drawing Wescott away from a circle of companions, Fitzgerald grasped his elbow and implored him to help launch Hemingway. Why didn't Wescott write a laudatory essay on Hemingway's stories? The urgency in Fitzgerald's tone betrayed something beyond mere affection, Wescott thought. Fitzgerald seemed convinced that Hemingway was “inimitably, essentially superior” to both of them, that neither Wescott's 1925 novel The Apple of the Eye (which had enjoyed a measure of success) nor The Great Gatsby could compare to the superior work Hemingway was doing. It simply didn't occur to him thatany “unfriendliness or pettiness” on Wescott's part might inhibit his enthusiasm “about the art of a new colleague or rival.” Such extreme devotion to another's cause might seem admirable, but Wescott thought it was bad for Fitzgerald, representing “a morbid belittlement and abandonment of himself.” Scott seemed to feel that he could be excused for wasting his energy in hack-writing. Ernest would write the masterpieces.

In addition to professional help on several fronts, Fitzgerald also gave Hemingway money. Having given up feature writing for the Toronto Star Weekly, Ernest was almost totally dependent for living expenses on Hadley's trust fund— and occasional loans from others. As artist Kitty Cannell said of Hemingway during those years, he developed “a Tom Sawyerish way of getting money from people and then saying they had embarrassed him by forcing it on him.” Cannell, who lived with Harold Loeb for a time in Paris, may have been biased against Hemingway by his unflattering portrayal of her as Frances Clyne in The Sun Also Rises. But Fitzgerald certainly did extend him a helping hand, more than once. He loaned Hemingway $400 in the fall of 1925. In April 1926, he sent him $100 in a letter that announced, among other things, that Hollywood had purchased the rights to Gatsby for $15,000. The Hollywood windfall should tide him over until Christmas, Fitzgerald remarked, and Hemingway—who was getting along on a small fraction of that amount—seized on his somewhat insensitive comment as a source of satire. “I felt very touched by [Scott's] precarious financial situation,” he wrote Max Perkins. “Don't Worry About Money,” he sarcastically responded to Fitzgerald himself. He'd instructed Scribner's to send Fitzgerald all future royalties, and called in bis attorney to make Scott his heir. Elsewhere in that same letter, however, Hemingway alluded to his own impecunious condition. Getting the manuscript of The Sun Also Rises typed up had cost him 1,085 francs, he reported. And he “could use the 250” dollars he could have gotten for cutting “Fifty Grand” (still unsold) for Scribner's magazine.

Fitzgerald soon found another way to ease Hemingway's financial difficulties. The Hemingways had arranged to go to Spain early in May, but had to change plans when Bumby came down with whooping cough. Ernest traveled to Spain alone. Hadley and Bumby proceeded to Juan-les-Pins on the Riviera, where the Fitzgeralds were ensconced for the season. Scott and Zelda had rented one house, the Villa Paquita, and then abandoned it to move into a larger and more comfortable Villa St. Louis. So they offered the Villa Paquita to the Hemingways, rent-free, until their lease ran out on June 10. Hadley and Bumby arrived there on May 19, where she and Bumby were more or less quarantinedto protect against spread of his disease. It was not a happy time for her. Her letters to Ernest in Spain make it clear that money difficulties were much on their minds and that she felt terribly lonely without him. Between the lines they also reveal her distress at the weakening bonds of their marriage.

She was not being extravagant in going to the Riviera, Hadley wrote Ernest on May 18. Apparently he had some misgivings about the Villa Paquita arrangement, for in her letter of May 24 she insisted that they were “not in the hands of Scott & Zelda” but merely using their empty villa at no cost. She was even denying herself the consolations of drink, though in the solitude with no one but an ailing two-year-old to talk to it wasn't much fun. “I'm living here the cheapest possible and not being a bad,” she movingly assured him. “I've got a headache & a heartache and I work for the common good and am sorrier than I can say I haven't been able to expend myself more on you and not so much on the Smaller Shad.” As an inducement for Ernest to leave Madrid and come to the Riviera, she proposed inviting another companion: “Wouldn't it make a great difference to you if Pfeiffer or some other friend turned up to mill around with?”

For some time Hadley had been aware that “Pfeiffer”—Pauline Pfeiffer— was trying to steal her husband. Pauline and her sister Jinny had met the Hemingways in March 1925. The well-dressed Pfeiffer girls were daughters of a landowning squire in Arkansas, and favorite nieces of a bachelor uncle who owned a controlling interest in Richard Hudnut perfumes and who promised to settle substantial funds upon them. Small, dark, and quick of wit, Pauline was working in Paris as an editor for Vogue. She thought Ernest rather boorish at first, but was soon overcome with admiration. To see more of him, she attached herself to the family. As Hemingway later generalized the situation,

an unmarried young woman becomes the temporary best friend of another young woman who is married, goes to live with the husband and wife and then unknowingly, innocently and unrelentingly sets out to marry the husband… The husband has two attractive girls around when he has finished work. One is new and strange and if he has bad luck he gets to love them both.

In the fall of 1925, Pauline accompanied the three Hemingways to Austria for the skiing. She and Hadley gossiped and laughed together, and Pauline also lavished attention on young Bumby. But she was back in Paris when Ernest came through town en route to New York and a contract with Scribner's. In her lettersto Hadley, she was disarmingly candid about her feelings. “I'm overjoyed that Ernest will soon be here,” she wrote Hadley on January 17. “I'm going to cling to him like a millstone and old moss and winter ivy.” And after she and Ernest had spent five days together—Hadley remained in the Vorarlberg, since the Hemingways had sublet their Paris flat for the winter—Pauline reported that she'd seen as much of Ernest as was humanly possible, that he had been “a delight,” that she had a new trust fund, and that she was planning to make Bumby one of her heirs. How could Hadley protest? The income from her own trust fund had been severely reduced through mismanagement.

Proposing that Pauline join them in Juan-les-Pins may have been Hadley's way of forcing a confrontation, or of forcing Ernest to come to his senses. In any event, Pauline Pfeiffer had come to the Riviera by the time of Ernest's arrival on the afternoon of May 28. There to greet him when he stepped off the train at Antibes were Pauline, Hadley, and Gerald and Sara Murphy. Later that evening the Murphys gave a caviar-and-champagne party to welcome Ernest to their territory.

A “Golden Couple”: Gerald and Sara Murphy

They were both rich; he was handsome, she was beautiful; they had three golden children. They loved each other, they enjoyed their own company, and they had the gift of making life enchantingly pleasurable for those who were fortunate enough to be their friends.
—Donald Ogden Stewart

The actress Marian Seldes called them “the golden couple.” Don Stewart thought of them as a prince and princess in a fairy tale. “There was a shine to life wherever they were,” said Archibald MacLeish. Fitzgerald tried to capture their charm in Tender Is the Night. That novel begins with a graceful man in a jockey cap and red-striped tights gravely raking the sand on “the bright tan prayer rug” of the beach at Antibes. Nearby a young woman with a “hard and lovely and pitiful” face is making a list under her beach umbrella. She has pulled her bathing suit off her shoulders to sun her back, and wears a string of pearls around her neck. Fitzgerald gave these characters different names in the drafts of Tender Is the Night before calling them, finally, Dick and Nicole Diver. By whatever name, they were modelled on the Murphys, the elegant and cultured expatriates whose lives were to intersect so vividly with Scott and Zelda's, Ernest and Hadley and Pauline's.

Fitzgerald wrote of Dick Diver that he bestowed “carnivals of affection” on others, and so it seemed with Gerald Murphy. He knew how to draw people out, how to make them feel important and appreciated. Eight years older than Fitzgerald and eleven years Hemingway's senior, Gerald had grown up in Boston and New York, where his father ran the Mark Cross leather goods company. He went to Hotchkiss and then Yale, where he managed gentleman C's in his courses but achieved great success outside the classroom. His talents were concentrated in the fine arts, and the arts of social intercourse. He managed the Glee Club and served on the Prom Committee. He was elected to Skull and Bones. He was one of eighteen undergraduates chosen as charter members of the Elizabethan Club. In the class history his classmates voted him Best Dressed, Greatest Social Light, and Most Thorough Gent. Tall, slender, and well turned out, Gerald was the kind of boy who seemed more appealing to the mothers of the girls he escorted to dances than to the girls themselves. But Sara Wiborg liked Gerald's gallantry, and his style.

