No matter what form, journalism, poetry, novels or any other literary expression, the joining link, the key element of Hemingway’s creativity is writing.
Papa, born on 21 July 1899 in Oak Park, near Chicago, became aware of the power of his “weapon” in the first years of high school: he wrote for the school magazine drawing inspiration from Ring Lardner, a writer from Chicago, and started with sport news and satirical articles.
His cultural baggage came not only from this profession, one he would stitch on himself for the rest of his life, but also by the numerous dramas, operas, concerts, conferences and all those events he attended with his mother, who used to go there regularly. In high school he made the first efforts in the world of journalism, but he officially started his career after deciding not to go to college, despite the opposition of his family.
Papa wanted to work his way up the ladder and in summer 1917 he left for Kansas City, where he was hired by the “Kansas City Star”, experiencing a full immersion in the world of journalism from October 1917 to spring 1918. Here he assimilated the the style of the “Star”, characterised by simple sentences and paragraphs, with no long digressions and artificial lexical devices, and the characters he talked about in his articles, real people of many different social classes, have inspired his stories.
The “Star” experience ended when he joined the Red Cross as ambulance driver, a commitment that led him to the front: fascinated by the idea of the war and deeply certain that such an experience would reward him with otherwise unexpected results, he came back from the hospital with clear psychological and physical repercussions, after he had been seriously injured on 8 July 1918.
The professional turning point occurred in 1920, in Michigan, where Papa spent a lot of time in the cottage his family had rented, where he could concentrate on writing. But as the cold started biting he rented a room in the house of the Potter family in Petoskey, in Emmet County, at 602 State Street. Here he met many people, friends and acquaintances of the Potters, as well as a group of women of the local community who were fascinated by his figure of war veteran. In particular, Ms. Harriett Connable from Toronto, very impressed by the young writer and journalist, asked him to take care of her son Ralph, in the first place, and then, thanks to her husband, the director of the Canadian branch of F.W. Woolworth, introduced him to the editor-in-chief of the “Star Weekly” of Toronto, for which Hemingway started writing, collaborating with its affiliated newspaper “Daily Star” as well.