Sunday, September 09, 2012

Old Hem snippet - he was terribly clumsy

One biography on Hemingway by Jeffrey Meyers has an appendix which covers all accidents and illnesses. It is quite a read:

Childhood - falls with stick in throat, gouges tonsils; catches fishhook in back
1916 - 17: boxing injuries; football injuries
Spring 1918: fist through glass show-case
July 8, 1918: concussed and wounded by trench mortar and machine gun
June 1920: cuts feet walking on glass
July 1920: falls on boat cleat, internal hemorrhage
April 1922: burns from hot-water heater
Sept 1925: tears ligament in right foot
Dec 1927: son cuts pupil of good right eye 
Mar 1928: pulls skylight on forehead, needs stitches
Oct 1929: tears muscle in groin
May 1930: cuts right index finger on punching bag
Aug 1930: lacerations from bolting horse
Nov 1930: breaks right arm in car accident
Apr 1935: shoots himself in legs while gaffing* shark
Feb 1936: breaks big toe kicking locked gate
?1937-38: dropkicks foot through mirror
Aug 1938: scratches pupil of bad left eye
May 1944: second concussion when car strikes water tank in blackout
Aug 1944: third concussion jumping from motorcycle into ditch; suffers double vision and impotence
June 1945: car overturns; head goes into mirror, knee injured
Sept 1949: clawed while playing with lion**
July 1950: fourth concussion; gashes head while falling on boat
Oct 1953: cuts face, sprains shoulder falling out of car
Jan 1954: two plane crashes in Africa; fifth concussion, fractured skull, internal bleeding, paralysed sphincter muscle, two cracked spine discs, ruptured liver, right kidney and spleen, dislocated right arm and shoulder, first degree burns
Jan 1954: severe burns fighting fire
Oct 1958: sprains ankle, tears heel ligaments climbing fence
July 1959: car goes off road

Infancy: left eye defective from birth, mysterious minor operation

Oct 1918: jaundice
Early 1919: tonsils removed, operation of injured leg
1920s: appendicitis operation
Oct 1922: malaria
June 1927: anthrax in cut foot
Sept 1927: swollen, itchy hands and feet
Dec 1927: grippe, hemorrhoids, toothache
Oct 1929: kidney troubles from cold stream
Summer 1931: eye trouble, needs glasses
April 1932: bronchial penumonia
Oct 1933: throat operation
circa Jan 1934: amoebic dysentery; prolapsed large intestine***
1934: blood poisoning in right index finger
Jan 1935: recurrence of dysentery
Dec 1938: severe liver complaint
Dec 1944: pneumonia, coughs up blood
Aug 1947: hypertension
Dec 1948: ringing in ears
Mar 1949: erysipelas, hospitalised in Padua
Feb 1950: skin infection
Sept 1950: ?skin cancer from sun at sea
May 1950: leg pains from encysted shell fragments
Aug 1953: second dysentery
Jan 1955: rash on face and chest
Nov 1955: nephritis, hepatitis, anaemia, swollen right foot, 40 days in bed w hepatitis
Nov 1956: hypertension, high cholesterol, arteriosclerosis; strict diet, not alcohol or sex
July 1959 - July 1961: skin rash, alcoholism, eye troubles, diabetes, suspected haemochromatosis, nephritis, hepatitis, hypertension, impotence, mental break-down, electroconvulsive therapy, loss of weight, loss of memory, severe depression

* gaffing: seizing or impaling with a gaffe

** as you would expect

*** from p263 of Meyers's book: 'His large intestine became infected and swollen [amoebic dysentery which he'd contracted on voyage to Africa] and three inches of it dropped out of his body. "He was passing nearly a quart of blood daily." ... He soon had 150 bowel movements a day and a prolapsed intestine that he had to wash with soap and water, and put back into his body.'

[Source: Hemingway, A Biography by Jeffrey Meyers 1985]


elaine said...

poor old Hemmingway.

At least he had a good run with food. Speaking of which (how's that for a forced segue??!), have you seen paper and salt? It's a literary food blog - love!

Melba said...

Oh that's pretty cool. I don't remember reading anything about trout in bacon. Thanks

elaine said...

all that bacon grease may have contributed to a 1960's cardiac arrest had he made it further than 1961. Poor chap.

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