Ernest Miller Hemingway

Ernest Miller Hemingway

Hemingway Dead of Shotgun Wound; Wife Says He Was Cleaning Weapon

    Ketchum, Idaho, July 2--Ernest Hemingway was found dead of a shotgun wound in the head at his home here today.

    His wife, Mary, said that he had killed himself accidentally while cleaning the weapon.<nyt_inlinetable version="1.0" type="">

    The New York Times Hemingway's obituary ran on the front page of The New York Times on July 3, 1961.

    Mr. Hemingway, whose writings won him a Nobel Prize and a Pulitzer Prize, would have been 62 years old July 21.

    Frank Hewitt, the Blaine County Sheriff, said after a preliminary investigation that the death "looks like an accident." He said, "There is no evidence of foul play."

    The body of the bearded, barrel-chested writer, clad in a robe and pajamas, was found by his wife in the foyer of their modern concrete house.

    A double-barreled, 12-gauge shotgun lay beside him with one chamber discharged.

    Mrs. Hemingway, the author's fourth wife, whom he married in 1946, issued this statement:

    "Mr. Hemingway accidentally killed himself while cleaning a gun this morning at 7:30 A.M. No time has been set for the funeral services, which will be private."

    Mrs. Hemingway was placed under sedation.

    Coroner Ray McGoldrick said tonight that he would decide tomorrow, after speaking to Mrs. Hemingway, whether to hold an inquest.

    The writer was discharged from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., last Monday after two months of treatment for hypertension (high blood pressure) and what a Mayo spokesman called a "very old" case of hepatitis.

    He had been treated there last year for the same conditions and had been released Jan. 23 after fifty-six days.

    About a month ago, Mr. Hemingway's physician at the clinic described his health as "excellent."

    The author had been worried about his weight, 200 pounds. He was six feet tall.

    Mr. Hemingway and his wife, who drove from Rochester, arrived Friday night at this village on the outskirts of Sun Valley.

    Chuck Atkinson, a Ketchum motel owner who has been a friend of Mr. Hemingway for twenty years, was with him yesterday. He said, "He seemed to be in good spirits. We didn't talk about anything in particular. I think he spent last night at home."

    However, Marshal Les Jankow, another friend and the first law officer to reach the scene, said residents had told him that Mr. Hemingway had "looked thinner and acted depressed."

    At the time of the shooting, Mrs. Hemingway, the only other person in the house, lay asleep in a bedroom upstairs. The shot woke her and she went down the stairs to find her husband's body near a gun rack in the foyer.

    Mrs. Hemingway told friends that she had been unable to find any note.

    Expert on Firearms

    Mr. Hemingway was an ardent hunter and an expert on firearms.

    His father, Dr. Clarence E. Hemingway, was also devoted to hunting. He shot himself to death at his home in Oak Park, Ill., in 1928 at the age of 57, despondent over a diabetic condition. The death weapon was a Civil War pistol that had been owned by the physician's father.

    The theme of a father's suicide cropped up frequently in Mr. Hemingway's short stories and at least one novel, "For Whom the Bell Tolls."

    Mr. Hemingway was given his first shotgun at the age of 10.

    As an adult, he sought out danger. He was wounded by mortar shells in Italy in World War I and narrowly escaped death in the Spanish Civil War when three shells plunged into his hotel room.

    In World War II, he was injured in a taxi accident that took place in a blackout. The author nearly died of blood poisoning on one African safari; he and his wife walked away from an airplane crash in 1954 on another big-game hunt.

    Mr. Hemingway, who owned two estates in Cuba and a home in Key West, Fla., started coming to Ketchum twenty years ago. He bought his home here from Robert Topping about three years ago.

    It is a large, ultramodern concrete structure that sits on a hillside near the banks of the Wood River. The windows give upon a panoramic view of the Sawtooth Mountains.

    To Be Buried in Ketchum

    "The funeral and burial will be in Ketchum," Mr. McGoldrick said. "This was Mr. Hemingway's home, he loved it here."

    Under a new Idaho law that took effect yesterday, the chief law-enforcement officer must make an investigation into every case of violent death and determine the cause. He may hold an inquest if he wishes, but it is not mandatory.

    Late in the day, Mr. McGoldrick said about the shooting:

    "I can only say at this stage that the wound was self-inflicted. The wound was in the head. I couldn't say it was accidental and I couldn't say it was suicide. There wasn't anybody there."

    The coroner said that the Sheriff did not have to hand in his report on the death "for several days."

