In his later years, it was very important for the then-successful Hemingway to have made it on his own, so he recalled in A Moveable Feast, "I had no more loyal friend than Scott [Fitzgerald] when he was sober. That fall of 1925 he was upset because I would not show him the manuscript of the first draft of The Sun Also Rises. I explained to him that it would mean nothing until I had gone over it and rewritten it and that I did not want to discuss it or show it to anyone first. I rewrote the first half of the manuscript [in Schruns], finished it in January, I think. I took it to New York and showed it to Max Perkins [my editor at Scribners] and then went back to Schruns and finished rewriting the book. Scott did not see it until after the completed rewritten and cut manuscript had been sent to Scribners at the end of April. I remembered joking with him about it and him being worried and anxious to help as always once a thing was done. But I did not want his help while I was rewriting." (46) In June 1926 Fitzgerald wrote Hemingway that "parts of Sun Also are careless, and ineffectual" and proceeded to give ten pages of criticism. Knowing Hemingway, by the fifth page Fitzgerald added, "About this time I can hear you say 'Jesus this guy thinks I'm lousy, & he can stick it up his ass for all I give a Gd Dm for his 'criticism.' But remember this is a new departure for you and that I think your stuff is great." (47)
Hemingway's relationships with mentors and friends changed over the years depending on the success of one or the lack of success of the other. His relationship with Fitzgerald was especially volatile. When Hemingway arrived in Paris, Fitzgerald was already there, wealthy and successful as a writer. Fitzgerald welcomed the younger writer. They talked writing, and the two couples socialized. At the beginning of the friendship, Fitzgerald was the experienced author and took that tone in his comments. Later Hemingway eclipsed him and, in turn, took the attitude of the teacher to the disciple regarding Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night: "Scot for gods sake write truly no matter who or what it hurts and do not make these silly compromises. . . . You cheated too much in this one." (48)
Hemingway's relationship with Gertrude Stein followed a similar path. As one of the ruling literary figures in Paris, Stein welcomed Hemingway to her circle and offered him advice on many matters including writing and sex, which he recounted somewhat cruelly in A Moveable Feast. But that was Hemingway's account of the relationship at the end of his life. In 1924, when Hemingway and Hadley had Bumby baptized at Saint Luke's-in-the-Garden in Paris, they asked Gertrude Stein and her companion Alice B. Toklas to be his godparents, a responsibility they took seriously for the rest of their lives. (49)
Despite cracks about Ezra Pound, Hemingway and Pound remained friends. During World War II Pound lived in Italy and sided with the Italian fascists. After the war, when charges of treason were being leveled at Pound, Hemingway helped get Pound released from St. Elizabeth's Hospital, the psychiatric hospital in Washington, D.C., so he could return to Italy and spend his remaining years with his daughter.
Hemingway's friends had another problem--his habit of using actual experiences as source material often discomfited the people around him. When The Sun Also Rises was published, people in Paris tried to guess who was the model for each character, and some of the models were less than happy about Hemingway's characterizations.
His parents were happy that he had had a book published but not about the subject matter. Clarence wrote, "I enclose a clipping from the Kansas City Paper for you to read ["Hemingway Leads Young Ineffectuals Through Europe"]. You surely are now famous as a writer and I shall trust your future books will have a different sort of subject matter. You have such wonderful ability and we want to be able to read and ask others to enjoy your works." (50) Grace was even stronger in her disapproval. It was "a doubtful honor" to have produced "one of the filthiest books of the year." Was he no longer interested in loyalty, nobility, and honor? He must know other words besides damn and bitch. "I love you and still believe you will do something worthwhile." (51) Hemingway wrote back in great anger. This interchange was typical of his relationship with his parents. As best he could, Clarence stood by Hemingway even when not approving, but Grace found most of Hemingway's writing objectionable--she felt he wrote better in high school and she did not hesitate to tell him so.