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One True Podcast

Author: Mark Cirino and Michael Von Cannon

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One True Podcast explores all things related to Hemingway, his work, and his world. The show is hosted by Mark Cirino and produced by Michael Von Cannon. Join us in conversation with scholars, artists, political leaders, and other luminaries. For more, follow us on Twitter @1truepod. You can also email us at
45 Episodes
We welcome Valerie Hemingway to share her memories of her father-in-law and the thrilling Spanish summer of 1959. We draw from her wonderful memoir Running with the Bulls to hear stories about Hemingway’s later years, his writing process, and the stark difference between the dangerous summer of 1959 and the grim crises of 1960. Ms. Hemingway recollects her own Irish childhood and her development as a young journalist thrust into the exhilarating role as Hemingway’s secretary. She also looks back at her relationship with Papa, which was unlike any other in Hemingway’s life.Join us for our conversation with this brilliant and charming raconteur about her crucial role in Hemingway's life and legacy. 
Andre Dubus III, author of House of Sand and Fog, Townie, and Gone So Long, talks about his one true Hemingway sentence from "Hills Like White Elephants."
One True Podcast takes a deep dive into Joan Miró’s masterpiece and Hemingway’s beloved possession, The Farm.  We welcome art historian Alex Fernandez de Castro and journalist Hugh Eakin to discuss the meaning, history, and legacy of this powerful and infinitely mysterious painting. In our two-part interview, we cover Miró’s evolution as an artist, his similarities and differences with Hemingway, and the crucial importance of this painting in his storied career. We also learn the mythology of how Hemingway bought The Farm, and ultimately, how it has now come to be housed in Washington, DC, at the National Gallery.  Join us in our travels to Miró’s Farm!
Amanda Vaill takes us to the French Riviera of the 1920s, drawing from her definitive book, Everybody Was So Young, to describe who Gerald and Sara Murphy were and what they meant to the artists they knew. Vaill discusses Fitzgerald’s poor behavior, Hemingway’s ambivalence to the rich, and Gerald’s own artistic efforts. Along the way, she suggests what gave the Murphys the enchanting quality that drew so many important figures into their circle. This episode was recorded on May 17, 2021.
Hideo Yanagisawa shares his choice for Hemingway's one true sentence, which comes from a letter to Charles Scribner about The Old Man and the Sea.
We welcome aboard Paul Hendrickson for a discussion about his poignant book on Hemingway’s beloved Pilar, the best-selling Hemingway’s Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost.Hendrickson explores Pilar as a significant constant in Hemingway's life and as an illuminating metaphor for Hemingway's work.  During the interview, he also talks about the fascinating process of writing this searching book, one that includes a twenty-year gestation period, a meeting with Hemingway’s brother, and a pep talk from a former One True Podcast guest.This episode was recorded on March 26, 2021.
We welcome Mark Salter, who served as Senator John McCain's advisor and speechwriter, to discuss the senator's lifelong passion for the works of Ernest Hemingway. From his first encounter with For Whom the Bell Tolls to his final consideration of the elegiac “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” Salter speaks movingly about Senator McCain's engagement with Hemingway’s writing and how it informed his ethics. Along the way, Salter talks about the art of speechwriting, Senator McCain as a potential literature scholar, and the way For Whom the Bell Tolls’s Robert Jordan emerged as a fictional character that was completely alive for the senator. Join us for this fascinating conversation!This episode was recorded on November 23, 2020.
Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Elizabeth Strout shares her one true sentence from Hemingway's "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place."
We celebrate the new PBS documentary Hemingway by discussing this historic three-part series with its directors, Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Our conversation covers Hemingway’s singular gifts as an artist, his burden of celebrity, his many complicated relationships, and the tragedy that coursed through his life. Burns and Novick describe the challenges of bringing such an outsized life to screen, from the gathering of rare footage to assembling the distinct voices that illuminate his life and work. They also explain the process of selection, as well as the things left out. As a perfect companion to your viewing of Hemingway, join us for this revealing interview with its filmmakers.This episode was recorded on February 8, 2021.
“The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” is one of Hemingway’s greatest stories and one of his most controversial. Is the shocking death at the end of the story accidental manslaughter or cold-blooded murder? How should we read the ambiguous title? And what does Hemingway’s investigation into the psyches of the various characters – including the lion’s – reveal about this narrative and Hemingway’s craft? We are joined by the prominent Hemingway scholar Laura Godfrey to consider these questions and so much more. During our conversation, she discusses how issues of gender, race, class, and morality contribute to this story’s timelessness as well as how 21st-century tools in the digital humanities can help us analyze and teach it.This episode was recorded on February 24, 2021.
