Tag: ernest hemingway

Ernest Hemingway, “Along with Youth”


A porcupine skin,
Stiff with bad tanning,
It must have ended somewhere.
Stuffed horned owl
Yellow eyed;
Chuck-wills-widow on a biassed twig
Sooted with dust.
Piles of old magazines,
Drawers of boy’s letters
And the line of love
They must have ended somewhere.
Yesterday’s Tribune is gone
Along with youth
And the canoe that went to pieces on the beach
The year of the big storm
When the hotel burned down
At Seney, Michigan.

~ ~ ~

Ernest Hemingway – poet?!

Book Review: “For Whom the Bell Tolls” by Ernest Hemingway

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Take Hemingway. People always think that the reason he’s easy to read is that he is concise. He isn’t. I hate conciseness — it’s too difficult. The reason Hemingway is easy to read is that he repeats himself all the time, using ‘and’ for padding.
-Tom Wolfe

As to Hemingway, I read him for the first time in the early ‘forties, something about bells, balls and bulls, and loathed it.
-Vladimir Nabokov

I’m pointing out a couple of the common insults flung at Hemingway not to say they’re false – they’re true to a point – but to illustrate what one is up against when one tries to defend Hemingway and make a case for his writing. The author has become so polarizing that American readers have basically split into two camps:

1) Those who agree that Hemingway, along with his ex-pat pals like Fitzgerald, had in the 20s, 30s, and 40s brought about a refreshing change to literature, exchanging the over-wrought and ungainly prose of turn-of-the-century America, Britain, and France (looking at you Proust, Henry James) for a modern, precise, descriptive and quietly poetic style that has carried us forward into the current era of literature.

2) Those who believe as Wolfe and Nabokov do, that Hemingway was basically a chauvinist with a conjunction fetish. Once he was six feet under the Sawtooth Mountains, in 1961, it seems this second group dominated Hemingway discussions; that is, everybody just seems to make fun of him now. Between mocking his declarative style and bemoaning his macho pursuits (“bells, balls, and bulls” as Nabokov so awesomely put it), it seems a Hemingway appreciator – or one totally new to the man’s language – has a hard mountain to climb, and may just prefer to sit it out in the end.

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For Whom the Hemingway Tolls


I am reading my first Ernest Hemingway novel. For Whom the Bell Tolls. It is good so far. It takes place in Spain. I have read all of his short stories which I love, never any of his novels. People are shocked to hear this, however it is true. Yes, not even The Old Man and the Sea. I know I was supposed to read that in high school like everyone else. I did not. I am not sure why. His style takes some time to get used to but is a welcome change after the rambling sentences of so many other books I have read lately. Did you know Hemingway stood up at a desk to write? This seems appropriate to me. When you think about it it just seems right.

I went to Hemingway’s grave high in Sawtooth mountains of Idaho once. It is a slab in the ground with his name on it. This also seems appropriate to me. Further on down the road there is another memorial to him, a bust resting on a pillar in the woods, next to a creek. All the lands and people he visited in his life, and he is buried in Idaho. This is all I have to say about Hemingway for the moment.