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Hemingway’s World War I savior is anonymous no more (washingtonpost.com)
102 points by longdefeat 26 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 48 comments

I ponder the reason Hemingway never mentioned him, and I imagine - which is not to excuse him - that acknowledging the person who died in your place is a trauma to be revisited. Instead of celebrating Fedele Temperini's death, it seems that Hemingway felt guilt and shame. Even though that's an easy reading of silence; I may be wrong.

Maybe because he saw so many die, and that one more death coincident with his trauma was not any more or less important than the anonymous millions.

What a sad story. I wonder what other great books, movies, companies weren’t made because someone died tragically without a savior.

Many excellent French authors died during WWI; their death deprived us of new works.

Charles Péguy, Henri Alain-Fournier, Louis Pergaud, to name just a few...

(Guillaume Apollinaire shouldn't be part of this list because, while he was wounded during WWI, he died of the flu after the war.)

Technically Guillaume Apollinaire died during the war, 9 November 1918 according to wikipedia. That's just a nit tho, a little fact I came across looking up these authors, but it got me thinking...

Theres a couple of interesting questions in there though - during the war he sustained wounds he was still suffering from at the time of his death. Did these weaken him in a way that made him more susceptible to the flu? Did the subpar conditions everyone in Paris was dealing with due to the total war (and fronts not too far away) contribute?

In the broad scale - WW1 and the Spansish flu pandemic certainly had effects on each other. Many of the early outbreaks are linked directly to troop movements, and the living conditions in barracks, camps and trenches certainly aided the spread of the flu. Governments were keeping quiet about the potency and spread of the disease for morale reasons. Basically the question of "Is a soldier dying of spanish flu during ww1 a war-related death?" is much deeper than just sorting on proximate cause of death (e.g. flu, or gunshot, etc).

Okay, but in that case many people who died during the war, but not at the front lines, died because of the situation the war had created (lack of food, missing doctors, etc. etc.)

You have to draw the line somewhere. Maybe Apollinaire is a WWI casualty, but not everyone is -- or else it wouldn't mean anything anymore.

Usually also those who die after the war are counted in its casualties, if they died of injuries suffered in the war.

As most towns and villages in Finland, my home town's parish has a "Pro patria" stone tablet at the premises. Naturally most of the men died during 1939-1945, but there's one name who deceased in 1957.

The story is simply that when the tablet was set up in 1980's, his fellow veterans (my father included), who knew his death was due to injuries from war even if it was 13 years after being wounded, decided "Svante deserves to have his name among the fallen" and listed him along.

Or what people just died tragically without a savior -- regardless of whether they were authors or directors...

Sure that, too. But as cruel as it may sound: I was more thinking about lasting stuff that wasn’t created

But what could have that "savior" done if they lived?

Don't worry, guys, there are infinite parallel universes in which each and every one of those possibilities (and many others) all happened. Take comfort in that. Or don't, it doesn't matter. Another you in another universe will in your place.

Common misconception. Infinite worlds doesn’t mean all possibilities. There’s infinite numbers less than 2, and none of them are 3. Fully possible to suck in every possible version of yourself. Or whatever the context of the question happens to be.

But if you are a modal realist, then you get that comfort.


Wow, now That is some complex sounding stuff!!!

Wikipedia say's it's from a Man called David Kellogg Lewis (September 28, 1941 – October 14, 2001); an American philosopher, so...From Plato and Socrates until you get to 2001 there is a lot of stuff to learn, indeed...

<Warning, humor ahead, your are free to skip it>...

</humor> I will let to master it after lunch, before back to the office </humor>

> Fully possible to suck in every possible version of yourself.

Now that's uplifting. :)

Good catch. I have never thought of this. Thanks. the "common misconception" you mention is common probably because it is normally one's first intuition.

So, if I understand well, (sorry to say that but the number 3 analogy didn't help), the probability of something not happening with infinite chances or opportunities to happen can be small, but the chance of it never happening exists (so if we flip a coin infinite times, we may get infinite Heads and never get a single Tail(?))

Now that you said that in your comment, it feels intuitive.

And this shows that there is a common misconception about the theorem of the infinite monkey[1]. And changes some intuitions about the chances of intelligent life existing out of Earth...

1- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_monkey_theorem

If you flip a coin an infinite number of times, you will get a certain number of heads and a certain number of tails (0 for either, being a possibility), but you will never get something that is neither head nor tails. "Infinite" doesn't mean other constraints cease to exist.

Hmmm. What are the constraints on universal possibility, though? My understanding is that it's possible (albeit staggeringly unlikely) for any possible structure, including living beings, to spontaneously form via quantum fluctuation, and given infinite time and space every possible structure will spontaneously generate. If the many-worlds theory is true, then there's a universe where you were just crushed by a hippo that randomly materialized above your head. The odds of any given person tripping (possibly on a spontaneously-generated rock) and breaking his ankle on the day he would have been killed by a mortar shell seem pretty high, relative to that.

