McLain pens a letter to the reader in the paperback version. She writes about her struggle to write her second book and about how she was reading Hemingway's A Moveable Feast, in which he writes of his great love, Hadley, "I wished I had died before I ever loved anyone but her." The line captivated her and led to the story found between the covers of TPW.
Hemingway and Hadley embark on a great journey from Chicago to Paris. They share their journey with an eclectic group of high-living, mad people.
I cannot figure out how to create endnotes in blogger, but want to draw attention to one of my favorite quotes from Jack Kerouac: "the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” Kerouac describes the mad people in the circle of friends associating with Hemingway and Hadley.
One of those persons *SPOILER ALERT* is Pauline. Pauline is the third in the unholy trinity that destroys the Hemingway marriage. Hadley knows about the love between Hemingway and Pauline long before she leaves the marriage. When Hemingway realizes she knows, McLain imagines the conversation is something like this:
Hadley (as she observes Pauline acting more in her stead): Everything's handed over, then.Hemingway: What?Hadley: She can do everything now. She'll take care of you just fine.Hemingway: You're not well. Just get some rest.Hadley: I'm not well, you're right. You're killing me, both of you.Hemingway: This isn't easy for me either.Hadley: I know. We're a sorry, sordid lot, the three of us. If we're not careful, we'll none of us get through it without terrible big chuncks missing.Hemingway: I've thought the same. What do you want? What will help?Hadley: I think it's too late, don't you?Hemingway: I hate to hear you talk this way. It makes me think we've ruined everything.Hadley: We have, Tatie.
And Hadley ruminates: "We were in the death throes, truly, but something made us each go on for weeks afterward, the way the body of an animal goes on moving after its head is gone... and confesses the vileness between Hemingway and herself:
Hadley: She's a whore. And you're selfish and a coward.Hell of a story.
Hemingway: You don't love me. You don't love anything.
Hadley: I hate you both.
Hemingway: What do you want from me?
Hadley: Nothing. I wish you'd die.
Hemingway: The world's gone to hell in every direction.
Hemingway: You make your life with someone and you love that person and you think it's enough. But it's never enough, is it?
Hadley: I couldn't say. I don't know anything about love anymore. I just want to stop feeling for awhile. Can we do that?
Hemingway: That's what the whiskey's for.
Sometimes the raw truth is even more compelling than a fictionalized version (even one as well written as TPW). I watched a couple versions of this video. The serial killer got it right. In a final interview with James Dobson, Ted Bundy talks about his horrifying addiction to pornography and how it led to his compulsive behavior... and the death of more than thirty-five women.
Maybe not every porn addict becomes a serial killer, but pornography is an insidious evil that destroys the ability to share a loving, normal relationship. There's nothing loving or God blessed about piercings and whips and clamps and anal devices - or even in the making of personal pornography. In fact, pornography even changes our brain chemistry. Listen to Bundy. And believe. The man went to his death proclaiming the evil of something he lived for his lifetime.
Dobson's perspective and the transcript of the entire interview are available on Dobson's website: http://www.pureintimacy.org/f/fatal-addiction-ted-bundys-final-interview/.
And you know? We will not ever be able to legislate pornography's death. The only way to effectively rid ourselves of the evil that is pornography is to teach our children something different about sexuality - something about the beauty of sharing yourself with someone who cherishes you.
I believe I have done so.