Sara was born in November 1883, more than four years earlier than her husband-to-be. Her father, Frank Wiborg, was a hard-driving Cincinnati industrialist who made a fortune as a manufacturer of lithographic inks. The family had social ambitions. The three Wiborg daughters attended private schools in Cincinnati and New York, and were often taken to Europe. They were presented at court. Kaiser Wilhelm invited them for hot chocolate and cakes. All three daughters sang well—they performed as a trio, upon demand—and were thought to be beauties. Sara's blondness and somewhat elfin looks set her apart.

Sara and Gerald married against the advice of both sets of parents. One problem was the difference in incomes. At Mark Cross Gerald was earning $3,000, which would barely cover Sara's clothing allowance. Then too, neither of them paid much obeisance to the Protestant ethic. They were determined to do things their “own way.” No one was particularly surprised when the two of them decided, in 1921, to abandon commerce and live full-time in Europe, where they could cultivate thair artistic interests. Initially Gerald planned to pursue landscape architecture, but he was soon caught up in the artistic ferment of Paris. Walking in the city one afternoon in October 1921, he happened to glance in the window of an avant-garde gallery and was immediately enraptured. If that was painting, he told Sara, it was what he wanted to do. So he turned his considerabletalents to the task. Eventually he was to produce a number of outsized canvases that simultaneously distorted and reflected the reality around him. In December 1925 two of these paintings, Watch and Razor, were exhibited in Paris alongside the work of his friends Pablo Picasso and Fernand Léger. Picasso admired Murphy's paintings; they were simple, direct, manifestly American. Léger went further. Gerald Murphy was “the only American painter in Paris,” he proclaimed.

Given thair interests, resources, and amiability, it was only natural that the Murphys gathered around them some of the most accomplished artists and writers of the time. Among the Europeans, Jean Cocteau and Igor Stravinsky in addition to Picasso and Léger. Among the Americans, composer Cole Porter (a friend from Gerald's Yale days), humorists Robert Benchley and Donald Ogden Stewart and the acid-tongued Dorothy Parker, playwright Philip Barry, poet Archibald MacLeish, and novelists John Dos Passos and F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. All of these and more found their way to the Murphys' summer headquarters at their fourteen-room Villa America in Antibes. The Murphys had more or less discovered the potential of the French Riviera as a summer instead of winter resort, and took pleasure in inviting others to share its attractions with them.

The Fitzgeralds came to know Gerald's sister Esther back in Great Neck, so the Murphys were among the first people they looked up when they got to Paris in the spring of 1924. From the first the two couples felt a kind of electrical attraction. “Currents race between us regardless,” Gerald was later to write. “Scott will uncover for me values in Sara, just as Sara has known them in Zelda through her affection for Scott.” But the Fitzgeralds seemed to go out of their way to short-circuit the connection. As compared with Gerald and Sara, who were somewhat older and more settled, both Scott and Zelda behaved like rebellious children.

The Murphys encouraged the Fitzgeralds to go south for the summer of 1924, and were pleased when the Fitzgeralds found a place in Valescure, only a short drive from Antibes. While Scott worked hard on the novel that was to become his masterpiece, Zelda sunned on the beach and flirted with the French aviators stationed nearby. One such flirtation turned into something more serious by midsummer. When Gerald and Sara came to visit the Fitzgeralds, they could not help observing that Zelda and the golden-haired pilot Edouard Jozan were infatuated with each other. “[E]verybody knew it but Scott,” Sara said. When Scott finally brought the affair to a halt, Zelda became dangerously reckless. On a drive along the Côte d'Azur, she demanded a cigarette from Scott just as he was negotiating a dangerous curve. She dived at night into the Mediterranean from the thirty-five-foot rocks at the tip of Cap d'Antibes, and dared a terrified Scott into following her. She took an overdose of sleeping pills, and Sara and Gerald took turns walking her up and down all night to keep her awake.

Scott's behavior, less suicidal, was embarrassing in its childishness. The Fitzgeralds “weren't really party people,” Gerald said. “It was just that every night they wanted things to happen,” whether there was a party or not. Back in Paris in the spring of 1925, they came roaring out to the Murphys' house in St. Cloud late one night and honked the horn. Gerald and Sara didn't let them in. Scott, especially, acted outrageously to attract attention. In a taxi with Sara and Zelda, he stuffed filthy one hundred franc notes into his mouth and started chewing. Sara, who was obsessively devoted to cleanliness and afraid of germs, was horrified. After drinks and dinner with the Murphys and Philip and Ellen Barry, Scott sank to his knees and sobbed to Gerald, “Don't go! Don't leave me here!” Gerald was not amused. “This is not Princeton,” he told Scott, “and I'm not your roommate.” But the Murphys did not exile Scott and Zelda permanently, as they might have done. In effect, they played indulgent parents to the Fitzgeralds' troubled and misbehaving adolescents.

Why did Fitzgerald behave so badly around the Murphys? Liquor was almost always involved, but there was more to it than drunken theatrics. To begin with, Scott had a severe crush on both Sara and Gerald. As privileged members of an Eastern establishment, they had the kind of assurance he could only yearn for. Sara spoke in a voice “full of money,” like Daisy Buchanan's in Gatsby, and with a disarming frankness born of absolute confidence. Scott was “sentimentally disturbed by her,” Gerald believed, and like a young child was given to demanding, “Sara, look at me.” In every social situation, Gerald instinctively understood how to act, how to put others at ease. The word for it was “charm,” and at his best Scott could rival Gerald in his capacity to charm other people, mainly women. But he did not like himself when he was expending so much energy simply to please others. Often he would destroy the illusion with an insulting act or remark—and next day, on awaking, try desperately to right the wrong.

If he regarded Gerald Murphy with a measure of hero worship, Fitzgerald also felt compelled to make his hero pay for it. Scott could hardly help resenting Gerald's impeccable manners and air of confidence. There may also have been a certain visceral animosity at work, deriving from Gerald's somewhat effeminate manner and dress. “Are you what they call a fop?” Fitzgerald demanded of the beautifully attired Murphy. No, Gerald replied, refusing to rise to the bait, “dandy” was more like it. He cared about clothes, but was not a slave to fashion.

The Murphys met Hemingway in the fall of 1925, and were immediately captivated by him. Sara “loved very male animals,” and with his rugged physicality andintense manner Ernest certainly qualified. His was “an enveloping personality,” Gerald observed. Ernest talked so rapidly and passionately that Gerald found himself agreeing with everything he said. Before long the Murphys became enthusiastic admirers of Hemingway's writing. Gerald was impressed by Ernest's devotion to his art, and his determination to strip away ornament and use simple and natural language. It was the same kind of thing Gerald was after in his painting.

In March 1926 the Murphys and John Dos Passos joined the Hemingways in Austria for the skiing. A beginner, Gerald spent two days practicing, then climbed up the mountain in order to ski down. It was an exciting descent, the second half of it through a forest. Dos came down on his back side, tearing a sizable hole in his pants. Ernest, an accomplished skier, waited patiently as Gerald negotiated around the trees, falling a couple of times. Was he frightened? Ernest wanted to know when they got to the bottom. Gerald admitted he had been. Good, Ernest said. He knew what courage was: it was “grace under pressure.” Gerald felt elated, as if he'd passed a difficult test. Together they made plans for the summer. The Hemingways must come to the Riviera. The Fitzgeralds would be there, and the MacLeishes, and the Barrys. All were on hand for the party at the Juan-les-Pins casino the night of May 28.

When the Murphys gave a party, they wanted everything to be perfect. To celebrate Ernest Hemingway's arrival, they ordered the best champagne as always and arranged for caviar to be flown in from the Caspian Sea. Gerald, the master of the revels, wandered among his guests, introducing some, starting a conversation With others, making everyone feel clever and bright. Sara was lovely in a long flowing dress, looking as Scott Fitzgerald said more like a “Viking madonna” than one of the short-skirted bobbed-hair flappers in his stories. All eyes were on the handsome Hemingway, tanned from his month at the bullfights in Spain. Hadley hung on every word her husband uttered, while his lover Pauline smiled and nodded at his other elbow. Sara too was drawn by Ernest's magnetism. It was too much for Fitzgerald, who had been drinking in advance of the party. The Murphys were his friends, and he had virtually launched Hemingway single-handed. Why was everyone else making such a fuss about Ernest?