"My understanding is that it's possible (albeit staggeringly unlikely) for any possible structure, including living beings, to spontaneously form via quantum fluctuation, and given infinite time and space every possible structure will spontaneously generate."

That was exactly my perception, specially given infinite time, not to mention space, so here is Infinite squared, or Infinite x Infinite, because there are two Infinite fields of possibilities.

Off course I didn't have any Idea about the existence of Quantum Fluctuation, just was my intuitive perception. And thank you for teaching me about It's existence.

"If the many-worlds theory is true..."

This is already too complex for my Simple Mortal Mind to understand, at this moment of my lifetime.

Wait a second... other possibilities are very unlikely but not impossible! It could end up on the side for example

Yes , sure, thanks for adding this point too. It will be infinite only inside the limitations that were set when formulating the problem.

It can not extrapolate out of the limitations only because something inside it is infinite. But this I knew before, it is pretty obvious, off course, at least for me, and what you say explain the number 3 analogy in the parent comment I was replying to, I see now, and the reason I found the analogy weak is that this was already obvious.

And thanks for confirming that "...(0 for either, being a possibility).." That was the important bit for me.

Also, the chances of getting a Head in 10 flips is bigger then the chances of getting a Head with only 2 flips. So if we got 10 Heads already, every time we get another Head, it may decrease in some way the chance of getting another Head next flip, But the Curve of Decrease in the chances of getting a head again will approaching zero forever...

...(no, this may be wrong, theoretically, every time you flip the coin the chance is always 50%) , but the overall(infinite) curve's line will never touch the zero line.

this probably wrong somewhere, that is why people go broke trying to do the "double the bet" by playing always on the black or always on the red on the roulette at the casino, always doubling the bet when they loose some shot.

This is paradoxal and confusing for me and is the reason I stopped jumping from 15, 20 meter high rocks into the sea. I thought the chances of something going wrong (solely because of the Law of Probabilities, not counting ageing and other factors) will Increase overall, and someday I was going to get hurt.

Every sequence of coin flips has the same probability. The coin doesn't know that you have seen ten heads already.

(except that in real life your hand flipping the coin knows that and can and will act differently. With practice you can influence consciously the outcome of the flip)

Yes, thats what I thought...but also the chances of getting a head in 10 shots is bigger then getting a head in 2 shots, otherwise playing only once in your life at lottery would be the same as playing everyday, but the financial cost is measured by unit, I mean, the price is by single ticket. Or I am wrong here all again and this is where I was wrong?

Sorry you maybe you made your comment before some edit I made, But I am grateful you have pointed out this, Thank You.

So, the Coin doesn't know that the last shot was a Head, Or the last 10 shots were all Head, and 0 Tails sofa, but.......

Someone knows...call it Math, call it God, call it The Universe, my friend, someone knows.

Normally, one also thinks that Achilles will reach the tortoise.

Number 3 is the world in which said chosen author does not die. The set of (both positive or all) real numbers less than 2 or the set of rational numbers less than 2 would be the set of uncountable and countable worlds that exist, respectively.

These are two examples of overarching multiverses in which one has infinite possible worlds, but said chosen author always dies anyway.

I had never thought He would reach the Tortoise, even when I was a kid and heard this Zenon's Paradox for the first time. But that is interesting and funny and you made me smile.

> (so if we flip a coin infinite times, we may get infinite Heads and never get a single Tail(?))

But flipping a coin follows strict rules. A robot who is programmed to flip with same variables will always make the coin land on the same side.

Eureka!!! Thank You nyc111, you are the Genius One!

what you said is obviously true, but in our Mental Experiment we assume priorly that we are talking about a imagined perfectly Random 50/50 % chances of Heads or Tails. Reality is more complex then mental experiments, of course...

...So your point is very good!!! Reality is the point...Yes...So the life existing in other planets is still good, no mind the misconceived infinite monkey theorem being wrong or right.

And okonomiyaki3000 may have made a good point too, so we don't worry and ...

</ Warning: some humor coming in the next words, if you don't like humor you can just stop reading this comment here...

</begin humor > ...envy our parallel life where I am the Emperor of the far-eastern Asian Empire and have more then 1 wife. </end of humour>

>there are infinite parallel universes

Let me know when you've observed one.

