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Hemingway (1 Viewer)



I love some of his short stories. "The Killers" is definitely one of my all-time favs, and "A Clean, Well-lighted place" is packed full of emotion, something I hadn't expected from Hemingway. "A Day's Wait" is also a wee gem.

And although I like parts of his message (facing death like "a man", living life to the fullest), I think in around twenty or so years this message will be seen as archaic. This is because it's tied-in with his experiences during The Second World War and The Spanish Civil War. From what I've read, it seems that he hated cowards (those in battle, I mean). That's not the attitude of mordern liberal thinking.

I guess what I'm saying is his message only works if you treat it metaphorically, not literally. But with some of the stuff he wrote, that's almost impossible.

Garden of Kadesh

Senior Member
Hemingway's writing is very, very minimalistic. Some people don't like that style. But the thing is, you know when he's trying to get something across. You just have to look for the parts with description.

Unfortunately, I've only read The Sun Also Rises. But now that I'm got myself into a literature class, I'll probably be all over Hemingway like a fly to shit.

Linton Robinson

Senior Member
Twain is so far out ahead of Hemingway as the signature American writer is ridiculous suggest otherwise.

There are hundreds of better writers working today, right now. He came up with the right credentials at the right time.


"There are hundreds of better writers working today, right now."

Many of whom owe a debt to Hemmingway for their pared down style.


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.
writers usually advertise themselves in their stories.
Hemingway is an acquired taste, like a Ruben sandwich or Guinness.
Did his stories suffer from machismo? Well, he had his own style and that should be respected.


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?

Hemingway has been always a favorite writer of mine, indeed he was a great writer. I started with his book The Old man and The Sea. It was such a nice book that it really delighted me. I have read this book several times, and each time it gave me a new meaning indeed. It is full of meanings, something we seek in life and the central thought i s man's perpetual fight against the forces of nature.

The other book I read of Hemingway was Fare Well to Arms and this book too is really interesting.

Linton Robinson

Senior Member
writers usually advertise themselves in their stories.

Not so by any stretch of the imagination.

The current ideal in writing is generally seen to be "transparency"... the idea that there are no artifacts that come between the reader and the story itself.

There are writers that self-agrandize, but unless done humorously (which maybe two or three people do) it's not widely enjoyed.

As ClancyBoy says, that whole "a man goes to do a good, brave thing" stuff has not aged well. You can just hear Hemingway and Mailer talking themselves into the idea that they are real men.

Non Serviam

WF Veterans
America's greatest writer was Ambrose Bierce. Hemingway is the most famous.

I like Bierce too--but I find his misanthropy just a bit too vicious. His writing isn't just acid, it's corrosive. Occasionally screamingly funny. But there's too much Bierce and not enough story.

Personally I think Hemingway's the better writer, although I don't think either of them belong in the same league with Vonnegut.

Linton Robinson

Senior Member
Well, apparently just to clutter up forums.

The discussion was self-advertisement/self-agrandisement. Quite a stretch from that to artistic expression. There are MANY reasons for writing. Making money. Telling a story that happened to occur. Exercising creativity.

The idea that writing is all about the writer and done in order to show off shows a lot about anybody stating it, but is hardly central to serious writers' motivations.


Question for those who liked "The Killers"

I picked up "Best American Short Stories of the Century" edited by John Updike from the library the other day and started in on it. Loved some, liked others, but hated "The Killers" (I happen to be a fan of Hemingway and think that "Big Two Hearted River" is brilliant and could have been a selection for the collection. But this choice would have been predictable, too).

Question is this: What made you like it? The notion of hitmen going into an eating establishment and waiting to kill poor Ole while the staff is tied up seemed bizarre. I did like the surprise of Ole telling Nick basically that it was his time to go and of his indifference to his impending death. To me, the dialogue was the definition of pain (I understand that they didn't talk like we do now). If anyone ever wants to torture me, skip the waterboard. Just tie me in a chair and scream over and over again, "Bright boy! Bright Boy!" I'll tell you anything you want to know.

I'm not criticizing your taste. I fully understand that I could have missed a salient point or message that Hemingway was trying to convey. Just trying to get a handle on this story.


Senior Member
'For Whom the Bell Tolls' has stuck with me, but did ramble on sometimes in endless fashion, an attempt to overbalance the love plot with an historic war mark I think. In my view, it could have stood abbreviation. The movie was unforgettable & excellent cast.

Have wanted 'Islands in the Stream' yet no one seems to have it local.
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Eli Cash

Senior Member
Much as I love Hemingway, I have to admit that "The Killers" is not my favorite thing he's ever done.

Of all the short stuff, I like "Fifty Grand" best, but I'm a boxing fan, so consider the source.