Via The Independent, a long, thought-provoking article: Being Ernest: John Walsh unravels the mystery behind Hemingway's suicide. I remember the news vividly; Hemingway was very much a literary colossus even in decline. This article makes a good case for serious mental illness as the source of both his success and his self-destruction. Excerpt:
Fifty years ago, in the early hours of Sunday 2 July, 1961, Ernest Hemingway, America's most celebrated writer and a titan of 20th-century letters, awoke in his house in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho, rose from his bed, taking care not to wake his wife Mary, unlocked the door of the storage room where he kept his firearms, and selected a double-barrelled shotgun with which he liked to shoot pigeons. He took it to the front of the house and, in the foyer, put the twin barrels against his forehead, reached down, pushed his thumb against the trigger and blew his brains out.