RARA-AVIS: francis macomber spoiler

From: Robison Michael R CNIN ( Robison_M@crane.navy.mil)
Date: 12 Mar 2002

carrie said: Re Papa - I'll admit that I haven't read that much Hemingway, like 3 of the novels, and a handful of shorts so I may be missing something. Except the Sun Also Rises, though, I always feel like there's some kind of veil between

me and the characters, disguising what they're really thinking. I get the same vibe off Carver and it can be interesting in small doses, but ultimately in both cases it wears out on me and I can't get invested in it.

I quite enjoy his writing style though between the two (strictly style) I prefer Chandler.

this is more a ramble and only an indirect response to your post, carrie.

jim blue touched on hemingway's clean sharp style. but he also believed that what goes unsaid is oftentimes more important than what is said. i believe this just as firmly as he did. HOWEVER, this can be a real pisser, cuz if you aren't halfway psychic, a reader doesn't know what the heck is going on. in "hills like white elephants", the woman is pregnant, and they are talking about her getting an abortion. the word "pregnant", "abortion", or "child" never comes up. i think its entirely possible to read the whole thing and wonder, "what the heck was that all about? that story sucked." in "the short and happy life of francis macomber", it became a standard assumption by the critics that the big unspoken thing is that his wife's accidental shooting of francis when the rhino(buffalo?) was charging was not accidental. he'd found his courage, and was no longer under her thumb, and was gonna dump her. recently i read a critic that said that was bull... that the shooting was an accident. i don't agree with that, but it pretty much demonstrates that some times hemingway subtlety leaned towards ambiguity.

and more directly in response to your post, there was and is a veil between you and the characters often. hemingway rarely states what a character is thinking. you have to pick up on the undercurrent to know what the heck is going on.


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