When Ernest Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald met in Paris, at Le Dingo Bar on the rue Delambre in April 1925, Hemingway was disconcerted to be asked: "Did you have sex with your wife before you were married, Ernest?" They became friends, however. Their most intimate conversation (as reported by Hemingway) was also about wives. One evening, Scott Fitzgerald confessed to his friend that his wife, Zelda, had told him his penis was unusually small, and that he could never satisfy any woman. Hemingway said it was just typical of Zelda's undermining ways, but Scott wasn't reassured. So Hemingway asked him to come to the lavatory, where he inspected his friend's lance of manhood. Back in the bar, he explained:Oh, I think it's artistic as hell.
"You're perfectly fine," I said. "You're okay. There's nothing wrong with you. You look at yourself from above and you look foreshortened. Go over to the Louvre and look at the people in the statues and then go home and look at yourself in the mirror in profile." Now there was an act of friendship between creative giants, if not an especially artistic conversation.
April 29, 2010
"Meetings between great men don't always result in elevated colloquies; sometimes they tend towards the crudely basic."