While Zelda pointedly ignored him, Scott embarked on a campaign of misbehavior. He stared rudely at a young girl sitting with an older man at a nearby table. He sailed ashtrays from the casino terrace. He draped a throw rug over his shoulders and crawled among the guests, sorrowfully wailing “Sara's being mean to me.” He seemed determined to make a fool of himself and ruin the evening, nor would he stop when Gerald remonstrated with him. The very idea of a champagne-and-caviar party was ridiculous, Scott told his host. It got so ugly that Gerald left his own party in disgust.

Either that same evening or on another occasion when the Murphys, Fitzgeralds, Hemingways, and MacLeishes were all assembled, Scott launched into a series of highly personal interrogations of Sara and Gerald. By way of protest Sara wrote him an exasperated letter, demanding that he cease and desist his practice of “analysis & sub-analysis, and criticism.” Perhaps he was asking invasive questions for the novel he was working on, but he was old enough to know that you “Can't have Theories about friends.” She and Gerald could not be bothered with such “sophomoric situations.” They were really very simple people, she insisted. And they were “literally & actually fond” of both Scott and Zelda, with no dark subtexts involved.

Fond though they may have been, the Murphys did not regard Fitzgerald in the same hallowed light with which they gazed on Hemingway. Ernest seemed the more dedicated and serious artist, one who was trying for a revolutionary new prose style. Fitzgerald they could not help thinking of as rather frivolous by comparison. Just look at he way he behaved! They were never to know of the invaluable operation that Fitzgerald, as sober and seasoned professional, was about to perform on Hemingway's first novel.

Making the Sun Rise

Nowadays when almost everyone is a genius, at least for awhile, the temptation for the bogus to profit is no greater than the temptation for the good man to relax…. This should frighten all of us into a lust for anything honest that people have to say about our work.
—F. Scott Fitzgerald to Ernest Hemingway, critique of The Sun Also Rises, May-June 1926

Nothing Fitzgerald did for Hemingway during their 1925-1926 period of closest friendship was as important as his editing job on The Sun Also Rises. In A Moveable Feast, Hemingway gives the impression that Fitzgerald had no influence whatsoever on that novel. “That fall of 1925 he was upset because I would not show him the manuscript of the first draft of The Sun Also Rises. I explained to him that it would mean nothing until I had gone over it and rewritten it and that I did not want to discuss it or show it to anyone first… Scott did not see it until after the completed rewritten and cut manuscript had been sent to Scribner's at the end of April. I remembered joking with him about it and him being worried and anxious to help as always once a thing was done. But I did not want his help while I was rewriting.” This passage is accurate but culpably incomplete. As with many of Hemingway's stories, full understanding of what happened is dependent on The Thing Left Out. “Big Two-Hearted River” only makes entire sense, for instance, if we know or intuit that Nick's nerves have been frazzled in the war. In this case, however, Hemingway was less interested in communicating the truth indirectly than in cannily concealing it. The crucial information omitted in A Moveable Feast is that once Fitzgerald did see the manuscript of the novel, he made suggestions that led to its radical improvement.

Hemingway did rewrite The Sun Also Rises over the fall and winter of 1925-1926 without showing his work-in-progress to Fitzgerald. They had already discussed the novel by that time, however. “What happened to me is supposed to be funny,” Jake Barnes comments in a manuscript reference to his war injury. “Scott Fitzgerald told me once it couldn't be treated except as a humorous subject.” Moreover, in a draft foreword to the novel, Hemingway issued a slur against Fitzgerald. The passage recounts the anecdote about Gertrude Stein and the garage owner who told her about “the lost generation,” those who had fought in the war. Then it proceeds to differentiate Hemingway's serious attitude toward that generation from that of Fitzgerald in his stories about young people defying the mores of their parents. “This is not a question of what kind of mothers will flappers make or where is bobbed hair leading us,” Hemingway wrote. This was probably a slighting reference to Fitzgerald's syndicated articles on such subjects.

In fact, Hemingway was eager to have Fitzgerald's reaction before making final revisions to The Sun Also Rises. Around April 20, 1926 he wrote Fitzgerald that the novel was “all done” and ready to ship to Scribner's. He was considering dedicating it

John Hadley Nicanor
This collection of Instructive Anecdotes

“I'm hoping to hell you'll like it,” Ernest went on. “You'll see it in August. [At that time, the Hemingways planned to spend most of the spring and summer in Spain and to join the Fitzgeralds, Murphys, et al. on the Riviera in August. With the advent of Bumby's whooping cough and his and Hadley's stay at Juan-les-Pins, the timetable for seeing Fitzgerald was moved up to late May-early June.] I think may be it is pretty interesting. Later—you wont like it.” Clearly, Hemingway hoped that his work would please Fitzgerald, and clearly he felt some uncertainty about that. Subsequently in the same letter, Hemingway repeated that he would have a carbon of Sun at Antibes “and w'd welcome your advising me or anything about it. Nobody's read any amount of it yet.” The letter closed with a set-piece designed to kid Fitzgerald about both Gatsby and the novel he had begun about matricide, a first inchoate draft of what was to become Tender Is the Night eight years later.

The hero, like Gatsby, is a Lake Superior Salmon Fisherman. (There are no salmon in Lake Superior). The action all takes place in Newport, R.I. and the heroine is a girl named Sophie Irene Loeb who kills her mother. The scene in which Sophie gives birth to twins in the death house at Sing Sing where she is waiting to be electrocuted for the murder of the father and sister of her, as then, unborn children I got from Dreiser but practically everything else in the book is either my own or yours. I know you'll be glad to see it. The Sun Also Rises comes from Sophie's statement as she is strapped into the chair as the current mounts.

In reply Fitzgerald took exception to Hemingway's remark about Lake Superior salmon. In The Great Gatsby he had described young James Gatz as “a clam-digger and a salmon-fisher” on the shores of Lake Superior. Hemingway, who was an expert fisherman, corrected him on that point, but Fitzgerald argued that the Encyclopaedia Britannica did in fact refer to salmon—or at least “salmon trout”— in the lake. Hemingway wouldn't buy that argument. “There are a hell of a lot more salmon in Encyclopaedia Brit. than in Lake Superior,” he wrote Fitzgerald about May 20. By then, Hadley and Bumby were in Juan-les-Pins with the Fitzgeralds, where Hemingway would be joining them. He would bring along a carbon of The Sun Also Rises, and “you can read it” there, he told Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald had recommended that he drop the part of the dedication about “instructive anecdotes.” The book was “obviously not a collection of instructive anecdotes,” Hemingway agreed, “and… such a hell of a sad story… and the only instruction is how people go to hell.” It was not a book for a child to read, but he still intended to dedicate it to Bumby “for reasons that will be obvious when you read the book and also for another reason.” The only “obvious” reason that comes to mind is that Bumby—John Hadley Nicanor Hemingway—was named, in part, after a bullfighter. The “other reason” undoubtedly had to do with Ernest's desire to make amends for his impending separation and divorce from Bumby's mother.

When he mailed this letter to Fitzgerald, Hemingway still had not heard what Max Perkins thought of his manuscript. By May 28, that word had come through, and it was favorable. Perkins praised the vitality of Hemingway's book. “No one could conceive of a book with more life in it,” he commented. The scenes read like actual experience, and covered “an extraordinary range of experience and emotion; all brought together in the most skillful manner… to form a complete design.” He could not express his admiration too strongly, Perkins concluded. In fact Perkins did have serious objections. At the in-house editorial conference, he pushed for the book on the grounds that Scribner's would suffer if the word got around among younger writers that they had rejected The Sun Also Rises. But “[w]e took it with misgivings,” he noted for the record, and he communicated those misgivings to Fitzgerald in a letter of May 29. This letter did not reach Juan-les-Pins until after Hemingway arrived there from Madrid, and after Fitzgerald had read the script of The Sun Also Rises and suggested substantial changes at the beginning of the novel.

Hemingway was pleased that Perkins liked his manuscript, but wanted Fitzgerald's opinion as well. So, the morning after Fitzgerald wrecked the Murphys' party, Hemingway delivered the carbon copy of Sun to the Villa St. Louis, where the Fitzgeralds were domiciled, and awaited his friend's verdict. Fitzgerald read the script at once—as Hemingway's sponsor with Scribner's he had a considerable investment in the novel's success—and was appalled at the beginning. As it stood, the first chapter of Sun presented biographical data about Lady Brett Ashley and Mike Campbell in a chatty, almost flippant manner.

