I have a crushes Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald that I can’t explain.
None of the traditional reasons for a crush fit.
I’ve seen pictures of them and neither was particularly handsome.
I know that if I had met them, we would have had nothing in common.
Fitzgerald with his crazy wife and all that drinking. And Hemingway with the hunting, fishing, fascination with bull fighting and, well, drinking. (Let’s face it, they were both drunks.)
Hemingway and I could have talked about his six toed cats, I suppose
And, while I’ve read their work, I can’t say that either The Sun Also Rises or The Great Gatsby are among my very favorite books. I admire the language, but overall I like the idea of them better than the actual books.
So why do I get all teenage girl dreamy when their names come up?
It’s those damned Paris years.
I’m a sucker for the image of groups of artists, gathered around bottles of cheap wine or whiskey, discussing literature, love and life…. All the messy love triangles, the overwhelming passion for their art and the tortured geniuses.
I’ve always had a thing for tortured geniuses.
Oh, I know I would have been miserable. I’m not the bohemian, starving artist type like Hemingway was while he was in Paris.
The first time Ernest spent our last franc on a bottle of champagne instead of fuel or rent, I would have been on the next ship home.
And I’m definitely not the party every night type, like the Fitzgeralds. Six nights out of seven (oh, who am I kidding, seven nights out of seven) I would have told Scott to go on without me, I was just going to stay in and read.
But I still love the idea of that whole “lost generation” scene.
And I suppose a little crush on two of the greatest American authors in history isn’t a bad thing. At least it’s slightly more respectable than being infatuated with Justin Bieber or one of those Twilight guys.