Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Donald Westlake and the origin of Parker

From: Brian Thornton (
Date: 06 Jan 2009

  • Next message: Nathan Cain: "Re: RARA-AVIS: Donald Westlake and the origin of Parker"

    Mario wrote of Elmore Leonard:

    > >He insists that he's a son of Hemingway... except that (in my opinion, at
    > least) >he's considerably better than Hemingway!

    As much as I enjoy Leonard's stuff, I have to differ with you on this one, Mario. For me, Hemingway's short stories are arguably the finest and most influential canon of fiction work by an American in the 20th century. And that's leaving out his novels. Say what you will about his characters (I'll likely agree with you, especially that they're usually not very likable, and the women especially are rarely sympathetic, etc.) and the plots of his novels, but man, Leonard's written some good stuff, but he's never come close to the level of artistry demonstrated in such pieces as "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," "Cat in the Rain," "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place," "The Short, Happy Life of Francis MacComber," "On the Quay at Smyrna," or "Hills Like White Elephants."

    Hemingway might have been a miserable shit of a human being, but he was a master writer, one of the great voices of the 20th century, and one of the most influential (even those who disliked him were influenced, albeit negatively, by him).

    And I say this as someone who likes Fitzgerald even more!

    All the Best-



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