How do you like it now, gentlemen?

“Hemingway went back to the bookcase and stood there stiffly, as though he could not decide what to do with himself. He looked at the pasteboard backs again and said, ‘Phony, just like the town.’ I said that there was a tremendous amount of talk about him these days in literary circles—that the critics seemed to be talking and writing definitively not only about the work he had done but about the work he was going to do. He said that of all the people he did not wish to see in New York, the people he wished least to see were the critics. ‘They are like those people who go to ball games and can’t tell the players without a score card,’ he said. ‘I am not worried about what anybody I do not like might do. What the hell! If they can do you harm, let them do it. It is like being a third baseman and protesting because they hit line drives to you. Line drives are regrettable, but to be expected.’ The closest competitors of the critics among those he wished least to see, he said, were certain writers who wrote books about the war when they had not seen anything of war at first hand. ‘They are just like an outfielder who will drop a fly on you when you have pitched to have the batter hit a high fly to that outfielder, or when they’re pitching they try to strike everybody out.’ When he pitched, he said, he never struck out anybody, except under extreme necessity. ‘I knew I had only so many fast balls in that arm,’ he said. ‘Would make them pop to short instead, or fly out, or hit it on the ground, bouncing.’”
—”The Moods of Ernest Hemingway,” Lillian Ross

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