    "If anything comes up indicating foul play, he may hold an inquest," he said. "I don't think he'll hold an inquest but, based on new evidence, it could be called at any time."

    He added: "He doesn't have to state in his report whether it was accidental or suicide."

    Confers With Friends

    "Mary felt it was accidental and I hope that's the way it will go out," Mr. Atkinson said. "But maybe we will have to change our plans and hold an inquest. I know that 'Papa' [Mr. Hemingway's nickname] wouldn't give a damn how it came out in the papers."

    Previously, Mr. Atkinson had been busy trying to reach members of Mr. Hemingway's immediate family. He telephoned Mrs. Jasper J. Jepson, the novelist's sister, who said that she would fly to Ketchum immediately.

    The author's 28-year-old son Gregory, a University of Miami medical student, will fly here from Miami tomorrow. Another son, Patrick, according to Mr. Atkinson, is on a safari in Africa and a third, John, is fishing in Oregon.

    Mourned by Kennedy

    Hyannis Port, Mass., July 2 (UPI)--President Kennedy mourned tonight the death of Ernest Hemingway, whom he called one of America's greatest authors and "one of the great citizens of the world."

    The President, who is spending the Fourth of July weekend here with his family, issued a statement after hearing of Mr. Hemingway's death.

    Hemingway's Prize-Winning Works Reflected Preoccupation With Life and Death

      Ernest Hemingway achieved world-wide fame and influence as a writer by a combination of great emotional power and a highly individual style that could be parodied but never successfully imitated.

      His lean and sinewy prose; his mastery of a kind of laconic, understated dialogue; his insistent use of repetition, often of a single word, or name--built up and transmitted an inner excitement to thousands of his readers. In his best work, the effect was accumulative; it was as if the creative voltage increased as the pages turned.

      Not all readers agreed on Mr. Hemingway; and his "best" single work will be the subject of literary debate for generations. But possibly "The Old Man and the Sea," published in 1952, had the essence of the uncluttered force that drove his other stories. In it, character stands hard and clear, indomitable in failure. Man--an ordinary although an unusual man- -is a victim of, and yet rises above, the elemental harshness of nature.

      Won the Nobel Prize

      The short novel won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953; it unquestionably moved the judges who awarded Mr. Hemingway the Nobel Prize for Literature the following year. And it was an occasion for relief and joy among those devotees of the novelist to whom "Across the River and Into the Trees," in 1950, had marked a low point in his career.

      A great deal of Mr. Hemingway's work showed a preoccupation--frequently called obsession--with violence and death. He loved guns; he was one of the great aficionados of the deadly bullfight. He identified with the adventures of partisan warfare; he swung a burp-gun in guerrilla fighting.

      He wrote a great deal of hunting, fishing, prizefighting; with directness and vigor; with the accuracy of a man who has handled the artifacts of a sport, taken them apart, loved them. He was at times a hard liver and a hard drinker. But in a sense this was all part of his being a hard and constant worker--at his profession of observing life and recording it faithfully as he saw it.

      Barb From Max Eastman

      Mr. Hemingway's fascination with the calibers of cartridges, and exactly what each could do to a living target, and physical conflict generally, brought a barb from Max Eastman in 1937. Mr. Eastman, a writer who had flexed his own muscles in Marxist dialectics rather than in battle or in the hunt, wrote:

      "Come out from behind that false hair on your chest, Ernest. We all know you."

      When Mr. Hemingway and Mr. Eastman met in the New York offices of Charles Scribner's Sons, blows were exchanged as Mr. Hemingway bared his chest to prove that the hair was not false. In the later part of his life, Mr. Hemingway wore a beard, coarse and grizzled. It became one of the most famous beards in the world, and a kind of symbol of the man himself.

      After Mr. Hemingway became a successful writer, much effort was made by psychologists, amateur and professional, to discover why he wrote as he did. In spite of much rummaging around in his childhood and in his days as a young man in Paris, many of the conclusions about him were contradictory. Mainly by trial and error, he had taught himself to write limpid English prose.

      Apprentice as a Writer

      Of his apprentice days as a writer in Paris, he wrote this:

      "I was trying to write then and I found the greatest difficulty, aside from knowing what you really felt, rather than what you were supposed to feel, was to put down what really happened in action: what the actual things were which produced the emotions that you experienced the real thing, the sequence of motion and fact which made the emotion I was trying to learn to write, commencing with the simplest things."

      "All I want to do is write well," he once said.

