Re: RARA-AVIS: Chandler and THH style differences ?

From: Brian Thornton (
Date: 01 Aug 2002

At 07:59 PM 7/31/02 -0700, you wrote:
>a snip from what Brian wrote:
> > You are more right than you know. _The Sun Also Rises_
> > is also first person, and not third person non-
> > omniscient. Marlowe and Jake Barnes do in fact have a
> > lot in common.
>Excellent comparison between Marlowe and Jake. I had never really
>considered that Jake has given up in the end. Its an interesting idea
>that looks pretty valid when you look over the events in the book.
>Like you, Truman Capote thought that Hemingway would be remembered
>more for his short stories than his novels. I think that the short story
>was more conducive to his theme than the novel. His theme, played
>over and over in almost all his works, was the pursuit of heroism. A
>short story could get in and out quickly, and effectively develop the
>theme, but the longer novel form demanded resolution, which I think
>sometimes went beyond the message. Does that make any sense or am
>I talking out my butt? ;-)

Hi miker,

Yes, you're bang on here, and as for sharing that opinion with Capote, that's nice to hear, because that guy could *write*! With regard to Hemingway and the quest for heroism in his work, look at something like
"The Killers", which is one of the hardest boiled pieces of literature I have ever read (to say nothing of being the inspiration for the film, starring Edmond O'Brien and Ava Gardner, and featuring Burt Lancaster in his film debut as the Swede. If you haven't seen it, see it. William Conrad plays one of the title roles and should have gotten an Oscar!).

And yes, Jake Barnes does give up. He shares that characteristic with many of Hemingway's other protagonists (especially in his novels, except in the instances to which I alluded previous: Robert Jordan, who had given up before he found himself again in "For Whom The Bell Tolls" and the old man in "The Old Man And The Sea"). Read "Across The River And Into The Trees". On second thought, don't. It's terrible!


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