Re: RARA-AVIS: hemingway/conrad diatribe

From: Maura McMillan (
Date: 02 Mar 2000

well, as a high school english teacher for too many years (temporarily
'retired'), i would like to throw water on the whole conrad/hemingway thing by saying that as far as i know the reason hemingway is preferred is because his stuff is short and doesn't use big words. i imagine some of you have been in the classroom as recently as earlier today, and you know what the general reading level currently is.

and i can't stand hemingway. he's a chestbeater. and superficial. and his sentence structure is too consistently the same. it bothers me. a lot. neither am i wild for conrad. but his work does not strike me as completely ego-bound, as does hemingway's. i put them on the same shelf.

i don't think brevity or length has got anything to do with anything when one is talking about literature. we all know that good writing is what it is and no matter of length or genre or era changes that.


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