Hemingway fought in Italy in WWI, that is well know, what we didn’t know is that his first ever work was written while sojourning in Taormina.
Hemingway was inspired by Taormina
Gaetano Saglimbeni, Italian journalist and writer from Taormina embarked on a long research in London and stumbled upon the discovery of a lifetime.
Ernest Hemingway took part in the First World War as a journalist, soldier and volunteer for the Red Cross. At 19, while stationed in Southern Italy he was wounded while rescuing an Italian soldier and as a result spent many months in Taormina convalescing. According to sources, the young Hemingway stayed at Count Bronte’s villa in Taormina while recovering, and here is where he was first inspired to write a short story.
Hemingway’s sojourn in Italy and his romance with American nurse Agnes von Kurowsky, inspired one of his most famous novels, A Farewell to Arms, yet it seems that Italy was not only the backdrop to this literary romance, it was also where his love of writing first ensued.
Back to Saglimbeni. While researching Hemingway’s first works, he stumbled across The Mercenaries, a collection of short stories published posthumously in 1987. Amongst this collection of short stories, five previously unpublished, one in particular stands out.
Set in Taormina, and revolving around love, food, wine and a duel set in the garden of a restaurant, this previously neglected novella is sure to kindle some interest, especially form Italians. Unfortunately, as of yet, these The Mercenaries, is not available in Italian.
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