Bloom’s Modern Critical Views Sartre John Donne and the Metaphysical Poets John Irving John Keats
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Blooms Modern Critical ViewsAfrican-American
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Blooms Modern Critical Views
ERNEST HEMINGWAYNew Edition
Edited and with an introduction byHarold Bloom
Sterling Professor of the HumanitiesYale University
Blooms Modern Critical Views: Ernest HemingwayNew EditionCopyright 2011 by Infobase PublishingIntroduction 2011 by Harold Bloom
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Ernest Hemingway / edited and with an introduction by Harold Bloom. New ed. p. cm. (Blooms modern critical views) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-1-60413-364-6 (hardcover) ISBN 978-1-4381-3639-4 (e-book) 1. Hemingway, Ernest, 18991961Criticism and interpretation. I. Bloom, Harold. PS3515.E37Z586553 2011 813'.52dc22 2010036211
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Editors Note vii
Introduction 1Harold Bloom
Ernest Hemingway, Psalmist 13George Monteiro
Presupposition and the Coconspirator 29Donald E. Hardy
The Novel as War: Lies and Truth in Hemingways A Farewell to Arms 43Margot Norris
Hemingway and the Creation of Twentieth-Century Dialogue 63Robert Paul Lamb
Harry or Ernest? The Unresolved Ambiguity in The Snows of Kilimanjaro 97Norman Friedman
Santiago and the Eternal Feminine: Gendering La Mar in The Old Man and the Sea 109Susan F. Beegel
A Very Sinister Book: The Sun Also Rises as Critique of Pastoral 135David Savola
Cultural Imperialism, Afro-Cuban Religion, and Santiagos Failure in Hemingways The Old Man and the Sea 157Philip Melling
Brett Couldnt Hold Him: Lady Ashley, Pedro Romero, and the Madrid Sequence of The Sun Also Rises 175Donald A. Daiker
My introduction acknowledges Hemingways genius at composing the short story, while questioning his achievement as a novelist.
George Monteiro offers an extended treatment of Hemingways rela-tionship to the Bible and biblical utterance, after which Donald E. Hardy examines the function of presupposition in the dialogue in three of the short stories.
Margot Norris explores veracity and the ethical awareness Hemingway brought to the writing of A Farewell to Arms. Robert Paul Lamb then credits Hemingway with a radical transformation of the role and art of dialogue.
Norman Friedman argues that the protagonist of The Snows of Kili-manjaro is a projection of the author, a figure who absorbs and corrects Hemingways ambiguous relationship to his vocation. Susan F. Beegel then studies aspects of gendering in The Old Man and the Sea, which I myself read as involuntary self-parody.
David Savola posits The Sun Also Rises as a critique of the pastoral mode, after which Philip Melling appraises the cultural concerns orbiting The Old Man and the Sea. The volume concludes with an analysis by Donald A. Daiker of the representational distortions of Lady Brett Ashley.
H A R O L D B L O O M
Hemingway freely proclaimed his relationship to Huckleberry Finn, and there is some basis for the assertion, except that there is little in common between the rhetorical stances of Twain and Hemingway. Kiplings Kim, in style and mode, is far closer to Huckleberry Finn than anything Hemingway wrote. The true accent of Hemingways admirable style is to be found in an even greater and more surprising precursor:
Th is grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old mothers,Darker than the colorless beards of old men,Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths.
I clutch the rails of the fence, my gore drips, thinnd with the ooze of my skin,I fall on the weeds and stones,Th e riders spur their unwilling horses, haul close,Taunt my dizzy ears and beat me violently over the head with whip-stocks.Agonies are one of my changes of garments,I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person,My hurts turn livid upon me as I lean on a cane and observe.
Hemingway is scarcely unique in not acknowledging the paternity of Walt Whitman; T.S. Eliot and Wallace Stevens are far closer to Whitman than William Carlos Williams and Hart Crane were, but literary infl uence is a paradoxical and antithetical process, about which we continue to know all too little. Th e profound affi nities between Hemingway, Eliot, and Stevens are not accidental but are family resemblances due to the repressed but crucial relation each had to Whitmans work. Hemingway characteristically boasted (in a letter to Sara Murphy, February 27, 1936) that he had knocked Stevens down quite handily: . . . for statistics sake Mr. Stevens is 6 feet 2 weighs 225 lbs. and . . . when he hits the ground it is highly spectaculous. Since this match between the two writers took place in Key West on February 19, 1936, I am moved, as a loyal Stevensian, for statistics sake to point out that the victorious Hemingway was born in 1899 and the defeated Stevens in 1879, so that the novelist was then going on 37 and the poet verging on 57. Th e two men doubtless despised each other, but in the letter celebrating his victory Hemingway calls Stevens a damned fi ne poet, and Stevens always affi rmed that Hemingway was essentially a poet, a judgment concurred in by Robert Penn Warren when he wrote that Hemingway is essentially a lyric rather than a dramatic writer. Warren compared Hemingway to Wordsworth, which is feasible, but the resemblance to Whitman is far closer. Wordsworth would not have written, I am the man, I suff erd, I was there, but Heming-way almost persuades us he would have achieved that line had not Whitman set it down fi rst.
It is now a half century since Hemingways suicide, and some aspects of his permanent canonical status seem beyond doubt. Only a few modern American novels seem certain to endure: Th e Sun Also Rises, Th e Great Gatsby, Miss Lonelyhearts, Th e Crying of Lot 49, and at least several by Faulkner, including As I Lay Dying, Sanctuary, Light in August, Th e Sound and the Fury,