New York, April 10: Newly published letters from the author Ernest Hemingway to the film star Marlene Dietrich have thrown light on the flirtation between two of the 20th century’s most colourful sex symbols.
Full of innuendo, the correspondence reveals a relationship full of passion despite the claim by their descendants that it was only platonic.
“Would certainly like to see some psychonalaysermaru [sic] start to straighten out you and me for example,” the author writes in one letter. “He better get his couches insured.”
He goes on to ask: “What sort of cigarette you smoke in pictures so I can get a package and roll them up and put them under my armpit.
“That’s the only way I like tobacco really. But I guess it wouldn’t go good in the ads.”
Signing himself “Papa”, Hemingway admits: “I love you too, you beauty, indestructible.” Dietrich’s grandson, Peter Riva, said: “Personalities like that are ablaze. They tend to do everything in a fiery fury. Since they weren’t going to become lovers, they become absolute, steadfast friends.”
The liaison is documented in 30 letters, telegrams and a Christmas card written between 1949 and 1959 and donated to the John F Kennedy Library.