This is a novel about a lady. Her name is Lady Ashley and when the story begins she is living in Paris and it is Spring. That should be a good setting for a romantic but highly moral story. As everyone knows, Spring in Paris is a very happy and romantic time. Autumn in Paris, although very beautiful, might give a note of sadness or melancholy that we shall try to keep out of this story.

So read the first paragraph, followed by background on Brett's two previous marriages, her beauty and her sitting as a subject for portrait painters,her alliance with Mike, his bankruptcy, and their drinking habits.

In the second chapter of the novel as then conceived, Jake Barnes abruptly and self-consciously intervened to introduce himself as narrator:

So my name is Jacob Barnes and I am writing this story, not as I believe is usual in these cases, from a desire for confession, because being a Roman Catholic I am spared that Protestant urge to literary production, nor to set things all out the way they happened for the good of some future generation, nor any other of the usual highly moral urges, but because I believe it is a good story.

Jake then went on to describe his job with the Continental Press Association and his cynical opinions about Montparnasse and its inhabitants. The latter subject led him to mention Robert Cohn, “one of the non-Nordic heroes of this book” who had spent two years in the Quarter. Next came an extended anecdote about Cohn's friend Braddocks (Ford Madox Ford) supposedly “cutting” Hilaire Belloc and boasting about it, though in fact the man he snubbed was not Belloc at all. (Eventually, this story was resurrected for A Moveable Feast.) The chapter ended with Jake's confession that he never felt the same about Braddocks after this incident, and that he would avoid putting him into the story entirely “except that he was a great friend of Robert Cohn, and Cohn is the hero.” After that false lead, the manuscript launched into the passage about Cohn as middleweight boxing champion of Princeton that actually starts the published novel.

Fitzgerald moved cautiously in expressing his objections to this beginning. He was seeing Hemingway daily, and before committing anything to writing warned him that he had certain comments to make. Then he wrote a ten-page handwritten letter that spelled out his complaints. This letter alternates sections of severe and quite possibly hurtful criticism with apologies and reassurances designed to soften the blows. Fitzgerald wanted Hemingway to revise his manuscript, but he did not want to lose his friendship into the bargain.

He began with a rationale for his criticism. Good writers, particularly, owed it to themselves to listen to honest suggestions about their work. In constructing his own novels, Fitzgerald added, he had received and acted on excellent advice from a number of people, including Edmund Wilson, Max Perkins, and his old friend Katherine Tighe, who had probably never even read a novel before making important suggestions about This Side of Paradise. Fitzgerald as veteran professional was offering the benefit of his experience to Hemingway asneophyte novelist. I've listened to others with profit; now you should listen to me.

With that preliminary out of the way, Fitzgerald got to the point. “Anyhow I think parts of Sun Also are careless + ineffectual.” To some extent the difficulty was the same one he had isolated in “Fifty Grand”: a “tendency to envelope or… to embalm in mere wordiness an anecdote or joke.” To ameliorate the point, Fitzgerald called attention to a somewhat similar fault of his own—his desire to preserve passages of “fine writing.” Don't feel bad: I make mistakes too.

The first chapter of the Sun manuscript gave an impression of “condescending casualness,” Fitzgerald observed. “I think there are about 24 sneers, superiorities, and nose-thumbings-at-nothing that mar the whole narrative….” Through the snide commentary of Jake Barnes, Hemingway was writing in much the same wise guy voice that characterized his feature articles for the Toronto Star Weekly and The Torrents of Spring. “The most obvious mark of the wise guy,” as Delmore Schwartz observed in his essay on Hemingway, “is his sense of humor which expresses his scorn and his sense of independence; he exercises it as one of the best ways of controlling a situation and of demonstrating his superiority to all situations.” The tone was all wrong, and did not match that of the more maturely ironic Jake who told the rest of the story as narrator. In particular, Fitzgerald detected snobbishness in the account of Brett's past and the effect of the war on her lovers and husbands. He also disliked the background material on her and on Mike. “That biography from you,” he chided Hemingway, “who always believed in the superiority (the preferability) of the imagined to the seen not to say to the merely recounted.” In other words, Hemingway had been content to tell without showing, and it didn't matter at all that what he told— about Brett's history—was factually drawn from the experience of her model, Lady Duff Twysden.

In his critique, Fitzgerald commingled sharp rebukes with occasional praise. The passage beginning “So my name is Jacob Barnes” was maladroit; the material about Montparnasse and “the Quarter” was in all the guidebooks; the anecdote about Braddocks was “flat as hell”—the whole beginning was undermined by Hemingway's “elephantine facetiousness.” On the other hand, “remember that this is a new departure for you, and I think your stuff is great.” And on the other hand also, “I've decided not to pick at anything else [after the first few chapters], because I wasn't at all inspired to pick when reading it. I was much too excited. Besides this is probably a heavy dose. The novel's damn good.” Take these pills—I know they are hard to swallow but they're good for you, and here's some syrup to wash them down with.

Fitzgerald made his most telling point near the end of his letter. “Apropos of your foreward about the Latin quarter—suppose you had begun your stories with phrases like: 'Spain is a peculiar place—ect' or 'Michigan is interesting to two classes—the fisherman + the drummer.'” In reviewing In Our Time, Fitzgerald had marveled at the total absence of exposition. But in writing his novel, Hemingway was guilty of letting merely expository prose take the place of dramatized action. This was true of the introduction of Robert Cohn as well, Fitzgerald thought. In his judgment, the book didn't get going until the start of Chapter III (in the published novel), when Jake picks up Georgette, takes her to the bal musette, and Brett appears. But Fitzgerald did not suggest wholesale amputation of the beginning. The section he discussed most thoroughly, up to and including the two brief chapters on Cohn, ran to some 7,500 words, he estimated. He recommended that Hemingway cut them back to about 5,000 words, doing so not “by mere pareing” but by eliminating “the worst of the scenes.”

Fitzgerald either walked this letter from the Villa St. Louis to the Villa Paquita he was paying for, or Hemingway came to call for it. Reading it over must have been painful, but Hemingway was too much the craftsman to dismiss Fitzgerald's suggestions out of pique. Instead, he took them to heart, talked them over with Fitzgerald, and decided on a drastic remedy. He would not change the beginning chapters, as had been advised, but he would go one step further. Rather than paring them down or removing the worst scenes in those chapters—the Braddocks episode, for example—he decided to cut them entirely.

This decision he communicated to Max Perkins in a letter of June 5, accompanied by assurances that Fitzgerald 1) approved of the novel as a whole, and 2) concurred with him about lopping off the beginning. Fitzgerald's opinion, he understood, would count heavily with Perkins. “I was very glad to get your letter and hear that you liked The Sun a.r.,” Hemingway began. “Scott claims to tod” (my italics throughout). Then, after some directions about where to send mail, he revealed his plan. “I believe that, in the proofs, I will start the book at what is now page 16 in the Mss. [“Robert Cohn was once middleweight boxing champion of Princeton”]. There is nothing in those first sixteen pages [about 3,500 words] that does not come out, or is explained, or re-stated in the rest of the book—or is unnecessary to state. I think it will move much faster from the start that way. Scott agrees with me. He suggested various things in it to cut out—in those first chapters—which I have never liked—but I think it is better to just lop that off and he agrees. He will probably write you what he thinks about it—the book in general. He said he was very excited about it.”

In this letter to Perkins, Hemingway acknowledges Fitzgerald's assistance while downplaying its importance. He presents himself as having initiated the revision: it is “Scott agrees with me” throughout, not “Iagree with Scott.” Then he invokes Fitzgerald's authority once more before closing. Perkins had objected to the mention of “Henry James's bicycle” in the novel, a reference to a childhood accident that supposedly left James impotent. There were other things in the manuscript Perkins was wary about, but he did not want to bombard Hemingway with them in his initial letter praising the novel. The reference to James's supposed incapacity was too much, however. Though deceased, Henry James had been one of Scribner's most distinguished authors, and there were still people at the publishing firm who knew and admired him. It would be best to eliminate the passage, Perkins wrote Hemingway. Characteristically, Hemingway disagreed. James was “as dead as he will ever be,” he pointed out, and had left no descendants to be hurt. No insult was intended. Bill Gorton mentioned him as he would any other historical figure. Besides, “Scott said he saw nothing off-color about it.”