      Mr. Hemingway had a deadpan wit to which he gave many a special twist, as when he translated Spanish literally. Santiago, the man character in "The Old Man and the Sea," is a great American baseball fan and engages in the following dialogue:

      "The Yankees cannot lose."

      "But I fear the Indians of Cleveland."

      "Have faith in the Yankees, my son. Think of the great DiMaggio."

      "I fear both the Tigers of Detroit and the Indians of Cleveland."

      "Be careful or you will fear even the Reds of Cincinnati and the White Sox of Chicago."

      The man who could thus put the nuances of American baseball into the Spanish locutions of a humble fisherman; who rarely lost his sense of the humor that he found was as much a part of war and disaster as was courage itself, was born in Oak Park, Ill., a middle-class suburb of Chicago.

      The date was July 21, 1899. Ernest Miller Hemingway was the second child of a family of six children; there were four sisters and a younger brother. His father was Dr. Clarence Edmonds Hemingway, a large bearded physician who was more devoted to hunting and fishing than to his practice.

      His mother was Grace Hall Hemingway, a religious-minded woman who sang in the choir of the First Congregational Church. She gave her son a cello, and for a year made him practice on it. But the boy's father had greater lures. He gave the boy a fishing rod when he was 3 and a shot-gun when he was 10.

      Ambulance Driver

      With his graduation from Oak Park High, he completed his formal education. He read widely, however, and had a natural facility for languages.

      It was wartime, and torment for a spirited young man not to be in the fighting. Finally he managed to get to Italy, where he wangled his way into the fighting as a Red Cross ambulance driver with the Italian Army. Although he arrived too late for the great Italian rout at Caporetto, he learned all about it and described it brilliantly in "A Farewell to Arms," published in 1929.

      On July 8, 1918, while he was passing out chocolate candy to frontline troops at Fossalta di Piave, Mr. Hemingway was badly wounded in the leg by an Austrian mortar shell and was hospitalized for many weeks. He received the Medaglia d'Argento al Valore Militare, a high Italian military decoration.

      He returned to Chicago, suffering from chronic insomnia. For a while, he edited The House Organ of the Cooperative Society of America. But, inexorably, he drifted to the expatriate Left Bank world of Paris. He had a letter from Sherwood Anderson to Gertrude Stein, and he was soon one of the group of writers who frequented the bookstore of Sylvia Beach--Shakespeare & Co., at 18 Rue de l'Odèon. Here he met, among many others, Andrè Gide and James Joyce.

      Mr. Joyce and Mr. Hemingway did a certain amount of drinking together. The author of "Ulysses" was a thin, wispy and unmuscled man with defective eyesight. When they were making the rounds of the cafes and Mr. Joyce became embroiled with a brawler, as he frequently did, he would slip behind his hefty companion and cry, "Deal with him, Hemingway. Deal with him."

      It was in Paris that Mr. Hemingway began to write seriously. He was greatly aided by the advice of the austere and sometimes curmudgeonish Miss Stein, whose unadorned style of writing influenced him greatly. If she was exacting, she was also sympathetic, although she was inclined to deride Mr. Hemingway's mania for firearms and thereby often hurt his feelings.

      After several trips back to the United States, Mr. Hemingway settled in Europe. But instead of sitting his life away at the Cafè des Deux Magots, as many of his contemporaries did, he worked hard at his writing.

      He wrote with discernment about the persons around him. They were his expatriate countrymen, together with the "Lost Generation" British and general European post-war strays, and he limned them with deadly precision.

      Underwent Privations

      Before he was established as a writer, Mr. Hemingway underwent the privations that were almost standard for young men of letters in Paris. He lived in a tiny room and often subsisted on a few cents worth of fried potatoes a day. With the publication in 1926 of "The Sun Also Rises" after three years of indifferent response to his work, he achieved sudden fame.

      In "The Sun Also Rises," Mr. Hemingway showed the felicity for titles that characterized his work. The title is from the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible and is in a passage that showed the seemingly meaningless coming and going of the sun, the tides and the winds as the lives of his characters seemed to the author to come and go pointlessly.

      A concise biography of Mr. Hemingway that focused on his Paris years was written by his friend, Archibald MacLeish:

      Veteran out of the wars before he was twenty;
      Famous at twenty-five: thirty a master--
      Whittled a style for his time from a walnut stick
      In a carpenter's loft in a street of that April city.

