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Hemingway (1 Viewer)

JP Wagner

Senior Member
I'm surprised there wasn't already a thread discussing him. In any event,
What do you all think of Hemingway?
Personally I took him for granted at first because his style was a little bit different and odd, but after studying some of the books a bit closer I found there is pure genious between the lines in some of his work. I haven't read it all yet, but I enjoy many of his short stories, such as "The Snows Of Kilimanjaro" and "The Killers" but I am an even bigger fan of "The Old Man and the Sea" which he won the pulitzer for and "The Sun Also Rises" which was his opposite reponse to F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby"
Any opinions?
 

kalibantre

Senior Member
I've read a few of his shorts that I loved, but I recently read "A Moveable Feast" and was so dissapointed. I found it to be okay and good for the most part with only small parts being excellent. I expected so much more...
 

BeautifulDisaster

Senior Member
I've read "The Sun Also Rises" for my American Modernism class and I thought it was the best out of all the other novels (I had to read "Nightwood" , "Three Lives" and I forget what else!).
 

Bob Loblaw

Senior Member
I hate Hemingway with a PASSION! :mad:

I read A Farewell to Arms and it feels like he just keeps on writing about unrelated things or just keeps on repeating the same thing: e.g. It's raining. I'm sad. Yes, it's raining... And I'm sad...-- Okay, I get it!

I'm not saying that his writing has no meaning, it really does, but it's just bad writing, in my opinion-- but of course, I don't like anything from the so called "Lost Generation."
 

JP Wagner

Senior Member
Bob Loblaw said:
I hate Hemingway with a PASSION! :mad:

I read A Farewell to Arms and it feels like he just keeps on writing about unrelated things or just keeps on repeating the same thing: e.g. It's raining. I'm sad. Yes, it's raining... And I'm sad...-- Okay, I get it!

I'm not saying that his writing has no meaning, it really does, but it's just bad writing, in my opinion-- but of course, I don't like anything from the so called "Lost Generation."

Hmm....interesting view.

I have not read that novel yet, so I can't offer a valid opinion on it. But one thing I must say is, Hemingway makes a story tell itself through the view of a person. He is great with first person narrative, something I suck at myself so I have a great respect for those who can do it well.

Usually he tells the story through the person in a way you wouldn't expect, which is why you have to figure it out through the arguous and sometimes confusing dialouge. Can this be annoying? YES....but its true to life. Alot of people think or act like the characters in his novels however annoying or stupid it may be, and that is one of the things that makes him so great.

I actually don't enjoy things from the 20's or 30's usually either, or the whole world war 1 craze. Though I enjoyed the Sun Also Rises, one of Hemingway's great works and the Great Gatsby by his counterpart Fitzgerald.
 
I read Old Man and the Sea in class. Most people couldn't finish it (I don't see how). I found it pretty decent. It was simple, but it told the story of an old man in the style that a character like that would use.

Hemingway's good at that, his style is the character's style. It's the same with For Whom the Bell Tolls, about the Spanish Civil War. It feels "spanish", which is an achievement for an english book.
 

Mike C

WF Veterans
Bob Loblaw said:
I hate Hemingway with a PASSION! :mad:

You read Farewell to Arms, and all you came away with was 'it's raining'? That's so sad.

Hemingway is probably the best american writer of the 20th century (And has a nobel to prove it!).

Where people misunderstand him is in the apparent lack of description and the sparseness of the prose - I suggest you wait a couple of years, and read it again. FTA is a truly remarkable book, and you can learn a lot from it.
 

strangedaze

Senior Member
i hate to say it, but as much as i like my writing oozing masculinity and anti-semetism, i just couldnt fall in love with 'the sun also rises.' i find that the writing is so... i dont know - unimaginative is the first word that comes to mind. i have the portable hemingway and the cover says that half of writers today try to imitate him, and the other half try very hard not to. i think id fall into the latter camp. still, i appreciate where uncle ernie's talents lie, and know that my aversion to his technique doesnt make him a poor writer. personal taste will do that for you.
 

Bob Loblaw

Senior Member
Mike C said:
You read Farewell to Arms, and all you came away with was 'it's raining'? That's so sad.

Hemingway is probably the best american writer of the 20th century (And has a nobel to prove it!).

Where people misunderstand him is in the apparent lack of description and the sparseness of the prose - I suggest you wait a couple of years, and read it again. FTA is a truly remarkable book, and you can learn a lot from it.

Yes it's very sad...But of course I got more from A Farewell to Arms (I'm slow, but not THAT slow)-- e.g. death, make love not war, etc... What annoys me about it is that his writing style is so...blunt I guess you can say. And personally, by the end of the that novel I'm just annoyed with all the characters...

But it's like what strangedaze said:

strangedaze said:
half of writers today try to imitate him, and the other half try very hard not to. i think id fall into the latter camp. still, i appreciate where uncle ernie's talents lie, and know that my aversion to his technique doesnt make him a poor writer

--Took the words out of my mouth!
 

BillyLiar

Senior Member
I just recently read The Old Man and the Sea, and found it entertaining. I did grow a bit attached to the character, especially during the shark scene. I can see where some people would find him 'blah', but it's a story through a (most likely) illiterate fisherman who lives to fish and occasionally thinks about baseball. Towards the end I was thinking, are the man and the fish really that different? Both tied to an inescapable fate..they're both just going down fighting, but that is what they do.
Afterall, 'anyone can be a fisherman in May'.
 

