the commuter's eye

fbi’s surveillance on hemingway

Posted in customs, borders and other habits, mindscapes, odd around the world by martzipan on July 3, 2011

following his involvement in intelligence activities for us gov while in cuba

according to some of the latest news (here), the circumstances surrounding hemingway’s suicide could be related with the bureau’s surveillance, as the writer himself seem to have said on several occasions (here).

whether this was the case or not, we probably won’t find out anyway soon. still, those who are curious to discover more about the author’s relationship with the governmental agency can find an interesting reading in his file, which was declassified in the ’80s and can be accessed or downloaded directly from the fbi’s web site:

the hundred-and-twenty-something pages (of which more than a dozen are blacked) consist of several reports, memos and notes in a blatantly arid informant style. however, the following phrases written on june, 13th, 1943 by a mr. c. h. carson (honestly, i couldn’t figure out from the collection of documents who this guy actually was) got all my attention, as they made me wonder what exactly did (at least some of) the federal agents think about the writer:

«a clique of celebrity-minded hero worshippers surround hemingway wherever he goes, numbering such persons as […]. to them, hemingway is a man of genius whose fame will be remembered with tolstoy.»