During the next few months, Fitzgerald acted as referee while Perkins and Hemingway sparred over other changes. In his long letter to Fitzgerald of May 29, Perkins paid tribute to Hemingway's skill but confided his reservations both about the subject matter —Jake Barnes's emasculating injury and Brett Ashley's promiscuity—and about the use of “many words seldom if ever used before in print.” “When you think of Hemingway's book you recall scenes as if they were memories… and you recall people as hard & actual as real ones… the mss. wriggles with vitality. The art is marvelously concealed, & yet the whole is composed to the last word.—Yet the book is not an unmixed pleasure because it is almost unpublishable.” Perkins regarded the “principle” characters with a jaundiced eye. They are “such people as I suppose you know in Paris,” he rather sniffily wrote. “They belong to 'a lost generation.' Several including the girl are what are now called 'disintegrated personalities,' I suppose.” Moreover, the romantic situation between the leading characters was complicated by the shocking fact “that he (who tells the tale) has been so wounded that he can not sexually play the part of a man!” Yet he found the book “never erotic,… in a true sense… always clean & healthy.” The language posed a serious problem, though. The passage about Henry James simply had to come out. Then there were those dirty words.

In answering Perkins, Fitzgerald acknowledged that he too had certain qualifications about The Sun Also Rises. In particular, he thought Hemingwayhad bitten off more than he could chew in “the mutilated man.” And the lady he didn't like, perhaps because he “didn't like the original.” Still, he acted as Hemingway's advocate when it came to possible further revision. “Do ask him for the absolute minimum of necessary changes, Max,” he counseled their editor. “[H]e's so discouraged about the previous reception of his work by publishers and magazine editors” from whom he'd received a lot of words but “scarcely a single dollar.” Some weeks later, Fitzgerald came to Hemingway's defense again. The only censorable passage he found in Ernest's book was the conversation about the bulls' balls. He didn't think “the James thing” objectionable but then it seemed to him that James had been dead for fifty years. (Actually, only a decade had passed since James's death in 1916.)

Perkins thanked Fitzgerald for his opinion, which he valued because he thought of him as “rather strict in that regard.” Meanwhile, however, he was waging a campaign to persuade Hemingway to make alterations. By and large, Perkins was a hands-off editor, where Fitzgerald and Hemingway were concerned. When Perkins heard about cutting the first 3,500 words, for example, he wrote Hemingway that he rather liked the original beginning himself, for it delivered the kind of information many readers expected of the conventional novel, but he did not insist on the point: “…[Y]ou write like yourself only, and I shall not attempt criticism. I couldn't with confidence.” On the other hand, Perkins was vigilant about preserving a measure of propriety in his authors' work, and about avoiding legal difficulties. In order to win Hemingway over, he warned him about “the danger of trouble from referring to real people in a way to reflect upon them, and the danger of suppression.” Libel was a possibility, and so was outright censorship. It would be a shame, Perkins pointed out, if so fine a book “should be disregarded because of the howls of a lot of cheap, prurient, moronic yappers.” On these grounds Hemingway capitulated. Henry James became Henry, Hilaire Belloc was eliminated, novelist Joseph Hergesheimer's name was changed to Hoffenheimer, and Roger Prescott—too close to the original Glenway Wescott—was altered to Robert Prentiss. In addition, the bulls were unfitted “for a reproductive function” and the dirty word that rhymed with “Irony and Pity” was deleted.

With that issue resolved, Hemingway wrote Fitzgerald around September 7, 1926, offhandedly thanking him for his “sterling attitude on the censorship question. All France is proud of you.” Then he signed off on the novel with an implicit recognition of Fitzgerald's editorial advice. “I cut The Sun to start with Cohn—cut all that first part. Made a number of minor cuts and did quite a lot ofre-writing and tightening up. Cut and in the proof it read like a good book. Christ knows I want to write them a hell of a lot better but it seemed to move along and to be pretty sound and solid. I hope to hell you'll like it,” he concluded, “and I think maybe you will,”

Even after The Sun Also Rises was published, Perkins proposed that Hemingway write a foreword summarizing some of what had been omitted in the sixteen pages he and Fitzgerald had decided to cut. He realized that this material had not been written in the same “method” as the rest of the novel. In a brief prologue, he thought, Hemingway “could tell some of the things about Brett which were in the first galleys and did not altogether come out in the narrative.” What troubled him, and other readers, was that her scandalous behavior was not adequately prepared for, whereas the discarded beginning created a certain sympathy for her through an account of her troubled past. Hemingway said no. The “Brett biography” contained “some very good dope” on her, but any introduction would break the unity of the book. Besides, Brett was a real person, her story was a real story, and since he'd “protected” James and Belloc and Hergesheimer he might as well protect her too by leaving out the details of her background.

Late in December, Fitzgerald wrote Hemingway how pleased he was with the good press The Sun Also Rises was getting. “By the way,” he added, “I liked it in print even better than in manuscript.” In a note written during the 1930s, Fitzgerald genially poked fun at both his first novel and Hemingway's:

This Side of Paradise: A Romance and a Reading List.

The Sun Also Rises: A Romance and a Guide Book.

But he never sought credit for the excision that markedly improved Sun. In a July 1936 letter to John O'Hara, he went so far as to invent a yarn that effectively minimized his role. “[T]he only effect I ever had on Ernest was to get him in a receptive mood and say let's cut everything that goes before this. Then the pieces got mislaid and he could never find the part that I said to cut out. And so he published it without that and later we agreed it was a very wise cut. This is not literally true and I don't want it established as part of the Ernest legend,” he concluded, “but it's just about as far as one writer can go in helping another.” Fitzgerald had gone a long way to help Hemingway at the beginning of his career. He was willing to go even further, once Ernest's star had risen, to avoid alienating him.

The End of Something

God, how much I've learned in these two and a half years in Europe. It seems like a decade and I feel pretty old but I wouldn't have missed it, even its most unpleasant and painful aspects.
—F. Scott Fitzgerald to Maxwell Perkins, c. August 10, 1926

Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway did not have many opportunities to see each other during 1926. Except for his brief trip to New York, the long sojourn to Spain, and two quick visits to the Riviera, Hemingway was in Paris throughout the year. The Fitzgeralds, on the other hand, spent very little time there after the lease on their apartment ran out in December 1925. It was just as well, Ernest wrote, for he believed that Scott would “be a damned sight better off on the Riviera… Paris is poisonous for you.” From May to mid-December 1926, Juan-les-Pins was the Fitzgeralds' home base, with a side trip to Paris in June for Zelda to undergo an appendectomy (or, so maintained her writer-friend Sara Mayfield from Montgomery, an abortion). During that visit, the Hemingways were in Spain, but Fitzgerald did run into Michael Arlen. Fitzgerald characteristically celebrated Hemingway's virtues with the British writer. When Arlen declined to share his enthusiasm, the inebriated Fitzgerald accused him of being finished as a writer and jealous of “a coming first-rater.” Back on the Riviera, he again sprang to Hemingway's defense when Zelda described The Sun Also Rises as full of “bullfighting, bullslinging, and bullshit.” She could say anything she pleased, Scott told her, “but lay off Ernest.”

Throughout 1926 Fitzgerald was struggling with his novel-in-progress, which by midsummer he was calling The World's Fair. In May he reported to Harold Ober that the book was “about one-fourth done” and predicted that it would be finished by the end of the year. That report, like many others he was to make during succeeding years about the progress of Tender Is the Night, turned out to be wildly over-optimistic. He completed only four chapters—of a projected twelve—before he sailed back to the States in December. Not much else was getting written, either. He published no stories at all between June 1926 and May 1927. There were a number of reasons for Fitzgerald's lack of productivity during this period. His drinking led the list, but at least part of the dry spell derived from Scott's wholehearted involvement with Ernest's career. Fitzgerald invested much of the psychic energy that might otherwise have gone into his own work in assuring the success of his friend. He was a fan, a devotee, and in the mannerof enthusiasts everywhere felt a thrill of exultation when his man Hemingway came through.

The letter of early September 1926 in which Hemingway said he'd cut the novel “to start with Conn” was full of news. Among other things, it referred to an overture from Fitzgerald's agent Harold Ober, then of the Paul Reynolds agency. The possibility of Ernest's being represented by Scott's agents, now that they had the same book publisher, appealed to Fitzgerald. When Perkins shuttled “Fifty Grand” to Ober in mid-1926, it was apparently done with Fitzgerald's blessing. “Hope you have good luck with Hemmingways work,” he wrote Ober in July. “ I think he's got a great future.” Ober agreed. Though they hadn't been able to place “Fifty Grand,” he thought it was “an extremely good and realistic story… I wish we could see something else of his. He certainly has a lot of ability.” Ober encouraged Fitzgerald to act as go-between in sounding out Hemingway. “Is he abroad now and do you see him once in a while?” Fitzgerald, at Juan-les-Pins, forwarded Ober's letter to Hemingway in Paris, along with the information that he was “working like hell” and expected to sail for New York from Genoa December 10.

