Wednesday, December 21, 2011

So you like Hemingway

I have been agonizing over the sense of guilt for not appreciating one of the pillars of American classic literature for weeks now.
Hence the prolonged silence.( sure!)
Until today.
It is ok that I could not finish, The Sun Also Rises; it is perfectly fine that its short and journalistic matter of fact style does not sit well with my preference towards lyrical prose and a more psychological introspective approach.
And I can write that in black and white thanks to two people:
Harold Bloom and Arthur Turnbull.
In "How to read and why" Harold Bloom, who likes Hemingway, refutes Frank O'Connor's idea that Hemingway's stories "illustrate a technique in search of a subject", which might not be the same reason why I do not gear towards Hemingway's prose but at least it stands as evidence of an academic debate and it gives me reason not to blame my mental stiffness.
The second reference is interesting because it all starts from a typed correspondence I found this morning in Arthur Turnbull biography of Scott Fitzgerald I sold.
On September 10th 1962 Mr Turnbull writes to the 43rd mayor of Seattle , Mr Langlie asking him information regarding Fitzgerald during his staying in Seattle, for the biography he was writing on the writer.
In one of the letters he writes:" I agree with your analysis of Hemingway and Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald, I think, dug deeper into himself and was more interested in the human soul as such. Hemingway, was more apt to be triggered by situations of violence and death into which he fitted his people. Where Fitzgerald usually takes off from personality, Hemingway usually begins with action or mood, another way of saying that Hemingway was essentially a short story writer, while Fitzgerald was more the temperament of a novelist."
And reading Hemingway's "Hills like white elephants" made me agree completely.

May your holiday be filled with written words