HEMINGWAY, ERNEST. Typed letter signed ("Ernest" "Ernest Hemingway" in pencil) to Edna Gellhorn ("Dear Mother"), Finca Vigia, San Francisco de Paula, Cuba, 14 January 1944 [the year corrected in ink, probably by Martha Gellhorn -- Hemingway had originally mistyped ["1943"]. 1½ pages, 4to, including a 38-word pencilled holograph closing by Hemingway, single-spaced, on both sides of a Finca Vigia imprinted letterhead, usual fold creases.
"MY ONE AMBITION WAS ALWAYS TO WRITE WELL SO I WOULD NEVER HAVE TO DO JOURNALISM"
"...This is just a note which shall send in and have mailed in Havana. This is my last trip as shall be closeing [sic] up everything and going up North to see if I can get a newspaper job to get across and join Martha [in Euorope]. Since I hate journalism as much as Martha hates to miss excitement and world shakeing [sic] events this is what is known as a compromise I suppose. My one ambition was always to write well so would never have to do journalism; which I hate; to bring up my children well (am now allowed to see them at stated intervals instead) and later to try and make Marty happy and a good writer. It turns out finally that last is the only job I have...When I was dead pooped, really dead worn out, after writing and doing proofs, and re-writing proofs etc. on For Whom [the] Bell Tolls [published October 1940] and needed a long rest at shooting or something in the last of the world there was we had to go to China. In China when I finally got into the middle of my job and was going on some absolutely wonderful military trips in North and places I'd always wanted to go but never would because too far away and you can't go everywhere unless you are a travelling salesman, Marty said, 'Darling if you love me get me out of China.' She couldn't stand China which was dirty principally. So we left China. Now it is this other thing. I think there is more to life than chaseing [sic] ambulances no matter to what nor how great a disaster those ambulances are going. It is infantilism. This is probably because I am very tired from year and a half of this plus the last four months and ten days of celibacy in the forty fifth year of my age. And for what?...
"For me to quit my duty seems an ordinary request to her for her to make. For her to ever forgoe any caprice or whim of excitement, or perpetual running away from life seeking excitement, if I oppose it, I am an ogre or worse; that type of man who thinks the wife has duties as well as the husband. I think, in her early years, she confused the cause of suffrage, which meant that women should have equal voting rights [,] with something else which advocates that women should have absolutely no responsabilities [sic] at all except to search for excitement...She really loves me, when she remembers it, but she has damned little imagination about what she does to me...I also know old Chinese problem about you only have what you set free. All right, say it works. So I have her. And she loves me. Granted. But it is a long time since I have seen her...So I am going over there. Marty has shown me how I need it for my future writing...But if I didn't need it...what about that?..."