From: Robison Michael R CNIN ( Robison_M@crane.navy.mil)
Date: 20 Nov 2002

I just finished rereading Hemingway's TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT. I'm aware of all the criticisms thrown at this book. It's episodic. It switches from first person to third person to a different first person. The economic theme waters down the personal one. I don't find the criticism nearly as impressive as the book. This book rocks! It's a beautiful powerful moving story. Parts of it are very visual, like the gunfight in the beginning or the fishing scene.

Although a liberal definition of hardboiled could pull in most of Hemingway's novels, this book is truly hardboiled. Toughness in most of Hemingway's work is predominantly of the stoic kind, as opposed to the openly aggressive nature of the classic hardboiled authors, but, driven by hard times, Harry Morgan is truly a badass. I think I'd classify the book as noir, too. From the very beginning there are threats and death, and Harry's desperation and anger and bitterness grows as the book proceeds.

For those not subscribing to Barthes's "Death of the Author" theory, Hemingway modelled the pathetic Richard Gordon after his exfriend dos Passos. Many of the people that Hemingway disliked turned into pitiful and disgusting characters in his novels.


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