6 months ago
The world has come to know Ernest Hemingway not only for his brilliance on the page, but his hard-living off of it.
Between 1954, when he won the Nobel Prize for literature, and 1961, the author was in bad shape, hardly able to write, per Smithsonian magazine. In July of ’61, the For Whom the Bell Tolls committed suicide.
In a new book, Hemingway’s Brain, psychiatrist Andrew Farah argues that those two plane crashes—along with other injuries and head traumas the author sustained throughout his life—led him to suffer from CTE (the same brain malady making headlines in the NFL). “These repeated concussive blows did cumulative damage, so that by the time he was 50 his very brain cells were irreparably changed and their premature decline now programmed into his genetics,” notes Farah in the book.
Watch a rare interview with Hemingway below, where he explains why he wasn’t able to be there to accept his Nobel Prize for literature.