Young Ernest Hemingway In Italy

Young Ernest Hemingway In Italy
5 x 7 inches (12.7 cm x 17.78 cm)
watercolor painting

UPDATE: On display and for purchase at the You Can’t Quarantine Creativity exhibit, Marjorie Evans Gallery at Sunset Cultural Center, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California October 5 – December 1.

I composed this by mashing up two public domain photos for reference, portraying him as the 18-year-old American Red Cross ambulance driver he was in Italy during WW1 shortly before being severely wounded in an Austrian mortar attack. I just read a fascinating and insightful 2018 essay by Mikaella Clements in Literary Hub, excerpts below from The Queerness of Ernest Hemingway:

“…dubbed the ultimate masculine writer…But Hemingway’s writing itself does not fit any straightforwardly heterosexual, masculine mold…at once kinder and more lost than we give him credit…has an excellent sense of humor…is often very emotional. His portrayal of women is certainly misogynistic, but…complicated, mixed with longing and terror; very often, his women are the most nuanced characters on the page…most tellingly, Hemingway’s writing is distinctly queer…”

Personally, in re-reading Hemingway’s semi-autobiographical novel “Farewell To Arms” I see his dilemma as similar to that faced by every man raised in patriarchal culture, the difficulty if not inability to truly love woman or man, since self-hate is hard-wired in the culture.