When asked which dead writer's work I would take with me to that desolate island, I said it'd have to be Ernest Hemingway. But I wouldn't need his whole catalog. Just The Nick Adams Stories, A Moveable Feast, The Old Man and the Sea, and his dispatches. You see, I think Papa was a better short story writer and journalist than novelist. Plus I'm not a huge fan of stories about bull-fighting, though many of his short stories touch on it. Why is he a writing hero of mine? Well, I'm partial to his sparing use of words and understated style.
Then my thoughts turned to the man himself, and I realized my writing hero and I would have very little in common--except for a shared interest in Ava Gardner. In fact, if we were stranded together, he'd probably take a great disliking to me. Maybe not at first, but the above opinion about his novels and the fact that I find his forced machismo unnecessary might just ruffle his feathers. Nor would I make a good drinking buddy for him as I'm not inclined to be three-sheets-to-the-wind every morning and every night. Of course, he could counter with the fact he was a war hero and won the Pulitzer Prize, so who the hell am I to critique him? I'm just a pigeon pecking at a statue, right? So I guess it's best I was born well-after he pulled the trigger.
How about you? Do you think you and your (writing) hero would get along if you could meet her/him in person? Maybe you already have. I'd be curious to hear how that went.