“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 15 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Part N Ernest Hemingway 3rd part “He who increases knowledge increases sorrow” Ecclesiastes )

In MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Ernest Hemingway is presented as one the most brilliant writers of all time and I can’t disagree with that assessment either in reality. Notice this first encounter with Gil Pender.


GIL PENDER:Hemingway?

HEMINGWAY:You liked my book?

GIL PENDER:Liked? I loved! All your work.

HEMINGWAY:Yes, it was a good book,because it was an honest book,and that’s what war does to men.And there’s nothing fine and noble about dying in the mud,unless you die gracefully,and then it’s not only noble, but brave.

Where does all this brilliance lead Hemingway at the end of his life? He later ended his life in suicide and before he did so he evidently thought a lot about what Solomon said 3000 years ago in the Book of Ecclesiastes. “For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow” (Eccl. 2:18).

Ecclesiastes 1:12 – 2:26 (Study Guide)

Pastor Justin Hyde

January 11, 2015

“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know” (Ernest Hemingway).

“For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow” (Eccl. 2:18).

We can assume that the wisdom he speaks of is the best thinking that man can do on his own. It is splendid, as far as it goes; nothing else can compare with it (2:13); yet it has no answer to our misgivings about life. It only sharpens them by its clarity” (D. Kidner).

“We are accordingly urged by our own evil things to consider the good things of God; and, indeed, we cannot aspire to Him in earnest until we have begun to be displeased with ourselves. For what man is not disposed to rest in himself? Who, in fact, does not thus rest, so long as he is unknown to himself; that is, so long as he is contented with his own endowments, and unconscious or unmindful of his misery? Every person, therefore, on coming to the knowledge of himself, is not only urged to seek God, but is also led as by the hand to Qind him.” (J. Calvin, Institutes, 1.1).


1. The Vanity of Pleasure a. Solomon tries to find joy in anything, and fails b. Comedy, alcohol, art, nature, money, music, work, and sex all come up wanting c. Solomon turns to wisdom instead of pleasure

2. The Burden of Wisdom a. Solomon hated life – in other words, he knew without eternal view it was meaningless b. Wise person must reQlect on this

3. The Curse of Toil a. Without eternal view, toil is meaningless b. work is not cursed, but the ground is – toiling is hard c. Faith in God is the alternative to our plans


Justin Hyde rightly noted that without faith in God the world looks like a very bleak place and life UNDER THE SUN “without an eternal view” is meaningless. Furthermore, all of our toil is meaningless. Moreover, “we cannot aspire to [God] in earnest until we have begun to be displeased with ourselves.”

Let me conclude with the words that Justin wrote at the beginning of his study guide:

“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know” (Ernest Hemingway).

“For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow” (Eccl. 2:18).

We can assume that the wisdom he speaks of is the best thinking that man can do on his own.

Midnight in Paris OST – 08 – You Do Something to Me

Pictured below Gil with Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein


Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald


Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald



Hemingway: “I spend a hell of a lot of time killing animals and fish so I won’t kill myself.”

Ernest Hemingway, author and the original, literary self-created image of a macho man, killed himself July 2, 1961. Yet after fifty years it’s still unclear why Hemingway — dressed in a favorite robe for his final exit — fulfilled a kind of predestined end for himself.

For months his wife, Mary, publicly claimed he accidentally shot himself cleaning guns at six in the morning. Others knew better: He offered a much more likely warning to those who partied with him: “I spend a hell of a lot of time killing animals and fish,” he told Ava Gardner, “so I won’t kill myself.”

When the written word finally failed him, he was devastated. He could not compose a single sentence for a presentation volume for Kennedy’s inauguration in January, 1961. His fear of failure contributed a creeping sense of illness — the edges of dementia have been suggested over the years since his death — but specific causes have been a mystery.

A new, full examination of Hemingway’s ultimate decision appeared in the Independent, UK, based on psychological research indicating Hemingway’s bipolar mood disorder, depression, chronic alcoholism, repetitive traumatic brain injuries, the onset of psychosis. The twentieth century’s most celebrated literary tough guy had a death wish, instilled at an early age from a doting mother and a bullying father.

