Ernest Hemingway and T.S. Eliot: A Tangled Relationship


This essay proposes that although Hemingway would never acknowledge it, T.S. Eliot was an important early "mentor"—one Hemingway could not put aside. Ezra Pound's greatest service to Hemingway may have been directing him to Eliot's poetry just when The Waste Land made Eliot the dominant poet of Literary Modernism. The two writers never met, but Hemingway nevertheless continued to read, to ponder, and to remember Eliot's poetry and his criticism. Despite his habit of mocking Eliot in print, Hemingway was in fact the poet's irreverent disciple.