      In 1928, Mr. Hemingway returned to the United States, where he lived for the next ten years, mostly in Florida. He hated New York City and its literary life and kept away from it as much as he could. He was still only 30 when he published his highly successful "A Farewell to Arms."

      When "Death in the Afternoon" was published in 1932, Mr. Hemingway said he had seen 1,500 bulls killed. The great success of the book established its author as one of the great popularizers of bullfighting.

      For several years Mr. Hemingway hunted big game in Africa and did much shooting and fishing in different parts of the world. "Winner Take Nothing" was published in 1933 and "The Green Hills of Africa" in 1935.

      The latter was one of the best contemporary accounts of the complex relationships between the hunter, the hunted and the African natives who are essential to the ritual of their confrontation. At the same time, the book told as much of Hemingway, the writer's writer, as of Hemingway, the big game hunter. For example:

      "... the feeling comes when you write well and truly of something and know impersonally you have written it that way and those who are paid to read it and report on it do not like the subject so they say it is all a fake, yet you know its value absolutely ..."

      Like many American intellectuals, Mr. Hemingway offered some degree of support to Left-Wing movements during the Nineteen Thirties. In at least one of his books, "To Have and Have Not" (1937)--his only full-length novel with an American setting--one critic found he had spoken favorably of "social consciousness," and to another he had sounded "vaguely Socialist."

      Action and Tragedy

      But more readers will remember the work as a tale of action and tragedy in the Florida Keys. They will recall not so much the social aspects of Harry Morgan's career, but probably the remarkable love affair between the doomed boatman and his slatternly wife. Mr. Hemingway might stir the "social consciousness" of individual readers; but if so, he did it by exact characterization, never by didactics.

      Nor had Mr. Hemingway ever joined the cafè-sitters, who cheered on the progress of the Left. In 1936, with characteristic directness, he went to Spain. He covered the war for the North American Newspaper Alliance. And in 1940 his novel of the Spanish Civil War, "For Whom the Bell Tolls," showed both that his own deepest sympathies were with the Loyalists, and that he was agonizingly aware of the destructive effect upon their cause of the Communist commissars.

      Indeed, the novel was in the broadest sense a lament for everyone involved in the conflict. Its striking title came from John Donne, who had reminded that no man is an island, and had written (in his seventeenth "Devotion"):

      "... never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

      In the year World War II broke out, Mr. Hemingway took up residence in Cuba. But soon he was back in action in Europe, resuming the combat correspondence he had begun in Spain.

      Mr. Hemingway was with the first of the Allied armed forces to enter Paris, where, as he put it, he "liberated the Ritz" Hotel. Later he was with the Fourth United States Infantry Division in an assault in the Huertgen Forest. The Bronze Star was awarded to him for his semi-military services in this action.

      In 1950, "Across the River and Into the Trees"--the story of a frustrated and generally "beat up" United States infantry colonel who goes to Venice to philosophize, make love and die--disappointed critics. It touched off "Across the Street and Into the Grill," by E.B. White in The New Yorker. This was probably the supreme parody of Hemingway.

      In 1950, The New Yorker also published a multi-part profile of Mr. Hemingway by Lillian Ross, who had spent several days with him in New York. It was a brilliant but savage series; it stirred much controversy and appears to have made more friends for Mr. Hemingway than for Miss Ross. But the most impressive riposte came from the novelist himself. When the profile was published in hard covers, Mr. Hemingway in The New York Herald Tribune listed it among the three books he had found most interesting that year.

      "The Old Man and the Sea," two years later, pleased virtually everyone. It relied on the elemental drama of a fisherman who catches the greatest marlin of his life--only to have it eaten to the skeleton by sharks before he can get it to port.

      Hurt in Air Crash

      The 1954 Nobel Prize citation from the Swedish Academy said in part:

      "For his powerful, style-forming mastery of the art of modern narration, as most recently evinced in 'The Old Man and the Sea.'"

      On Jan. 23, 1954, the writer and the fourth Mrs. Hemingway, the former Mary Welsh (whom he called Miss Mary) figured in a double crash in Uganda, British East Africa. First reports said both had been killed.

      Actually, after one light plane crashed, a second had picked up the couple unhurt. Both Mr. Hemingway and his wife suffered injuries in the crack-up of the rescue plane; and a friend who visited them in Havana soon after found that the novelist's injuries had been more severe than was generally supposed.

      Mr. Hemingway's other published writings include "Three Stories and Ten Poems," 1923; "In Our Time," 1925; "The Torrents of Spring," 1926; "Men Without Women," 1927, and "The Fifth Column and First-Forty-nine Stories," in 1938.