Here’s an excerpt from the lengthy article by correspondent John Walsh, in which he identifies Papa Ernest’s restlessness and macho personality as “a galloping parody of masculinity”:

… Some answers were offered in 2006 by a long article in the American Psychiatry magazine, called “Ernest Hemingway: A Psychological Autopsy of a Suicide”. It was by Christopher D. Martin, whose official title is Instructor and Staff Psychiatrist at the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston Texas. …

He had no trouble in diagnosing the author as suffering from “bipolar disorder, alcohol dependence, traumatic brain injury, and probably borderline and narcissistic personality traits”. He notes that many in the Hemingway family –- his father and mother, their siblings, his own son and his grand-daughter Margaux -– were prone to manic-depression (Margaux’s was the fifth, or possibly sixth, suicide in four generations) and suggests that it was Ernest’s manic episodes that drove him to his astonishing feats of creativity. But he locates the writer’s trauma in two childhood experiences.

It seems that it was his mother Grace’s habit to dress him, as a child, in long white frocks and fashion his hair like a little girl’s. It was a 19th-century custom to dress infants alike, but she took it to extremes. She referred to him, in his cute lacy dress, as “Dutch dolly”. She said she was his Sweetie, or, as he pronounced it, “Fweetee”. Once, when Ernest was two, Grace called him a doll once too often. He replied, “I not a Dutch dolly … Bang, I shoot Fweetee”.

But she also praised him for being good at hunting in the woods and fishing in the stream in boys’ clothes. It was too confusing for a sensitive kid. He always hated her, and her controlling ways. He always referred to her as “that bitch”. He’d spend the rest of his life in a galloping parody of masculinity. Dutch dolly indeed. He’d show the bitch there was no confusion in his head.

“I shoot Fweetee.” The trouble was, he also wanted to shoot his father. Clarence Hemingway was a barrel-chested, six-foot bully, a disciplinarian who beat his son with a razor strop. Ernest didn’t retaliate directly. He bottled it up and subsumed it into a ritual, in which he’d hide in a shed in the family backyard with a loaded shotgun and take aim at his father’s head.

Martin speculates that, when Clarence shot himself, Hemingway, aged 29, felt terrible guilt that he’d fantasised about killing him. Unable to handle this, he took to blaming his mother for his father’s death. “I hate her guts and she hates mine,” he wrote in 1949. “She forced my father to suicide.”

After Clarence’s death, Hemingway told a friend, “My life was more or less shot out from under me, and I was drinking much too much entirely through my own fault”. …

(Photo by George Karger, Time Life/Getty)

“The pure products of America go crazy”: William Carlos Williams’ pronouncement — though not specifically aimed at Hemingway — is a good analysis of the psychodrama of Hemingway’s life, and the highwire act he performed in the glare of the camera lights. It’s a supreme irony that at the end, as the river of creativity dried up, Hemingway couldn’t handle the ultimate silence that echoed in his thoughts.

As with some other writers who try to silence that deafening roar with drugs, alcohol, and obsession, the sound Hemingway was trying to erase with the sound of a shotgun blast was the ultimate tolling of a single bell. At the end, it was the only sound Hemingway could really hear.

Midnight in Paris Beat Sheet First Trial

The Lost Generation A&E Biography. I DO NOT OWN THIS MATERIAL.

The quote from the title is actually taken from the film MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT where Stanley derides the belief that life has meaning, saying it’s instead “nasty, brutish, and short. Is that Hobbes? I would have got along well with Hobbes.” (Review of MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT by FREDERICA MATHEWES-GREEN.) This also seems to be a big part of the theme of Ecclesiastes which was written by Solomon.

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopelessmeaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of his own secular view. I salute him for doing that. That is why I have returned to his work over and over and presented my own Christian worldview as an alternative.

