Ernest Hemingway Talks About Internet Reviewers And More
“Writers cannot go to heaven or hell because their souls and minds are in both places.” — Michael John Sullivan
Ernest Hemingway is one of the writers I grew to appreciate as I got older. I also thought he would have uttered the above quote which I used in one of my own novels. It seems to fit Papa well. There’s no doubt Hemingway was an interesting character in his own right as he forged an incredible writing career. I often wonder what he would think of today’s authors and writers, the publishing world, and the internet and social media.
I summoned the power of my mind to reach Hemingway on the other side and conducted the following interview:
Hemingway: It’s Mr. Hemingway.
Sullivan: Sorry. Mr. Hemingway. You struggled mightily in life with the profession of writing. Do you find the other side comforting?
Hemingway: What kind of a question is that?
Sullivan: I thought it was an interesting one.
Hemingway: Sir, I am a writer. I still bleed. There is no comforting side for me. Are you not a writer?
Sullivan: I am.
Hemingway: You bleed, sir, like me. Next question.
Sullivan: Are you still writing?
Hemingway: While I am not typing my great work on paper, my soul toils away with endless descriptions of the feelings I have. It is painful to not dislodge these thoughts without a ribbon and a piece of paper. They swirl around inside my soul with no place to go.
Sullivan: The world of writing has changed quite a bit since you left our world.
Hemingway: I have noticed.
Sullivan: You have?
Hemingway: Writers notice everything. Are you not a writer?
Sullivan: I said I am.
Hemingway: Then you should have never asked me that question. You know the answer.
Sullivan: (Sigh) Sorry.
Hemingway: Stop apologizing. It’s unmanly. Real men stand up to real men. And don’t roll your eyes.
Sullivan: Yes, sir.
Hemingway: What’s your next question? You’re starting to bore me.
Hemingway: Come on, sir. Out with your question!
Sullivan: What excites you about the changes in the publishing world?
Hemingway: Nothing. The publishers are cowards. The writing is awful. This internet has polluted the minds and invited masses of idiots to believe their work is worthy.
Sullivan: The internet has enabled many authors to reach a bigger audience though.
Hemingway: The internet is filled with the mindless and fools. The critics lead the sheep off a cliff and think they resonate with the elite.
Sullivan: Can you give some examples?
Hemingway: Sir, I can give you hundreds of examples. But my time is valuable. Here is one such example. I consider The Old Man and the Sea one of my finest works. Hold on, I’m trying this copy-and-paste exercise for the first time. Damn, I hate this God-forsaken tablet but Fitzgerald insists I catch up to modern times. One second … here goes:
this is one of the worst books i have ever read. if this is one of ernest hemingways best works then i do not wish o read anymore of his books. this book literally had no point.
There it is. Read it. You can laugh too, sir. Look at this dribble. It hurts to see this written.
Sullivan: Negative reviews do hurt. I know the feeling all too well.
Hemingway: I’m not disgusted because the review was negative. Here’s some idiot commenting on a great work of art and there are horrific errors throughout this critique. It had to be written from the mind of a six-year old. It’s all drool. The grammar is atrocious and the punctuation is embarrassing. The critic wishes to engage me in a discussion but I’m convinced a picture book would confuse him.
Sullivan: Do you have any other examples?
Hemingway: The critic doesn’t even spell the word “to” correctly. What critic is given a voice to critique one of my greatest works and can’t spell? Tell me, sir!
Sullivan: Well, it is the internet.
Hemingway: So this internet gives every idiot the right to express an opinion?
Sullivan: It does, Mr. Hemingway.
Hemingway: Let me stay dead then.
Sullivan: Is there anything else that bothers you about the world of publishing as it is today?
Hemingway: There is not enough time for me to list them. This discussion is over.
Sullivan: Why must you leave? I thought you had all the time in the world?
Hemingway: Not for you sir. I am a writer, not a speech giver.
Sullivan: Before you leave, may I ask you one more question?
Hemingway: You may.
Sullivan: Would you read my latest novel, The Greatest Gift? Would you give me your thoughts?
Hemingway: I will not. If I read it and hate it, I’ll let the world know I do.
Sullivan: What if you love it?
Hemingway: I’ll be outraged and tear it apart even more.
Sullivan: How about I send you a link once my blog is posted?
Hemingway: Sir, you can take that link and shove it up …