Mungye

Senior Member
That is a very good comparison. And on the other side both can fight, fight with all they have deep inside them and live to see another sunrise.
Billyliar-I remember when I was a little girl there were reruns of the British show called that(is that where you get that from) and each time I heard his lies I felt like hiding myself under a huge rock from humiliation. Loved his mental thoughts about blowing up people or tying up his wee gran though even though I hate violence.
 

BillyLiar

Senior Member
not to take away from your nostalgia, but i'm not named directly after the show. my favorite band wrote a song called billy liar (after the musical) so that's where i heard it at first.
 

JP Wagner

Senior Member
The other funny thing is, as with most great writers, they are remembered mostly for their novels. But if you look at Hemingway's short stories, there is gold there as well. The short stories are underrate these days as everyone is obsessed with the bigger titles.
 

Mungye

Senior Member
BillyLiar said:
not to take away from your nostalgia, but i'm not named directly after the show. my favorite band wrote a song called billy liar (after the musical) so that's where i heard it at first.

oh pardon me. Well......that's even better!:thumbr:
 

TWariner

Senior Member
He was a good-looking guy, wasn't he?

I've read The Old Man and the Sea and some of his collections. I read the Old Man and the Sea when I was quite young and I found it difficult to read, but pushed through it. It impressed, me, though. I must read more of his stuff and reread that one.
 
S

SmolderPage

Shame on You Guys!

Wow. I'm thoroughly amazed at the lack of enthusiasm for America's GREATEST writer. Steinbeck was weaker in dialogue, Twain holed himself into too narrow a space, and Hawthorne, well, Hawthorne wrote in 20 pages what should've been written in six. No author has ever delivered with greater precision and courage the perpetual struggles of mankind. He was a revolutionary, a genius of the stocky, rugged style. While other authors sought fluidity and a divine beauty, Hemingway chased hungrily after authenticity and the very dirt and grime that made up the world he observed. Among none of the other responses did I find a reference to For Whom the Bell Tolls, perhaps his most complete work, where he provides some of the 20th century's greatest descriptions of the fleeting love as well as the seemingly endless toil of death. I also found that many who commented based their opinions on The Sun Also Rises. This was his first published novel, merely the platform for the greatness he would later achieve. And then, of course, is the ever-debated The Old Man and the Sea. In so few pages, has any writer in history ever expressed as richly such a universal and timeless theme? If writers are boxers, it is a shame we give such credit to those with superior footwork, those who dance around the ring, sticking their nose in danger only when they are sure to deliver a punch. Why do we condemn the clumsy man, who stands mightily with his toes pointed directly at the true perils, but throws his fists in a simple and powerful way, taking whatever is coming to him? I will tell you one thing, the resolve of the clumsy man does not fall so easily.
 
S

SmolderPage

Shame on You Guys!

Wow. I'm thoroughly amazed at the lack of enthusiasm for America's GREATEST writer. Steinbeck was weaker in dialogue, Twain holed himself into too narrow a space, and Hawthorne, well, Hawthorne wrote in 20 pages what should've been written in six. No author has ever delivered with greater precision and courage the perpetual struggles of mankind. He was a revolutionary, a genius of the stocky, rugged style. While other authors sought fluidity and a divine beauty, Hemingway chased hungrily after authenticity and the very dirt and grime that made up the world he observed. Among none of the other responses did I find a reference to For Whom the Bell Tolls, perhaps his most complete work, where he provides some of the 20th century's greatest descriptions of the fleeting love as well as the seemingly endless toil of death. I also found that many who commented based their opinions on The Sun Also Rises. This was his first published novel, merely the platform for the greatness he would later achieve. And then, of course, is the ever-debated The Old Man and the Sea. In so few pages, has any writer in history ever expressed as richly such a universal and timeless theme? If writers are boxers, it is a shame we give such credit to those with superior footwork, those who dance around the ring, sticking their nose in danger only when they are sure to deliver a punch. Why do we condemn the clumsy man, who stands mightily with his toes pointed directly at the true perils, but throws his fists in a simple and powerful way, taking whatever is coming to him? I will tell you one thing, the resolve of the clumsy man does not fall so easily.
 
E

Edgewise

For Whom the Bell tolls should be required reading for all of humanity.
 

ClancyBoy

Senior Member
You read Farewell to Arms, and all you came away with was 'it's raining'? That's so sad.

Hemingway is probably the best american writer of the 20th century (And has a nobel to prove it!).

Where people misunderstand him is in the apparent lack of description and the sparseness of the prose - I suggest you wait a couple of years, and read it again. FTA is a truly remarkable book, and you can learn a lot from it.

He's a great writer, but I don't think his style ages well. There's a reason Hemingway is the 20th century author that is the easiest to parody. He peppers his prose with strange pithy little comments like "for that is what a man must do," and crap like that. What the hell? That looks like a deliberate attempt to be unique, and I despise deliberate attempts to be unique. Just tell the goddamn story and stop advertising yourself.

Hemingway was very popular with America's post-WWII neuveaux riches, the same people who read Playboy magazine for advice on affluent living. That should tell you something. He has substance, but there's a lot of form to get wrapped up in too.

Oh, and a Nobel Prize only means the King of Sweden liked him. If Richard Feynman's account of the Swedish court is to be believed, they only award prizes to people who are popular anyway for other reasons. It's not exactly an award for merit.
 
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