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Doh! Sorry about that, Hemingway

July 25, 2008 |  4:01 pm


Ernest Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, 109 years ago this week. In 1926, he published his first novel, "The Sun Also Rises."

It was a warm spring night and I sat at a table on the terrace of the Napolitain after Robert had gone, watching it get dark and the electric signs come on, and the red and green stop-and-go-traffic-signal, and the crowd going by, and the horse-cabs clippety-clopping along at the edge of the solid taxi traffic, and the poules going by, singly and in pairs, looking for the evening meal. I watched a good-looking girl walk past the table and watched her go up the street and lost sight of her, and watched another, and then saw the first one coming back again. She went by once more and I caught her eye, and she came over and sat down at the table. The waiter came up.
    "Well, what will you drink?" I asked.
    "That's not good for little girls."
    "Little girl yourself. Dites garçon, un pernod."
    "A pernod for me, too."
    "What's the matter?" she asked. "Going to a party?"

It's not too late to celebrate Papa Hemingway and his work — I understand, not everyone is so inclined — and I bet there's no place swankier than the Bar Hemingway at the Ritz Hotel in Paris. Or if you want to stay in, you could throw yourself a Pernod party.

Or you could go out to a Hemingway bar — there seems to be no end to them. Are there any other authors who've so fully saturated our popular (drinking) culture?

Carolyn Kellogg