My interest in Woody Allen is so great that I have a “Woody Wednesday” on my blog www.thedailyhatch.org every week. Also I have done over 30 posts on the historical characters mentioned in his film “Midnight in Paris.” (Salvador Dali, Ernest Hemingway,T.S.Elliot,  Cole Porter,Paul Gauguin,  Luis Bunuel, and Pablo Picasso were just a few of the characters.)

During the last 30 days here are the posts that have got the most hits on my blog on this subject on the historical characters mentioned in the movie “Midnight in Paris”:

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Midnight in Paris (2011)

dir. Woody Allen

Gil (Owen Wilson) and his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams) kissing on the bridge – Claude Monet’s Water Garden, Giverny, Eure, France. It’s located across the road from Monet’s house at 84 Rue Claude Monet.

Gil’s hotel – Hotel Le Bristol, 112 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Paris, France.

Gil argues with Inez’s friend Paul (Michael Sheen) – The Palace of Versailles, Place d’Armes, Versailles, France.

Inez and her mother picking out a wedding ring – Chopard, 1 Place Vendôme, Paris, France.

Inez and her mother walking toward the Place Vendôme past the Hôtel de Vendôme – 1 Place Vendôme, Paris, France.

Paul argues with the tour guide (Carla Bruni) about Rodin’s wife – Rodin Museum, 79 Rue de Varenne, Paris, France

Wine tasting on the rooftop – Hotel Le Meurice, 228 Rue de Rivoli, Paris, France.

Gil gets lost – Rue Mouffetard at Rue Édouard Quenu, Paris, France.

The church steps – Saint-Étienne-du-Mont Church, Place de L’Abbé Basset, Paris, France. These steps are around the corner from the main entrance on the Rue Sainte-Geneviève that faces the Panthéon.

Gil sees a 1920s Peugeot at midnight – Rue de la Montagne Sainte-Geneviève at Place de L’Abbé Basset, Paris, France.

The party where Gil meets the Fitzgeralds – 53 Quai de Bourbon, Paris, France

The Bricktop club – 17 Rue Malebranche, Paris, France. The real Bricktop club was located at 66 Rue Pigalle in Montmartre but the street looks very different these days.

Gil meets Ernest Hemingway – Polidor, 41 Rue Monsieur le Prince, Paris, France. The Polidor is one of the most popular restaurants on the Left Bank. Its interior has basically unchanged since the late 19th century, and the style of cooking is mostly from that era. It was frequented by many famous artistic and literary figures such as James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Antonin Artaud, Jack Kerouac, and Henry Miller.

The Laundromat that Gil later finds in Polidor’s place – 16 Rue des Patriarches, Paris, France

The antique shop – 112 Boulevard de Courcelles, Paris, France.

Gil doesn’t want to get in the car and says he wants to walk in the rain –Boulevard de Courcelles at Rue Pierre le Grand, Paris, France. The church in the background is the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral at 12 Rue Daru.

Gertrude Stein’s (Kathy Bates) house – 15 Rue Malebranche, Paris, France. This is not the actual Gertrude Stein’s house at 27 rue de Fleurus.

The flea market – Le Marché Paul Bert, 96-110 Rue des Rosiers, Saint-Ouen, France.

The museum where Gil argues with Paul about paintings – Musée de l’Orangerie, Jardin des Tuileries, Paris, France. It’s located in the west corner of the Jardin des Tuileries next to the Place de la Concorde.

Gil walking with Adriana (Marion Cotillard) – 17 Place Dauphine, Paris, France.

Gil walking with Adriana in Montmartre – Rue du Chevalier-de-La-Barre, Paris, France. They’re walking east toward the Rue Lamarck, with the Sacré Coeur seen in the background.

Gil and Adriana walking along the street lined with prostitutes – Rue Duperré at Place Pigalle, Paris, France

Gil and Adriana see Zelda Fitzgerald (Allison Pill) contemplating suicide – Pont Neuf, Quai des Orfèvres, Paris, France.

The private detective agency – 18 Rue du Louvre, Paris, France. Apparently, this is a real detective agency.

Gil walking along the Seine – Quai des Orfèvres, Paris, France. The camera is looking toward the Quai des Grands Augustins and he’s walking west toward the Pont Neuf.