Hemingway did not sign with Ober, perhaps because he finally sold a story on his own to Scribner's magazine. The way for a fiction writer to make money, Fitzgerald had told him, was to sell his stuff to high-paying magazines. After the fiasco over “Fifty Grand,” Hemingway had his doubts about that, and these were exacerbated when Scribner's rejected his grisly “An Alpine Idyll.” Hemingway tried again with “The Killers,” without much hope. He only sent it, he told Fitzgerald, “to see what the alibi would be” when it was turned down. So he was happily surprised to receive a wire from Perkins in late August accepting “The Killers” for $200. Scribner's was a far cry from the Saturday Evening Post, where Fitzgerald was commanding $3,000 per story, but it was a start. “Ernest of little faith,” his mentor Fitzgerald wrote him, “I hope the sale of 'The Killers' will teach you to send every story either to Scribners or an agent.”

As his career swung upward, Hemingway's private life descended into chaos. He and Hadley separated when they came back to Paris in midsummer. Ernest was in love with Pauline, and intended to marry her. The Murphys supported him in this decision. From the first they had been drawn to Pauline, who in her stylishness was much more their sort than the comparatively dowdy Hadley. Hadley was kind and generous and loyal, but in the eyes of Sara and Gerald not the right wife for Ernest. When Ernest's resolve threatened to weaken in the fall of 1926, they advised him to hold firm for divorce. They loved himand had faith in him, Sara wrote. “Bless you & don't ever budge.” Gerald put the case more strongly. “Your heart will never be at peace to live, work and enjoy,” he told Ernest, “unless you clean up and cut through.”

To test the seriousness of the lovers' commitment to each other, Hadley imposed—and Ernest and Pauline accepted—the unusual stipulation that they were to remain apart for one hundred days. At the end of that time, if they still wanted her to, she would divorce Ernest. As a consequence, Pauline returned to the States for the fall months while Ernest remained alone in Paris, racked with guilt. “Our life is all gone to hell which seems to be the one thing you can count on a good life to do,” he wrote Fitzgerald. “Needless to say Hadley has been grand and everything has been completely my fault in every way. That's the truth, not a polite gesture.” The good news was that he was thinking of bicycling down to Marseille in October and living there for a month or so. That way, he could ride over to Juan-les-Pins and see Fitzgerald.

Were he and Hadley “permanently busted up?” Fitzgerald wrote back. “Anyhow I'm sorry everything's in such a mess and I do want to see you if you come to Marseille in October.” In this letter, probably written in mid-September, Fitzgerald began with a rather labored scatalogical parody of the interchapters to In Our Time, in an obvious attempt to respond in kind to the satirical forays in Hemingway's correspondence:

We were in a back-house in Juan-les-Pins. Bill had lost control of his sphincter muscles. There were wet MaFins in the rack beside the door. There were wet Eclaireurs de Nice in the rack over his head. When the King of Bulgaria came in, Bill was just firing a burst that struck the old limeshit twenty feet down with a splat-tap. All the rest came just like that. The King of Bulgaria began to whirl round and round.

“The great thing in these affairs—” he said.

Soon he was whirling faster and faster. Then he was dead.

This passage, written in an irreverent, foul-of-mouth tone that was uncongenial to Fitzgerald, was obviously intended to amuse Hemingway. Before ending the letter, Fitzgerald offered another example of his desire to serve. “Remember,” he wrote, “if I can give you any financial help let me know.”

With no ready source of income on hand, Hemingway's monetary outlook was dim. He could hardly count on Hadley's trust fund any more. And in his letter to Hadley of November 18,1926, he promised her all the royalties from TheSun Also Rises. “I would never have written any of them In Our Time, Torrents or The Sun if I had not married you and had your loyal and self-sacrificing and always stimulating and loving—and actual cash support.” But she wasn't to worry about his suffering from lack of funds. “I know that I can borrow from Scott, Archie [MacLeish], or the Murphies—all of whom are wealthy people— or that I could accept money from Pauline.” The Murphys had already been generous to him. When Ernest and Hadley separated in August, they gave up their apartment on Notre-Dame-des-Champs, and Gerald Murphy turned over his studio with its thirty-foot-high whitewashed walls as a rent-free location where Hemingway could live and work. Fitzgerald apparently did not lend Hemingway money at this time—he did so both before and after the marital crisis—but it was a subject both men touched on in their correspondence.

On the bright side, The Sun Also Rises was eliciting extremely favorable reviews. Conrad Aiken in the New York Herald-Tribune found Hemingway's dialogue “brilliant,” better than anyone else was doing. “Every sentence that he writes is fresh and alive,” Burton Rascoe commented in the New York Sun. Hemingway's “lean, hard” prose put more conventional English to shame, the New York Times observed. A number of reviews detected the influence of other authors on Hemingway. The Times saw signs of Ring Lardner and Ford Madox Ford in his work. Aiken thought Hemingway had learned from Sherwood Anderson, F. Scott Fitzgerald's Gatsby, and Gertrude Stein. Both Time magazine and Rascoe commented that Brett Ashley seemed to be modeled on Michael Arlen's Iris March, in The Green Hat.

These reviews, and the sales of his novel, were much on Hemingway's mind when he wrote Fitzgerald at Thanksgiving. Career prospects were brightening. The Sun Also Rises had gone into a second printing, but what did that “mean in numbers?” he inquired of his more experienced friend. Two publishers had made offers for the British rights. College Humor had written asking for essays or stories, short and long. As for the reviews, Hemingway observed in his customary mocking fashion, “the boys seem divided as to who or whom I copied the most from you or Michael Arlen.” It seemed “a little premature” to be grateful to Arlen. But he was certainly grateful to Fitzgerald, and was asking Scribner's to insert a subtitle in everything after the eighth printing, reading:

A greater Gatsby
(Written with the friendship of F. Scott Fitzgerald
(Prophet of THE JAZZ AGE)

He'd tried to get down to the Riviera to see Fitzgerald before he sailed home, Hemingway wrote. The bad weather made biking impossible, and he couldn't afford the train fare, so he'd been looking for a ride from someone with a car and that hadn't worked out. “God I wish I could see you. You are the only guy in or out of Europe I can say as much for (or against) but I certainly would like to see you.” He was beginning to feel less depressed about the divorce. “Have refrained from any half turnings on of the gas or slitting of the wrists with sterilized safety razor blades.” But he was strapped for funds, having turned over “all existing finances” to Hadley. “Have been eating one meal a day and if I get tired enough sleeping—working like hell lately—find starting life poorer than any time since I was 14 with an earning capacity of what stories I sell to Scribners very interesting.” The only thing he'd ever been decent about was money, and he was “very splendid and punctilious about that.”

Fitzgerald was sensitive to the appeal implicit in those remarks. A few days before he left Juan-les-Pins for Genoa, he wrote Hemingway with the hope that everything was going better for him.

If there is anything you need done here as in America—anything about your work, or money, or human help under any head— remember you can always call on Your devoted friend Scott

On board the Conte Biancamano, Fitzgerald lamented the unhappy news about Ernest and Hadley's divorce. “I'm sorry for you and for Hadley and for Bumby and I hope some way you'll all be content and things will not seem so hard.” He was sorry, too, that Hemingway had not come to Marseille for a reunion. Now he was returning to the States with his novel still unfinished and “with less health and not much more money” than when he came in the spring of 1924.

But his European sojourn had one major consolation, for if Fitzgerald had not come across the ocean they might never have met. “I can't tell you how much your friendship has meant to me during this year and a half,” he told Hemingway. “[I]t is the brightest thing in our trip to Europe for me.” What's more, “I will try to look out for your interests with Scribners in America, but I gather that the need of that is past now and that soon you'll be financially more than on your feet.” Fitzgerald was right about that. Soon Hemingway's star would shine more brightly than his own in the literary firmament. Fitzgerald continued to serveas Hemingway's benefactor in a number of ways during the years ahead, but after December 1926 their friendship was never the same again. One problem was the debt that was owed: Hemingway could ill abide being beholden to anyone. Then, too, they saw each other only rarely. Usually an ocean intervened, and so did the demon of rivalry.

