By Robert K. Elder
- Sept. 21, 2022
In an untitled, three-page short story, Ernest Hemingway casts F. Scott Fitzgerald as a scrappy boxer who leaves the ring battered and disfigured but ultimately victorious.
He sketches out a novel he’ll never write, “A New Slain Knight,” calling it a “picaresque novel for America” that will follow his protagonist through a prison escape, a bank robbery and noirish double-crosses.
Wearing his American Red Cross uniform and smiling at the camera, an 18-year-old Hemingway huddles in a trench with Italian soldiers during World War I, just days before he was wounded by a mortar shell and machine-gun fire, an experience that inspired him to write “A Farewell to Arms.”
And in a notebook entry from 1926, there is a three-page meditation on death and suicide — 35 years before he took his own life.