      Mr. Hemingway earned millions of dollars from his work; for one thing, a great many of his stories and novels were adapted to the screen and television. These included "The Killers," an early gangster story, celebrated for its dialogue; "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" and "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber," both set in East Africa; "The Sun Also Rises," "A Farewell to Arms," "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and "The Old Man and the Sea."

      Mr. Hemingway's first wife was a boyhood sweetheart, the former Hadley Richardson, whom he married in 1919. She accompanied him on one of his early trips to Paris. They were divorced in 1926.

      The next year Mr. Hemingway married Pauline Pfeiffer. This marriage was terminated by divorce in 1940 and in that year Mr. Hemingway married a novelist, Martha Gellhorn. After their divorce Mr. Hemingway married Miss Welsh.

      A son, John, was born to Mr. Hemingway and his first wife. Two other sons, Patrick and Gregory, were born to the author and his second wife.

        Although poor vision kept Ernest Hemingway out of the military in World War I, he served as a Red Cross ambulance driver in Italy. Following the war, he worked for the Toronto Star as a correspondent in Paris. In 1923, he went to Spain, and became fascinated with bullfighting. Before the end of the decade, he wrote In Our Time, The Sun Also Rises, and Men Without Women. Hemingway returned to Spain in 1937, becoming allied with the Loyalists against Franco. The experiences led to For Whom the Bell Tolls. He covered the Sino-Japanese War in 1941, covered World War II from England, and was in France following the Allied invasion. Hemingway moved to Cuba after World War II. He wrote The Old Man and Sea in 1952, which won him the Pulitzer Prize. He won the Nobel Prize in 1954.

        A Hemingway Story, and Just as Fictional

          <nyt_byline version="1.0" type="books">


          Farewell to Arms,'' Ernest Hemingway's masterpiece about a doomed World War I romance, is one of American literature's most enduring classics. Since it was first published in 1929, it has sold steadily, even during the 60's, after the author's death, when his literary fascination with violence caused his other works' popularity to drop.

          Scholars have long known that the novel was based in part on Hemingway's romance with Agnes von Kurowsky, a pretty, coquettish American nurse whom he met after being wounded on the Italian front while working as a volunteer for the American Red Cross. At 26, von Kurowsky was seven years older than Hemingway. Still, Hemingway had hoped to marry her. He was devastated when she rejected him after the war, addressing him as ''kid'' in a Dear John letter and saying she was fond of him ''more as a mother than a sweetheart.''

          The effect of the relationship on Hemingway's life and career has intrigued scholars for years. The details of the wartime romance, however, remain obscured, primarily by the differing accounts of the two lovers. In later years, von Kurowsky insisted it had been an innocent flirtation, while Hemingway maintained they'd had a sexual affair.

          Now a new movie, ''In Love and War,'' which opened on Friday, claims to reveal the true story. This $40 million soap opera is not likely to resolve the mystery, but it does prove that the Hemingway myth is alive and well. Directed by Richard Attenborough and starring Chris O'Donnell as Hemingway and Sandra Bullock as von Kurowsky, it's based on the nurse's World War I diary and letters, extraordinary documents that came into the film maker's hands by a turn of fate.

          The fact that the movie got made at all is due to the producer Dimitri Villard's father, Henry Serrano Villard, who befriended Hemingway and von Kurowsky during World War I. Like Hemingway, Villard was a volunteer for the Red Cross ambulance service and he was treated for hepatitis at the Milan hospital where von Kurowsky was posted. At the time, his father was unaware of ''Ag and Ernie's'' attachment, says Dimitri Villard, though ''he once saw them holding hands'' in a way that suggested ''Agnes wasn't taking Hemingway's pulse.''

          Villard lost touch with the couple after the war. Then, in 1961, soon after Hemingway's suicide, Carlos Baker, the writer's biographer, contacted Villard and gave him von Kurowsky's address. He corresponded with the former nurse, who was now married and living in Key West, Fla., where Hemingway also had lived.

          Later, at von Kurowsky's urging, Villard used his influence as a former American ambassador (to Libya, Senegal and Mauritania) to win permission for her to buried at the National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. After her death at 92 in 1984, her husband, in gratitude, sent her diary and letters to Villard ''out of the blue one day,'' says his son.