The Case of Harold Stearns

You've got to be careful who you do favors for.
—F. Scott Fitzgerald to Ernest Hemingway, December 28, 1928

Both Scott and Ernest could have learned something from the example of Fitzgerald's unwarranted generosity to Harold Stearns. Born in 1891, Stearns was a journalist who published several books during his twenties and thirties. The best known of these was Civilization in the United States (1922), an ambitiously titled collection of essays Stearns edited, covering such wide-ranging topics as religion, education, politics, and the arts. For the most part, the contributors to this volume found American institutions badly in need of reform. Stearns felt the same way, so there was a certain logic in his expatriation to France. Once there, however, his career drifted away in a haze of alcoholism. He became a fixture at the cafés of Montparnasse, where he cadged loans from the unwary.

Stearns's name first crops up in Hemingway's Selected Letters in a May 1924 communication to Gertrude Stein. Stearns was acting as Paris agent for Horace Liveright, and in that capacity had let Hemingway know that Liveright was turning down Stein's The Making of Americans. At that time Hemingway was Stein's admiring friend and pupil, and in his letter he commiserated with her. It was “a rotten shame,” but there were other publishers, he would “keep on plugging” for her, and sooner or later she was sure to find one. As for Stearns, his employment by Liveright was of brief duration. In January 1925, Hemingway wrote Stein, Stearns was rumored to be incarcerated for debt in Houston, Texas. He was back in Paris by the fall, frequenting his old haunts and circulating hard-luck stories to likely lenders.

Fitzgerald, a soft touch, met Stearns there and undertook to help him out. Stearns's story that season was that Sinclair Lewis was conducting a vendetta against him, and as a consequence he could not get his articles and essays published in the United States. Fitzgerald was inclined to believe this yarn, though he did take the step of asking Alexander Woollcott, back in New York, to check it out. Stearns had come to him with the claim “that he could get no answer of any kind” from the pieces he sent “the [New York] World or The New Yorker, stuff that was to some extent solicited.” Stearns was so “down and out,” Fitzgerald reported, that he'd had to pawn his typewriter in Deauville. It was “terribly sad to see a man of his age and intelligence going to pieces” because of “a sort of universal blackball.” Could Woollcott check around the World office to see if there was any material written by Stearns “lying unused and unpaid for”?

Whatever the reply, Fitzgerald was not deterred from giving Stearns $50. “How did your plan of having Harold Stearns make good in two weeks—after all these years—turn out?” Hemingway, who was anything but gullible about such matters, asked Fitzgerald on December 15, 1925. Hemingway next sent Fitzgerald $400 to repay a loan. “You can keep it yourself or give it to Harold Stearns,” he added. Then he warned Fitzgerald about the hopelessness of this lost cause. “I'm sorry as hell for H[arold] S[tearns],” he wrote, “but there's nothing anybody can do for him… except give him money and you've done that and naturally can't asume the continuance of it as an obligation.” Panhandling was “no damned fun,” he added. “A gent who's drinking himself to death ought not to be constantly having to raise the funds to do it with.” Stearns had a good head once, but it was “completely coated with fuzz” now. Personally Hemingway liked Stearns, but he was beyond help. Fitzgerald had done his part for the poor old bastard. “Just don't give him any more dough.”

Stearns's impecuniousness and debilitated physical condition figured in two May 1926 letters from Hemingway to Fitzgerald. “I have just given 200,000 francs to save the franc,” he announced in one of them. “Harold Stearns is giving the same amount.” Then from Madrid Hemingway wrote that the bullfights had been called off because the bulls were too small and sick. “[I]t was a collection of animals Harold Stearns could have killed while drunk with a jack knife.” Most notably, Hemingway wrote Stearns into The Sun Also Rises. In the original beginning of the novel, he appears under his own name as a habitué of “the Quarter.” That was one of the things Fitzgerald thought should be cut, and it was. Thinly disguised as Harvey Stone, however, Stearns does figure in the early Paris scenes of the published novel.

Jake Barnes first encounters Stone sitting outside, alone, at the Café Selectin Montparnasse. As usual, Stone has been drinking. “He had a pile of saucers in front of him, and he needed a shave.” Stone allows that he hasn't had anything to eat for five days, and Jake—who had lost two hundred francs to him at poker dice three days before—nonetheless responds to this implicit appeal for funds. He gives a hundred francs to Stone, who predictably uses the money for drink and not for food. “When I get like this I don't care whether I eat or not,” Stone explains. He's “like a cat” at such times, Stone says, he just wants to be alone. When Robert Cohn comes to their table, Stone openly insults him. “Hello, Robert,” he says. “I was just telling Jake here that you're a moron.” Cohn responds with a threat—“Some day somebody will push your face in”—but Stone insists that it wouldn't matter to him if somebody did. This scene immediately precedes the series of insults visited upon Cohn by his abandoned ladylove, Frances Clyne, a spectacle to which Jake is an unwilling witness. “Why did [Cohn] sit there?” Jake thinks. “Why did he keep on taking it like that?” To avoid the embarrassment of seeing Cohn savaged, Jake excuses himself. He has to go see Harvey Stone, he says.

At this point, Harvey Stone vanishes from the book, except as a topic of conversation between Jake and Bill Gorton during their hilarious evening together. Bill has been going on wonderfully about the decorative appeal of stuffed dogs (“Certainly brighten up your flat”) when he shifts gears. Bill is like the bartender at the Crillon, he maintains: “Never been daunted. Never been daunted in public..If I begin to feel daunted I'll go off by myself. I'm like a cat that way.”

“When did you see Harvey Stone?” Jake wants to know, and sure enough, Bill has just had a drink with Harvey at the Crillon. “Harvey was just a little daunted. Hadn't eaten for three days. Doesn't eat any more. Just goes off like a cat.”

Mindful of the caution issued by Hemingway and illustrated in The Sun Also Rises, Fitzgerald did nothing more for Harold Stearns until the fall of 1928. The Fitzgeralds spent five months in Paris that year, and shortly before returning to the United States Scott encountered Stearns. “[F]eeling drunk and Christlike,” Fitzgerald made a proposal. If Stearns would write an article on “Why I go on being poor in Paris” in the shape of an informal letter addressed to him, he would try to sell it. Stearns turned out the piece, and Fitzgerald sent it to Maxwell Perkins, who bought it for $100. Fitzgerald assumed that Stearns would be delighted. As he wrote Perkins, the “poor bastard” hasn't seen “that much money since I gave him $50 in '25.” That should have been a happy ending, but no. According to Fitzgerald's account in a December 28 letter to Hemingway, Stearns wrote him objecting that $100 “isn't very much (as a matter of fact, itisn't much of a letter either) and exhibits such general dissatisfaction that I think he thinks I held out on him… within a year you'll probably hear a story that what started him on his downward path was my conscienceless theft of his royalties.”

This incident should have taught Fitzgerald a valuable lesson. Yet when he wrote Ernest that “[y]ou've got to be careful who you do favors for,” Scott apparently was thinking only of Stearns and not going beyond the particulars of his case. Specifically, he does not seem to have grasped that those we do the most for rarely exhibit appropriate gratitude, and that often, as in the case of Hemingway himself, they come to resent our ministrations on their behalf. Hemingway, for his part, might have gathered that Fitzgerald's magnanimity toward Stearns was not entirely disinterested, that “Christlike” acts derived at least in part from a compulsion to orchestrate other people's lives. That may have been what Hemingway had in mind when he wrote Arthur Mizener in 1950 that his benefactor Fitzgerald was “generous without being kind.”


EH, Feast, 149-152 and “Preface.” Bruccoli, Scott and Ernest, 3. EH, Item 486, JFK. Diliberto, Hadley, 82. Reynolds, Young Hemingway, 241. FSF to MP, ca. October 10, 1924, Scott/Max, 78. FSF to MP, ca. December 20, 1924, Scott/Max, 91. MP to FSF, February 24, 1925, Scott/Max, 95. FSF to MP, May 1, 1925, Scott/Max, 104. FSF, Notebooks, #1002. FSF, Crack-Up, 66-67, 70. EH to FSF, December 15, 1925, SL, 176. Gingrich, “Coming to Terms with Scott and Ernest,” 60.

