A page of recently discovered notes that had been accidentally stuck together in one of Ernest Hemingway’s many notebooks is reprinted here with permission from the Hemingway Society in Scranton, PA. Apparently, on the eve of his admission to the Mayo Clinic for depression, he had been considering alternatives including the newly created 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. His notes indicate that he only got as far in his reading as Step 6.
(Pen and Ink Ed.--Hemingway’s notes are underneath in red.)
Step One: admitting that one cannot control one's addiction or compulsion
Did I bring the fish in from the car?Step Two: recognizing a greater power that can give strength
Did I leave the beer in the car?Step Three: examining past errors with the help of a sponsor (experienced member)
Maybe I can ask Scottie (a.k.a. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald) to be a sponsor. Where is he anyway? He’s probably still holding a grudge about me calling him a “baby” to the Trib in Paris.Step Four: making amends for these errors
Past errors? Dressing me like a girl for six years—that’s an error.Step Five: learning to live a new life with a new code of behavior
Ummmm, ‘new code of behavior’? Where’s that Mayo Clinic brochure..electro shock therapy..rough stuff…hmmmm.Step Six: helping others that suffer from the same addictions or compulsions.
Note to self: Send 12 step material to Ezra Pound. Where’re my car keys….is that fish still in the car?