Ernest Hemingway, the Ospedale Maggiore and Milan: Experience and Myth-making

Author/s Bruno Cartosio
Publishing Year 2022 Issue 2022/2 Language Italian
Pages 12 P. 109-120 File size 290 KB
DOI 10.3280/SIL2022-002005
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Ernest Hemingway’s war experience on the Italian front during the First World War is well known. He was seriously wounded in early July 1918 at Fossalta di Piave, while doing volun- tary service in the American Red Cross. He was hospitalized in Milan, underwent a surgery in his right leg and knee and during his recovery - besides falling in love with his nurse - he did rehab exercises at the Ospedale Maggiore. Of his 227 wounds he wrote in a letter to his family on the day he turned nineteen, while laying in bed in the American Red Cross hospital. In this essay the author puts Hemingway’s surgery in the context of the milanese health system of the period, deals with the major events of what the future novelist defined his «lovely summer» of 1918 in Milan, and - briefly - with how he would transfer mythopoetically in his novels and short stories parts of his own and other people’s war experiences. As an example of Heming- way’s budding narrative strategies, a final paragraph in the essay is devoted to his very first public, autobiographical narration - the speech he delivered in the high school of his hometown Oak Park, Illinois, in April 1919, less than three months after his return to America.

Keywords: Ernest Hemingway, American Red Cross, Milan Ospedale Maggiore (main), World War I.

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Bruno Cartosio, Hemingway, l’Ospedale Maggiore e Milano: esperienza e mitopoiesi in "STORIA IN LOMBARDIA" 2/2022, pp 109-120, DOI: 10.3280/SIL2022-002005