Essays Ernest Hemingway

Essays Ernest Hemingway-65
In the smaller world of Hemingway’s first American and British readers, the name H. Mencken must have seemed just as ineradicable in the twenties.

In the smaller world of Hemingway’s first American and British readers, the name H. Mencken must have seemed just as ineradicable in the twenties.

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by Tom Stoppard When Joseph Conrad died, Ernest Hemingway, by way of an obituary notice, wrote a little piece in the TRANSATLANTIC REVIEW, in October 1924, and what he said was that if it could be shown that by grinding T. Eliot down to a fine powder, and by sprinkling the powder upon Conrad’s grave, then Conrad would immediately jump out of his grave and commence to write, then he, Hemingway, would leave for London immediately with a sausage grinder in his luggage.

As a diversion we might consider nominating, from among contemporary novelists, candidates for the honor of being sprinkled upon Ernest Hemingway’s grave.

I remember writing Runyon short stories in my teens, and a couple of Truman Capote short stories after I had left school, but I don’t think I got thoroughly bitten again until I was about 20, late for Hemingway.

The general influence of Hemingway’s style is, of course, much more pervasive than that of, say, Runyon or Capote. Writers have been trying to copy it for over half a century now.

This man was quite famous and had his fair share of fans and critics alike, which makes it easy to find out everything that you want to know and get both sides of the story from people.

The best way to learn about someone is to learn from people who loved and hated them, which is why these essays can be so helpful regardless of whether they are critical or singing his praises.One gets badly bitten by writers perhaps only two or three times, between the ages of eight and 18.The first passion I remember was for a boys’ stories writer, Arthur Ransome, when I was eight.He had a very direct, intentional writing style that was focused on creating the perfect function of every single word in every single story.Of course, he was also subtle, which is one of the biggest complaints that you will get from critics.No matter what you want to know, however, you can find plenty of information on Ernest Hemingway by utilizing the internet to get the best information out there.Ernest Hemingway was a great man, but more importantly a great author who contributed significantly to modern American literature as we know it.There were many people who would have cheerfully sacrificed Hemingway upon the graves of writers now long forgotten.(The vagaries of reputation can be seen across space as well as time: in France after the war, and for a long time after it, one of the most highly regarded English novelists was Charles Morgan, who was comparatively little read in his own country; while the French, I am told, were thoroughly bewildered by the way that the English gave Albert Camus a stature hardly lower than Sartre’s.) Hemingway, or course, had fame as well as reputation, a public fame which no doubt worked against his literary reputation even as it made his one of the best-known names on earth.In his marvelous Joyce biography, Richard Ellman is sensible to the same point: He refers to Bloom as somebody whom it would be difficult to imagine catching a marlin. The exotic locale and action, and the cast of hunters, gangsters, boxers, soldiers and so on, do not explain the attraction and the influence of the prose. The mysterious nature of the power of prose to describe is best exemplified for me in the story “Big Two-Hearted River,” because I have fished for trout since I was a small child and the power of the “association” as opposed to the “meaning” makes me one of the ideal readers of that story.A second favorite explanation is that Hemingway, with his atomic prose, invented a new way of describing physical experience and the physical world. Hemingway certainly helped to bury the notion, if anyone seriously held it, that the more you pile on the adjectives the closer you get to describing the thing. The more adjectives one uses, the more precision is demanded of the description, and the more the grail recedes. At the same time, the way the words were put together disturbed me when I first read this story.


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