          Henry S. Villard (who died last year) and James Nagel, a Hemingway expert who teaches literature at the University of Georgia, published the material in a 1989 book, ''Hemingway in Love and War.'' In a pain stakingly-researched essay, Nagel wrote that von Kurowsky returned home a virgin. But in the film, the couple consummate their affair at a flophouse on the Italian front. As they undress and fall into an embrace, a dreamy Italian melody wafts through the open window mixed with chatter of prostitutes. ''Oh, Aggie, it wasn't supposed to be like this. We were going to be in the most beautiful place on God's earth,'' says Mr. O'Donnell's character. ''Never mind . . . close your eyes,'' his nurse whispers back.

          This sentimental scene has no basis in fact, though Dimitri Villard says it's in the ''spirit'' of the truth; he is convinced that the couple consummated their love. ''Agnes's letters are so passionate it's hard to believe there wasn't a relationship between the two,'' he says.

          ''Kid, my kid,'' von Kurowsky wrote Hemingway on Sept. 25, 1918. ''I've just been in your room, and talk about chairs that whisper! That whole room haunted me so that I could not stay in it.'' And on Oct. 17, she wrote, ''I guess every girl likes to have some man tell her . . . he can't do without her. Anyway, I am but human, and when you say these things I love it and can't help but believe you so don't be afraid I'll get tired of you. I haven't really started to worry yet over your forgetting to love me as you do now.''

          But these musings -- written after the two were separated first by a trip he took to Stresa, then by her transfer to a hospital in Florence -- are in sharp contrast to the tart entries in her diary written not long before.

          ''Now Ernest Hemingway has a crush on me or thinks he has,'' she wrote on Aug. 25. And in other typical passages, she wrote, ''Ernest Hemingway . . . is far too fond of me and speaks in such a desperate way every time I am cool, that I dare not damper his ardor as long as he is here in the hospital. Poor kid, I am sorry for him.''

          Still, the idea of a torrid affair between the teen-ager from Oak Park, Ill., and the shapely auburn-haired nurse, fits the myth of Hemingway as an icon of male prowess -- hunter, drinker, fighter, writer and lover. Perhaps that's why the myth of the affair persists in the mostly male world of Hemingway scholarship, and why it has led to some outlandish speculation. In his 1987 biography, ''Hemingway,'' Kenneth S. Lynn, then a professor at Johns Hopkins University, described in detail the couple's lovemaking, even the position they preferred.

          The known facts, however, suggest that the romance was entirely innocent. Indeed, the only evidence of their possible intimacy was von Kurowsky's hairpin, which was found by another nurse under Hemingway's pillow. And, of course, the writer's own boasting in letters to friends. But, as Mr. Nagel points out about Hemingway's correspondence, ''there's a long series of letters during this period that we know to be phony,'' in the sense that Hemingway bragged or embellished the truth. One letter, for instance, announced his engagement to Mae Marsh, the once-celebrated but now-forgotten silent film star.

          Von Kurowsky herself denied having slept with Hemingway. ''Let's get it straight -- please,'' she told Henry S. Villard, ''I wasn't that kind of girl.''

          But in fact what happened is less important than the emotional aftermath of the experience for Hemingway -- the effect it had on his relationships with women and the portrayal of women in his fiction.

          The film's love scenes may not be historically accurate, but they capture what Mr. Attenborough says is a mood of emotional intensity, and this is ''the heart of the matter.''

          ''Do you think if they'd gotten married and had children that he would have been the same writer?'' Mr. Attenborough asks. ''Do you think the anger and frustration and humiliation he suffered in his belly for so many years in regard to being turned down, which drove him and fired him, would still be there?''

          Perhaps not. It's clear Hemingway continued throughout his life to draw on von Kurowsky in creating his heroines. The book von Kurowsky is best known for inspiring is ''A Farewell to Arms.'' As anyone who has taken a college literature course (or seen the 1932 movie starring Gary Cooper and Helen Hayes, or the less interesting 1957 movie with Rock Hudson and Jennifer Jones) knows, it tells the tragic love story of Catherine Barkley, an alluring British nurse, and Frederic Henry, an American lieutenant in the Italian Army, who deserts his unit. The war setting and the lovers' occupations draw on Hemingway's experience but there are vast differences between real life and the novel. Among other things, Catherine dies after giving birth to a stillborn son.