In this episode, Boris Vejdovsky's true sentence from Hemingway's "Cat in the Rain" leads to an illuminating and wide-ranging conversation on narrative voice, American identity, and the bravery of simple language.
Ernest Hemingway never acknowledged the influence of any artist in any medium more generously than that of the French painter Paul Cézanne. From the 1920s, Hemingway’s character Nick Adams “wanted to write like Cézanne painted.” As an older writer, Hemingway visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art to gush about the painter's influence on his approach to writing.  One True Podcast turns to Carol Armstrong, professor of Art History at Yale and a leading Cézanne scholar, to help us understand how appreciating the artist's work can illuminate Hemingway’s approach to writing. Armstrong discusses Cézanne’s historical context, his modernist leanings, his interest in landscape and movement, and his own relationship with the written word.  Join us to discover what Hemingway meant when he vowed to “do the country like Cézanne.”This episode was recorded on June 15, 2020.
One True Podcast welcomes scholar Ross Tangedal for a spirited discussion about Hemingway’s 1923 publication, Three Stories & Ten Poems, including the incendiary early effort, “Up in Michigan.” Tangedal guides us through this slim volume as an underrated portrait of the artist as a young man.What does this early fiction tell us about the young Hemingway? Are there signs of his later mastery? How should we value Hemingway as a poet? Join us for a discussion about this seldom-addressed book in Hemingway studies. Also note the performance of selected Hemingway fiction and poetry by some of the University of Evansville’s talented Theatre students. This episode was recorded on July 9, 2020.
Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife and Love and Ruin, talks about her one true Hemingway sentence.
One True Podcast continues its exploration of Hemingway on film by welcoming the legendary actor Adrian Sparks to discuss his iconic portrayal of Hemingway in Papa: Hemingway in Cuba.  This film, released in 2015, made history as the first Hollywood production on the island since the trade embargo.Sparks describes the magical experience of using Hemingway’s actual typewriter as they filmed on location inside the Finca Vigía, the challenges of portraying such a complex man in the final years of his life, and the special relationship between Hemingway and the Cuban people, which he encountered first-hand while starring as Papa.Opening clip: Papa: Hemingway in Cuba trailer (Magenta Light Productions, Studio 2050, Sunstone Film Productions).This episode was recorded on March 27, 2020.
Happy Holidays from One True Podcast!  Enjoy our first Holiday Spectacular as we ring in the season with Suzanne del Gizzo, scholar and editor of The Hemingway Review, to talk about Hemingway's decidedly un-festive short story, "God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen."What was Hemingway getting at with that title?  Why would he write such a macabre story? How can that story speak to us at the holidays?  We find out in this interview as del Gizzo explains the story, the classic carol, and Hemingway’s grand design.  Plus, we've sent a Hemingway-appropriate Christmas gift to our guest!A special thanks to the University of Evansville Choirs and Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Chun-Ming Chen.This episode was recorded on November 2, 2020. 
Mark P. Ott discusses his choice for Hemingway’s “one true sentence.”
Join us for an all-new One True Podcast as we welcome Sandra Spanier and Miriam B. Mandel to discuss the fifth volume of The Letters of Ernest Hemingway. The newest installment covers 1932 to 1934, where Hemingway is finishing his bullfighting manifesto, Death in the Afternoon,  preparing his idiosyncratic book of short stories, Winner Take Nothing, and readying his chronicle of the hunt, Green Hills of Africa.Spanier and Mandel discuss Hemingway’s complicated personal life, his literary ambitions, his global travels, and his ever-changing network of friends and associates. Join us for a tour through Volume 5 of the Letters with its magnificent editors!This episode was recorded on October 21, 2020.
One True Podcast welcomes Robert K. Elder, author of the entertaining and fascinating Hemingway in Comics. In this episode, we talk about how popular artists have depicted Hemingway across various cultures and the similarities that exist between the style of comics and the iceberg principle.Elder examines how international artists have depicted, Disney-fied, satirized, and mythologized Hemingway in their representations of him as teenage soldier, Paris boozehound, and aging Cuban fisher. And, of course, Papa’s iconic image in that bulky turtleneck sweater makes an appearance.This episode was recorded on September 18, 2020.
One True Podcast asks Verna Kale her choice for Hemingway’s “one true sentence.”  Kale's sentence comes from the short story "Soldier's Home."  Listen in!
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