Unseen letters show Hemingway’s fight against celebrity and ‘bullshit publicity’
‘My private life being an open sewer, I am sometimes a little touchy,’ wrote the author
His prose matched his macho lifestyle, from wartime adventures to big-game hunting, boozing and bullfighting. But Ernest Hemingway was extremely sensitive about his private life, which he described as “an open sewer”, and repeatedly asked family and friends not to reveal details, according to previously unpublished correspondence.
In the fourth of 17 volumes of his letters, to be published by Cambridge University Press, Hemingway writes on one occasion: “If I’m to write at all, I have to keep my private life out of it.” Another letter records that he had forbidden one publisher “ever to use any personal publicity because I want the stuff to be judged as fiction”.