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The Short Happy Life: 1953

The Short Happy Life: 1953

February 1953. "Ernest and Mary Hemingway in Land Rover during safari in Kenya." Color transparency by Earl Theisen. Look magazine archive, Library of Congress. View full size.

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One comma

We had to read this for a lit class in college. The prof showed how a single comma changed the meaning of the whole story.


I agree with Manmade; not a fan. But I went on to read the short story "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber"; excellent. And then this picture meant so much more.

The Real Conveyance

Papa and his wife are being driven around in a proper Land Rover, the choice of adventurers throughout Africa and nothing like the Bougie-mobiles of the present day, which dishonor the marque.

"Short Happy Life" indeed

I have to wonder whether Earl Theisen was familiar with Hemingway's 1936 story "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber," which ends on safari with a wife shooting her husband in the head with a rifle -- maybe an accident, maybe not.

The most dangerous game.

Are you ready Mary? I'll give you a thirty minute head start.


Hemingway was a drunk, a wifebeater and at best a lazy marginally talented author. Never understood the fascination with a guy who spent WW II getting drunk in Paris AFTER the real men liberated it and bloviating about his imaginary courage. I'll take Faulkner every time.

Rimfire on safari?

Papa looks to be holding a Winchester Model 62. Seems like an odd choice for a safari, but maybe he's looking for small game as well.

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