Esteemed author Ernest Hemingway produced several masterpieces during his lifetime, but his suicide note was not one of them, a new study from university scholars argues.
“He didn’t quite capture it,” one scholar said. “He kind of lost me after the first few paragraphs. I mean, we get it, you’re going to kill yourself. But so many people have done that. What makes your story unique?”
The study said that suicide notes are “all about expressing how you felt in those moments before you pull the trigger and end it, and all about answering the unanswered questions.” But Hemingway’s note followed his typical “iceberg” playbook where things are alluded to instead of spelled out.
The note, presumably written in the early hours of July 2, 1961, failed to unravel all the mysteries that Hemingway had built around himself.
“Hemingway was always like that, using understatement and relying on what’s not said to get his points across in his stories,” another scholar said. “But god damn it, can’t you just give us some of the juicy details straight away? What’s going on in your mind? What stories are you thinking about? Which characters are real and which are fake? Did you really get your penis shot off in the war or are you just gay? These are the things we wanted to know.”
Asked whether Hemingway was being held to a higher standard, the scholar said “probably.”
“When you hear that one of the best writers of all time killed himself, you start thinking, ‘Man, he must have really written something good just before. Like, maybe he killed himself because he thought he would never write anything better.'”
“But unfortunately it just didn’t live up to the hype and honestly, it was just a little disappointing and not what we were expecting as a final act.”
The report added that artists who plan on killing themselves should put more thought into their notes and farewells if they truly want to go down as one of the greatest.
“It’s your final sign off,” the scholar said. “It needs to be taken more seriously. Sure, Hemingway was great, but if you score 50 points and miss the final shot, does it even matter?”