Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway wrote this “six-word short story” as response to a challenge from one of his literary rivals. Maybe F. Scott Fitzgerald? In Hemingway lore, it’s usually Fitzgerald. Of course, Hemingway almost certainly didn’t write the story. Yet the literary equivalent of urban myth persists.
A few years ago, I was thinking about how to make an extremely short film that also had a narrative element — we’re talking zero attention span, social media friendly, 90 second micro-movies here. The apocryphal Hemingway short story came to mind. At Hieronyvision, we’re also big on using resources we have easy access to for DIY projects, and one of the biggest assets I had on hand was an extremely adorable fluffy orange cat. (The lovely Corinne was only willing to appear in it when her co-star signed on.) The idea was born to take the standard interpretation of the fake Hemingway story give it a feline twist in a digital update. Of course, it ended up being longer than 90 seconds. The original script also featured a couple and dialogue, but with only 2 people allowed in the apartment during a pandemic, one of us had to hold the camera. Unfortunately, the cat couldn’t double as the production’s sound guy. However, my friend Noah Meites is an extremely talented composer.
Would Hemingway have approved of me taking a story he didn’t write and turning it into a cross between an indie art film and an internet cat video? I have no clue. However, in a funny contrast to his macho man of letters image, Hemingway fucking loved cats. See? There he is playing with two kittens! And there are two polydactyl descendants of his own cats who now reside at his historic home in Key West! So at the very least, this project is inspired by Hemingway as a master of simplicity in storytelling and unabashed lover of felines (for all his other well-documented issues).
Ernest Hemingway as a Baby. Public Domain
Ernest Hemingway with sons Patrick (left) and Gregory (right) with kittens in Finca Vigia, Cuba. Public Domain
The authors of these images have not endorsed their use in this context.