          Before making the movie, Mr. Attenborough asked Mr. O'Donnell and Ms. Bullock not to read ''A Farewell to Arms'' because he didn't want their portrayals to be influenced by Hemingway's fictional characters. Von Kurowsky's diary reveals her to be stalwart, somewhat insensitive and emotionally reserved. In contrast, Catherine Barkley, like most of Hemingway's heroines, is romantic and wounded, damaged by life in some fundamental way and desperate to escape her unhappy past through love. In this sense, she more closely resembles Hemingway's first two wives, the sensitive Hadley Richardson and the passionate Pauline Pfeiffer. (He wrote the book while married to Pfeiffer.)

          Still, von Kurowsky was Hemingway's first love and her rejection triggered his literary preoccupation with romantic loss. In book after book and story after story, lovers are separated by misunderstandings, cooled passions, insanity and death.

          Or, as in ''In Love and War,'' they're parted forever by pride. ''There's still a part of me that wants to take you in my arms . . . but I've changed . . . it wouldn't work,'' Hemingway tells von Kurowsky when she tracks him down at his parents' cottage in Michigan at the end of Mr. Attenborough's movie. In truth, the couple never saw each other after they left Italy in 1918.

          ''In a movie you have to make compromises,'' says Mr. Nagel, who was a consultant on the screenplay. ''When they called me and said, 'We think we have to bring them together again,' it made sense to me. It's unsatisfactory for them not to see each other again, for the romance to simply fritter away.''

          Gioia Diliberto is the author of ''Hadley,'' a biography of Hadley Richardson, Ernest Hemingway's first wife.

          At least, he adds, ''they didn't make it a happy ending.''

          Ernest Hemingway and Agnes von Kurowsky

            Agnes Hannah von Kurowsky was a tall dark haired girl from Washington D.C. She was a dutiful daughter and for two years stayed home and nursed her ailing widower father.   When he died in 1910 she took a job at the Washington Public Library but soon became bored and applied to become a nurse at Bellevue Hospital. She was accepted.   Agnes was kind, generous and bright, full of energy, and fond of people, she made an excellent nurse.   With America's entry into World War One in 1917 she applied to join the Red Cross Nursing Service, and in late June 1918 sailed for Europe. After some additional training in France, Agnes and her companions were sent by train to Northern Italy where they were dispersed to various hospitals.   Agnes was assigned to the Ospedale Croce Rossa Americana, at 10 Via Alessandro, Manzoni, Milano. She soon settled into the beautiful old hospital - which had once been a large family home at the time of Garibaldi's uprising - with its ivy covered stone walls and big oak doors. It was just a short walk from La Scala.


            Her efficiency, knowledge, and sheer hard work soon earned her the respect of the other nurses - especially Elsie Macdonald, who became a close and firm friend - and the Italian doctors, who all wanted to marry her. Agnes loved being on night duty, there was something about the quiet, that feeling of solitude, and the pool of light around her desk in the hallway, and that overriding feeling of peace when she looked in on the young men sleeping away their fears, and their nightmares.   When the casualties had first come in during those late summer campaigns in the foothills of the Dolomites Agnes had been appalled at the horrifying wounds, but soon got used to them and knew she had to show confidence and a total disregard for the seriousness of the injuries. If she was calm so too the patients.   And it wasn't just battlefield injuries. During that hot summer of 1918, with men living in the filth of the trenches, eating bad food, and drinking bad water, disease was rife.   It had been that way for Henry Villard, an ambulance driver based at Bassano - close to the front line that stretched between Vicenza and Trento - who was brought in with a very bad case of jaundice and malaria. Agnes welcomed the young man - who, for the most part was delirious and continually retching from a dry nausea - with a kiss to the forehead, and a:   "Hello, Henry my dear."   She then gave him a hot bath to wash away the filth of the battlefield and the train journey, fed him a spoonful of castor oil, followed by an eggnog, and put him into a bed of crisp clean sheets where he slept solidly for twelve hours. There was little more - in those days before antibiotics - that even a doctor could have done for him. In later life all Henry Villard could remember of his stay in the Milan hospital was Agnes von Kurowsky, his darling 'angel of Milano'.   It would be the same, only more so, for Ernest Hemingway.  
            " Ernesto? Ernesto? "   The 19 year old Ernest Hemingway could hear his name being called. It seemed very distant and his head and legs hurt dreadfully. He didn't know who was calling, it sounded like his father, but he wouldn't call him 'Ernesto', surely?   After the journey by ambulance - his own ambulance - to the military hospital in Treviso he was given morphine and anti-tetanus injections - and the last rites by a mouldy old priest - before the young and very efficient Italian army doctor carefully removed twenty eight pieces of shrapnel and two machine bullets from the young Hemingway's feet and legs. The train journey to the large hospital in Milan, where Hemingway was to have major surgery, was long and hot and the 19 year old soon fell into a deep sleep.  