The City of Light

Kennedy, Imagining Paris, 10-13, 84-87, 100-103. EH, “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” Short Stories, 69-70. FSF to EW, May 1921, Utters, 326. EW to FSF, July 5, 1921, Utters on Literature and Politics, 63-64. Mellow, Invented, 136-139. LeVot quoted in Kennedy, Imagining Paris, 192-193. EH, Feast, 168. FSF, “How to Live on PracticallyNothing a Year,” Afternoon, 113. Bruccoli, Grandeur, 221. FSF to ZF, Summer (?) 1930, Correspondence, 239. Meyers, Scott Fitzgerald, 138. EH, Feast, 154-155, 165-166, 174-176. Mellow, Hemingway, 290. EH to MP, June 9, 1925, SL 162-163. EH to FSF, April 12,  1931, SL, 339. Mellow, Invented, 241. George Wickes, “The Right Place at the Right Time,” French Connections, ed. Kennedy and Bryer, 5-7. Baker, Life Story, 82-87. EH to EW, November 25, 1925, SL, 105. Simon, Biography of Alice B. Toklas, 143-147. Mellow, Hemingway, 291. Stein to FSF, May 22, 1925, Correspondence, 164. FSF to Stein, June 1925, Utters, 484-485.

Two Weaknesses

FSF, Notebooks, #1996. EH, Torrents, 76. EH to Poore, May 21, 1953, JFK. Reynolds, Paris Years, 339. Dos Passos quoted in Braudy, Frenzy of Renown, 550. EH, Item 593a, JFK. EH to FSF, May 4, 1926, SL, 203. EH, Item 185a, JFK. EH, Item 486, JFK.

Special Delivery to Scribner's

EH to FSF, July 1, 1925, SL, 165-166. FSF to EH, November 30, 1925, Utters, 295. Reynolds, Paris Years, 314-315. FSF to T.R. Smith, late May 1925, Life in Utters, 114. FSF to MP, ca. June 1, 1925, Life in Letters, 115-116. MP to EH, February 21, 1925, Only Thing, 33. FSF to MP, ca. October 6, 1925, Utters, 192. Stephens, Critical Reception, 1, 13.  Mellow, Hemingway, 314-315. John J. Fenstermaker, “The Search for an American Audience: Marketing Ernest Hemingway, 1925-1930,” Oak Park Legacy, ed. Nagel, 179-181. EH to Loeb, ca. November 25, 1925, JFK. EH to Pound, 30 November 1925, Yale. EH to Liveright, December 7, 1925, SL, 172-174. FSF to Liveright and Smith, before December 30, 1925, Correspondence, 183. EH to MacLeish, ca. December 11, 1925, SL, 140. EH to Cowley, 8 November 1951, Neville. FSF to MP, ca. December 27, 1925, Utters, 193. Liveright to EH, December 30, 1925, University of Virginia library. EH to FSF, December 31, 1925-January 1, 1926, SL, 183-185. Mellow, Hemingway, 320. FSF to MP and MP to FSF, telegrams, January 8, 1926, Correspondence, 187. MP to FSF, January 13,1926, Scott/Max, 129. Liveright to FSF, December 30,1925, Correspondence, 184-185. FSF to MP, ca. December 30, 1925, Scott/Max, 127-128. EH to Liveright, January 19, 1926, SL, 190-191. MP to FSF, March 4, 1926, and FSF to MP, ca. March 1, 1926, Scott/Max, 135-136.

“Fifty Grand” and Money

FSF to MP, 1 December 1925, Correspondence, 182. FSF to MP, ca. January 19, 1926, Scott/Max, 130-131. MP to EH, February 1, 1926, Only Thing, 34-35. MP to FSF, February 3, 1926, Scott/Max, 132. EH, “The Art of the Short Story,” 88, 91. SD, “Wooing,” 694-695. EH to MP, March 10, 1926, SL, 197. MP to EH, March 15, 1926 and March 24, 1926, PUL. EH to MP, April 1, 1926, SL, 198. Beegel, “‘Mutilated by Scott Fitzgerald?’: The Revision of Hemingway's 'Fifty Grand,'” Craft of Omission, 13-15, 24-26. FSF to Mencken, March 1926, Correspondence, 190. FSF, “How to Waste Material,” Afternoon, 117-122. FSF to MP, ca. June 1, 1925, Life in Letters, 117, 119.EH to FSF, December 15, 1925, SL, 176. FSF to MP, before May 10, 1926 and ca. June 25, 1926, Utters, 203, 206. EH to FSF, ca. April 20, 1926 and ca. May 20, 1926, SL, 199-200, 204. Wescott, “The Moral of Scott Fitzgerald,” Crack-Up, 324-325. KathleenCannell to Carlos Baker, October 13,1965, PUL. EH to FSF, ca. April 20, 1926, SL, 199-200. Mellow, Invented, 266-267. Hadley Hemingway to EH, May, 1926, in James Nagel, “Kitten to Waxin: Hadley's Letters to Ernest Hemingway, May 1926,” Journal of Modern Literature 15 (Summer 1988), 156-157. EH, Feast, 209-210. Reynolds, Paris Years, 349-351.

A “Golden Couple”: Gerald and Sara Murphy

Stewart quoted in Miller, Lost Generation, xv. Vaill, So Young, on Murphys: 6, 36,46, 64-65. Miller, Lost Generation, xvi. Vaill, So Young, on Fitzgeralds: 138-139, 146-147,154-155; on Hemingways: 167-168, 170, 172; on party at Juan-les-Pins: 2-5, 176-177. Sara Murphy to FSF, ca. summer 1926, in Miller, Lost Generation, 17-18. Meyers, Fitzgerald, 115.

Making the Sun Rise

EH, Feast, 184-185. Reynolds, Paris Years, 308. Svoboda, Hemingway and Sun, 106-107. EH to FSF, ca. April 20, 1926, SL, 199-201. FSF, Gatsby, 99. EH to FSF, ca. May 20, 1926, SL, 204-205. MP to EH, May 18, 1926, Only Thing, 38. Berg, Perkins, 95-98. Svoboda, Hemingway and Sun, beginning cut: 131-137; FSF to EH thereon: 137-140. Delmore Schwartz, “The Fiction of Ernest Hemingway,” Perspectives U.S.A., No. 13 (Autumn 1955), 71. Reynolds, Paris Years, 40-42. EH to MP, June 5, 1926, SL, 208-209. MP to FSF, May 29, 1926, Only Thing, 41-43.. FSF to MP, ca. June 25, 1926, and ca. August 10,1926, Scott/Max, 144,145. MP to FSF, August 17, 1926, PUL. MP to EH, July 20, 1926, PUL. SD, “Wooing,” 702-710. EH to FSF, ca. September 7, 1926, SL, 216-217. MP to EH, October 30, 1926, Only Thing, 47. EH to MP, November 16, 1926, SL, 223-224. FSF to EH, December 23, 1926, Letters, 298-299. FSF to O'Hara, July 25, 1936, Letters, 538.

The End of Something

FSF to MP, ca. August 10,1926, Letters, 230. EH to FSF, ca. December 24,1925, SL, 182. Mellow, Invented, 271-273. Bruccoli, Composition, 33, 39. FSF to Ober, July 1926, As Ever, 92. Ober to FSF, August 12,1926, PUL. EH to FSF, ca. September 7,1926, SL, 216-217. FSF to EH, fall 1926, Letters, 296-297. Sara Murphy to EH, ca. fall 1926, and Gerald Murphy to EH, September 6, 1926, Miller, Lost Generation, 24, 23. EH to Hadley Hemingway, November 18, 1926, SL, 228. Stephens, Critical Reception, 31-35. Reynolds, Homecoming, 81-82. EH to FSF, ca. November 24, 1926, SL, 231-233. FSF to EH, December 1926 and December 23, 1926, Letters, 298.

The Case of Harold Stearns

FSF to EH, December 28, 1928, Letters, 207. EH to Stein, ca. May 15, 1924 and January 20, 1925, SL, 118, 121. FSF to Woollcott, fall 1925, Letters, 486-487. EH to FSF, December 15, 1925 and ca. December 24, 1925, SL, 177, 180-181. EH to FSF, May 4, 1926 and ca. May 20, 1926, SL, 203, 204. EH, Sun, 42-51, 73. FSF to EH, December 28, 1928, and FSF to MP, October/November 1928, Life in Letters, 161, 159. EH to Mizener, April 22, 1950, SL, 243.

Next Chapter 4 Oceans Apart

Published as Hemingway Vs. Fitzgerald: The Rise And Fall Of A Literary Friendship by Scott Donaldson (Woodstock, Ny: Overlook P, 1999).