Re: RARA-AVIS: Conrad/Hemingway

From: Doug Bassett (
Date: 03 Mar 2000

I'd like to humbly point out that Hemingway's influence over the entire hb field has been immense -- indeed, it's hard to imagine hb literature without him. Like him or not (and many do not, often because they disapprove of his life) I think he has to be respected as one of the few giants of 20th Century literature. (Whatever one thinks of his personal philosophy -- and it can be justly criticized -- I think it's unfair to call it "superficial").

Although I admire and respect Conrad, he has always struck me as essentially a transitional figure between the 19th and 20th centuries. I do not think he has been particularly influential in American fiction.

--- Etienne Borgers <> wrote:
> Hem is a mockery in that sector, trying to live
> artificially what he wrote about.
> Somebody here say he's superficial... and I agree.
> But Hem has a merit and influence: his trimming of
> style and phrases, are probably more influential
> than
> his "philosophy of action" he puts in the novels .

> By its modernity Conrad was certainly influential on
> many writers of the 20th century, and is certainly
> also one of the missing links that could make
> something like Noir novels possible (I don't try to
> tell you,however, that he was at the origin of Noir-
> even if one of his major character's name was Marlow
> -Youth and Darkness)
> A last word about "..Darkness..".
> It's not Apocalypse Now (Coppola) that will render
> justice to Conrad- this is on my book as one of the
> most unjustified inflation of a mediocre film (some
> good shots here and there)of modern cinema. I'm even
> thinking that Coppola (with all his craftsmanship)
> is
> an inflated author- the Godfather things are just
> good
> for a general audience thinking its a kind of
> Italian
> version of 'Dallas'.

Well, each his own. Personally, APOCALYPSE NOW is the only Coppola film I can stomach. I also think it is, for the most part, a true evocation of the spirit of Conrad's book.


===== Doug Bassett
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