Booksellers on the banks of the Seine – Quai de Montebello, Paris, France.

Gil asks the tour guide (Carla Bruni) to translate a passage from Adriana’s memoirs – Square Jean-XXIII, Paris, France. It’s located behind the Notre Dame cathedral.

Gil walking with Adriana – the south side of Place Dauphine, Paris, France.

Gil and Adriana sitting at a restaurant – Restaurant Paul, 15 Place Dauphine, Paris, France

A mysterious coach takes them to the Belle Epoque – Maxim’s, 3 Rue Royale, Paris, France

Gil sitting in a street café – Café L’île de France, 59 Quai de la Tournelle, Paris, France.

The bookstore – Shakespeare and Company, 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, Paris, France

Gil meets with Gabrielle (Léa Seydoux) – Pont Alexandre III, Paris, France. They’re walking on the west side of the bridge and the camera is looking north toward the Grand Palais.

See also…

This series deals with the Book of Ecclesiastes and Woody Allen films.  The first post  dealt with MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT and it dealt with the fact that in the Book of Ecclesiastes Solomon does contend like Hobbes  and Stanley that life is “nasty, brutish and short” and as a result has no meaning UNDER THE SUN.

The movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS offers many of the same themes we see in Ecclesiastes. The second post looked at the question: WAS THERE EVER A GOLDEN AGE AND DID THE MOST TALENTED UNIVERSAL MEN OF THAT TIME FIND TRUE SATISFACTION DURING IT?

In the third post in this series we discover in Ecclesiastes that man UNDER THE SUN finds himself caught in the never ending cycle of birth and death. The SURREALISTS make a leap into the area of nonreason in order to get out of this cycle and that is why the scene in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS with Salvador Dali, Man Ray, and Luis Bunuel works so well!!!! These surrealists look to the area of their dreams to find a meaning for their lives and their break with reality is  only because they know that they can’t find a rational meaning in life without God in the picture.

The fourth post looks at the solution of WINE, WOMEN AND SONG and the fifth and sixth posts look at the solution T.S.Eliot found in the Christian Faith and how he left his fragmented message of pessimism behind. In the seventh post the SURREALISTS say that time and chance is all we have but how can that explain love or art and the hunger for God? The eighth  post looks at the subject of DEATH both in Ecclesiastes and MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. In the ninth post we look at the nihilistic worldview of Woody Allen and why he keeps putting suicides into his films.

In the tenth post I show how Woody Allen pokes fun at the brilliant thinkers of this world and how King Solomon did the same thing 3000 years ago. In the eleventh post I point out how many of Woody Allen’s liberal political views come a lack of understanding of the sinful nature of man and where it originated. In the twelfth post I look at the mannishness of man and vacuum in his heart that can only be satisfied by a relationship with God.

In the thirteenth post we look at the life of Ernest Hemingway as pictured in MIDNIGHT AND PARIS and relate it to the change of outlook he had on life as the years passed. In the fourteenth post we look at Hemingway’s idea of Paris being a movable  feast. The fifteenth and sixteenth posts both compare Hemingway’s statement, “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know…”  with Ecclesiastes 2:18 “For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.”

Related posts:

A list of the most viewed posts on the historical characters mentioned in the movie “Midnight in Paris”

Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 38,Alcoholism and great writers and artists)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 36, Alice B. Toklas, Woody Allen on the meaning of life)

Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 35, Recap of historical figures, Notre Dame Cathedral and Cult of Reason)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 34, Simone de Beauvoir)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 33,Cezanne)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 32, Jean-Paul Sartre)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 31, Jean Cocteau)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 30, Albert Camus)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 29, Pablo Picasso)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 8, Henri Toulouse Lautrec)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 7 Paul Gauguin)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 6 Gertrude Stein)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 5 Juan Belmonte)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 4 Ernest Hemingway)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 3 Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 2 Cole Porter)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 1 William Faulkner)

MUSIC MONDAY Cole Porter “Let’s Do it, Let’s Fall in Love” in the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS



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