As Mary V. Dearborn tells it in her new biography of Hemingway, the affair with Pfeiffer was no casual thing. Hemingway’s gotten a reputation as a womanizer because it seems to fit the image of him as a macho, swaggering, marlin-catching, rhino-shooting man’s man. In fact, Hemingway was tortured by his love for Pauline, and wanted desperately to figure things out. Not that he had a mature way of working through it: when his wife Hadley confronted him about it, he flew into a rage, blaming her for even bringing it up.
Today being Hemingway’s birthday, I’ve been reading Dearborn’s book and found the events around the time of the writing and publication of The Sun Also Rises ripe for a graphic interpretation. I don’t know if Hemingway liked comics, but fans can consider this a posthumous birthday gift for Papa, who was born today in 1899.