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Shortly after the publication of The Old Man and the Sea (1952), Hemingway went on safari to Africa, where he was almost killed in two successive plane crashes that left him in pain or ill health for much of his remaining life.
His wartime experiences formed the basis for his novel A Farewell to Arms (1929).The family spent summers at Windemere on Walloon Lake, near Petoskey, Michigan.Hemingway's father taught him to hunt, fish, and camp in the woods and lakes of Northern Michigan as a young boy, early experiences in nature that instilled a passion for outdoor adventure and living in remote or isolated areas.However, in March, she wrote that she had become engaged to an Italian officer.Biographer Jeffrey Meyers states in his book Hemingway: A Biography that Hemingway was devastated by Agnes's rejection, and in future relationships, he followed a pattern of abandoning a wife before she abandoned him.Reynolds points out that Hemingway mirrored her energy and enthusiasm.
Her insistence that he learn to play the cello became a "source of conflict", but he later admitted the music lessons were useful to his writing, as is evident in the "contrapuntal structure" of For Whom the Bell Tolls.Still only 18, Hemingway said of the incident: "When you go to war as a boy you have a great illusion of immortality. Then when you are badly wounded the first time you lose that illusion and you know it can happen to you." He sustained severe shrapnel wounds to both legs, underwent an immediate operation at a distribution center, and spent five days at a field hospital before he was transferred for recuperation to the Red Cross hospital in Milan.He spent six months at the hospital, where he met and formed a strong friendship with "Chink" Dorman-Smith that lasted for decades and shared a room with future American foreign service officer, ambassador, and author Henry Serrano Villard.Additional works, including three novels, four short story collections, and three non-fiction works, were published posthumously.Many of his works are considered classics of American literature. After high school, he reported for a few months for The Kansas City Star, before leaving for the Italian Front to enlist with the World War I ambulance drivers.During his junior year he had a journalism class, structured "as though the classroom were a newspaper office", with better writers submitting pieces to the school newspaper, The Trapeze.