Karsh, Hemingway, Handbag

The cover of the December 5th, 2011 issue of The New Yorker features a bookstore selling more merchandise than books. Notice on the left a row of handbags, one of which is the Yousuf Karsh portrait of Ernest Hemingway. Much purloined over the years, he's been discovered on bottles of rum, T shirts, restaurant menus, and even iPad apps. Long live Ernest Hemingway.

"I expected to meet in the author a composite of the heroes of his novels. Instead, in 1957, at his home Finca Vigía, near Havana, I found a man of peculiar gentleness, the shyest man I ever photographed - a man cruelly battered by life, but seemingly invincible. He was still suffering from the effects of a plane accident that occurred during his fourth safari to Africa. I had gone the evening before to La Floridita, Hemingway's favorite bar, to do my "homework" and sample his favorite concoction, the daiquiri. But one can be overprepared! When, at nine the next morning, Hemingway called from the kitchen, "What will you have to drink?" my reply was, I thought, letter-perfect: "Daiquiri, sir." "Good God, Karsh," Hemingway remonstrated, "at this hour of the day!""

Recent Entries