RARA-AVIS: Hemingway

From: Tim Wohlforth ( tim@timwohlforth.com)
Date: 07 May 2005

Just a brief comment on Hemingway, particularly his short stories. What is brilliant about Hemingway is the way he used dialogue to express character. In some stories, for instance A Clean Well Lighted Place or Hills Like White Elephants, there is little else outside of dialogue and just a touch, a perfect touch, of description. This may make Hemingway appear to be "external." However, he actually expressed the internal through the external in a most powerful and yes minimalist way. Elmore Leonard, that great craftsman of painting character through dialogue, does much the same thing today and pays homage to Hemingway. He paints, we interpret. There is something there we can still learn.

On the macho bit I suggest you re-read White Elephants. Is there any possible doubt where his sympathy lies, the macho man or "the girl." Hemingway writes to the human condition and his vision is dark. Thus in a sense he can be considered a noir writer. Is there a darker tale than Indian Camp?

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 07 May 2005 EDT