Please note that I'm priorly assuming in this thought experiment that the space in the universe is infinite:

( no matter the time being limited to only 1.0 second in the experiment, or time being infinite , for this point below , doesn't matter, even 1 infinitesimal of a fraction of a millisecond would be enough, of course we need at least a little bit of time, because with No time at all there is no space to speak of, much less infinite space )

All the infinite universes that exist and we are inside all of them right now( it is only 1 universe, but all "universes" exist in this infinite universe, side by side, They don't need to be "parallel", they can be side-by-side, it means, they don't occupy the same space, but we don't need it, because we have Infinite space(more then enough)

So we have a lot of space, and in a given second, in all this space, every possible thing is happening right now, but very far from us, light-years is too small to measure the distances we are talking about ,

actually is impossible to measure how big even with units bigger then Light-Years...

...(1 Light-Year is the distance you go in 1 year at light speed, of course this is redundant info, but some readers may not know it).... And is impossible to measure because with any unit of distance because the distance here is Infinite,...

So everything that you can and Can Not...

(infinite times more things then you can ever imagine if you had a infinite life)...

...Is happening at this very millisecond...

...Or a in fraction of a millisecond...

A infinisecond would be enough to all infinite possible things to exist, distributed by our infinite space...

Of course this only, and Solely only If the Space of the Universe is really infinite....

I think it is, but even Einstein was not so sure, so...

But I am sure Time is infinite, so 1 square meter of space is enough for every possible imaginable and unimaginable thing to exist ( well all every possible things smaller then 1 square meter) If the time is infinite, It means "for Eternity" or On Eternity, everything will happen)

you only need a square nanomilimeter for that (but all infinite things inside the given space of the nanomilimeter)...

Please Remember that you can shove/fit/stuff or insert more then 10 infinite universes inside 1 single infinite universe, because infinite is infinite.

Now replace the number 10 above by infinite.

you can fit an infinite number of Infinite universes inside a single 1 infinite universe, as the simple Math proves.

So okonimiaki3000 is right when he says what he says.

And your comment was Snarky and Clue-less, sorry to say that.

If you don't have arguments to support your claims, better avoiding doing exactly the Opposite ( here is Exactly the Inverse) The Opposite of what you were trying to do with your pointless comment, trying to sound Smart and sounding exactly the opposite...

Sorry. But you deserve it for your Snark.

All of this is because when you Multiply anything, even very small, by infinite, the result equals infinite.

I think the value of a human life is always the same, in my opinion.

If Ernest died, and savior was a gardener until die at age 98, It would be as good, for me.

The fact that I wouldn't be Marveled and had crazy dreams of adventure and never forget that book and always think about it's meaning, when I was a kid(The Old Man and the Sea)...

Is for sure not more important then the life of the good gardener, so I don't care if Hemingway had died or not...

...But the savior chose to save him, was his decision, and this is like in the Master Takeshi Kitano's[1] movies, there is the Brotherhood and Honor, that are the mindset of the hero , and this is admirable.

And I thank the savior for all the books, and giving us these books was exactly one of the things that the savior did for the world,...

..but not more important then the other things he did in his life, And that(giving us the books) was not ultimately important, as nothing that someone does is, when we value the value of a human life.

..but maybe he would be the Prophet(finally, or welcome back), or the new Albert Einstein...who knows...life is too surprising to guess.


There was a quote by a British general or high ranking officer saying how depressed he was that Britian's next generation of poets, scientists, mathematicians, etc were buried in Western Europe

"Strict Italian privacy laws prevent us from learning more about him."

Is privacy really an issue 100 years after the person's death?

I can't believe you're suggesting that a person's privacy is less important than their copyright terms.

That assumes that he views copyright timelines as reasonable.

I can't believe you're suggesting that stealing is reasonable. See, I can make things up too.

I would guess a lot of people who actually own some valuable copyrights value them more then privacy.

Copyright terms expire 70 years after the death of the author, right?

You can find a telephone number of someone named Temperini who is living in Montalcino, by doing a quick search in the Italian telephone book. Surely it wouldn't break any laws just calling there?

No, it would just make no sense.

Why not? Many people research their ancestry at some point in their lives and the name does not seem to be very common.

You could do this for any historical name. Just pick up a history book, find a random person in there, and then look up people with the same last name: you're bound to find some. Who would cold-call some person who happens to share a last name with some 16th-century person who got a footnote in a history book somewhere? And why does this matter? At what point can we finally say "this person has been dead for ages, and we don't need to worry about protecting their privacy any more"? Do we need to worry about protecting the privacy of people whose corpses were found in Pompeii, who were killed by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius almost 2000 years ago, in 79CE? Seriously, this is absurd.

Well, the guy will learn soon enough anyway if they don't already know (whether they're relatives or just share the same name).

Why would it take some people to call them on the other end of the world?

Probably no American writer has been more heavily researched than Hemingway. Amazingly we're still learning new things about his life.

It would take a life to tell someones life completely ..

Thanks! I was about to comment that I can't read this article.

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