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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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On the Web Thu Jul 07 2011

Hotchner on Hemingway's Suicide

Fifty years after Ernest Hemingway's suicide, author and friend AE Hotchner (Papa Hemingway and Hemingway and His World) is suggesting that a contributing factor to the author's death was his knowledge of being watched by J. Edgar Hoover. Previously dismissed as paranoia, Hotchner writes in the New York Times that he "regretfully misjudged" Hemingway's fear of the FBI. Hotchner recounts his final days with his friend in this chilling essay:

This man, who had stood his ground against charging water buffaloes, who had flown missions over Germany, who had refused to accept the prevailing style of writing but, enduring rejection and poverty, had insisted on writing in his own unique way, this man, my deepest friend, was afraid -- afraid that the F.B.I. was after him, that his body was disintegrating, that his friends had turned on him, that living was no longer an option...In the years since, I have tried to reconcile Ernest's fear of the F.B.I., which I regretfully misjudged, with the reality of the F.B.I. file. I now believe he truly sensed the surveillance, and that it substantially contributed to his anguish and his suicide.

I was in Rome the day he died.

 
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