              " Mr Hemingway?"   " Hmm?"   " Mr Hemingway, are you awake ?"   " Yes."   " Good. My name is Agnes von Kurowsky, I'm a nurse. You can call me 'Von' if you like? And this is Captain Sammarelli, he is to operate on you."   " Ernesto, you don't mind that I call you Ernesto?"   " Call me what you like, Captain. Hello, Von, you can call me Ernie."   " No, you are too young to be called Ernie. I shall call you Mr Kid."   " In that case I shall call you Mrs Kid. Okay?"   " Okay, Mr Kid."   " Okay, Ernesto?"   " Okay, Captain. Do a good job, I'm going to marry Von, and I shall need both my legs."   The young Ernest Hemingway had been delivering chocolate and mail to front line Italian troops close to the Dolomites, when, as Hemingway biographer, Carlos Baker, describes it, one of the: "...Austrian Minenwerfer crews sent another of their projectiles hurtling across the river. It was about the size of a five gallon tin... The canister was filled with steel rod fragments and miscellaneous metal junk. It was designed to explode on contact, scattering its contents at ground level. They all heard it coming - the far cough as it left the muzzle, and the strange 'chuh-chuh-chuh' sound as it arched and descended."

            'Then', as Hemingway later described it, 'there was a flash, as when a blast-furnace door is swung open, and a roar that started white and went red...'   Hemingway was badly injured by the blast, and then shot by Austrian machine-gunners as he dragged a wounded Italian soldier to safety.  

              Agnes first came to Ernest's bed during a violent thunder storm. He'd asked her again and again, told her how much he loved her, and she knew he did, but wasn't sure why, she loved him she knew that. But did she want to make love, was it right to make love to this young boy? She asked God what he thought, and apart from several loud claps of thunder and a violent gust of wind that blew the heavy oak front door open he said nothing.   Agnes re-locked the door, checked her other patients, and with a bottle of red wine taken from the cellar she went to Ernest's room, poured them each a glass of wine, removed her clothes and, shivering, slid into his bed.   "Oh, Von, Mrs Kid, darling."   " Mr Kid, touch me, here. Slowly, gently."   Ernest and Agnes made love most nights after that first time, and for both of them it became their whole focus, and with the ease and utter joy of their physicality came the desire to be with each other all the time. And as Ernest's wounds healed and he began to walk again, he and Agnes explored old Milan, drank Campari outside small cafes, and sat in the park listening to a brass band of excruciating badness. They even went to the opera and applauded each aria as the locals did.  
              Agnes also noticed a growing confidence in Ernest, a confidence that often showed itself in a self important and often cynical attitude toward others that made him sound less caring, less generous than she knew him to be. It was something Agnes didn't like very much. And then Ernest said he had been thinking about going home to Oak Park, that his father and mother were worried about him, and Agnes said he must go, and that she too was leaving Milan, had been transferred to Treviso where an epidemic of dysentery had broken out amongst newly arrived American troops.   And it was that night that Agnes told Ernest she was pregnant. How could he leave now, leave her alone and pregnant?   "But you must, Mr Kid, I shall be okay, you'll see, and we'll see each other again soon." Or something like that.   And Ernest did leave, sailing to New York on the 'Giuseppe Verdi'.   When he landed, and limped down the gangplank he found himself something of a hero. He enjoyed that, enjoyed the newspaper interviews, and the photographs, and how women were attracted to him.   Hemingway never saw Agnes Hannah von Kurowsky again. He had a letter from her some years later congratulating him on his marriage to Hadley, and how proud she was to have known Mr Kid. There was no mention in the letter of a child. Hemingway had contacted Elsie Macdonald soon after leaving Italy, asking her to keep him informed about Agnes, but he heard nothing.   He remembered once, how he'd sat talking to a young American soldier in a bar in Paris - a few days before he sailed to New York - and discovered that the soldier had been at Treviso and saw someone who resembled Hemingway's description of Agnes fall down a flight of stairs in the hospital.   " Was she okay, soldier?"   " Sure. Got straight up as if nothing had happened."   " Good."   The young soldier then told Hemingway how he'd seen the woman who looked like Agnes kissing a young American Major. That remark earned the young soldier a smack on the jaw that sent him crashing into the next table.  
            Ernest Back Home in Oak Park