It’s Hemingway’s Fault…

It’s Hemingway’s fault I haven’t been blogging. I figure someone needs to be blamed and why not Hemingway? After all it was my recent reading of A Farewell to Arms that caused all of this. You see sometimes this happens to me, I read a very good classic piece of literature and I get intimidated about writing about it. How can my scrawny little blog posts do it justice? So – I end up dealing with this dilemma the same way I deal with some of my other little issues – avoidance.

It all started back when I was reading a conversation some friends were having about Hemingway – all very positive and then I chime in with – “I don’t care for him, too masculine.” Profound, I know. The truth is, I had only read one of his novels, The Sun Also Rises, when I was around 19 or 20 and I remember that it seemed too stiff and masculine for me, and with that, I wrote him off. Thankfully, I was urged to try again and A Farewell to Arms was recommended. I read it quickly and loved it. I was sort of intrigued by his writing style, in a way so detached, and yet with complete unfailing attention to detail. It felt a little like standing in the middle of a beautiful painting. A Farewell to Arms is about an American who joins the Italian army during WWI as an ambulance driver. While there, he falls in love with a British nurse. The book is based on Hemingway’s real life experiences in WWI.

From thebigread.org

Ernest Hemingway is the notorious tough guy of modern American letters, but it would be hard to find a more tender and rapturous love story than A Farewell to Arms. It would also be hard to find a more harrowing American novel about World War I. Hemingway masterfully interweaves these dual narratives of love and war, joy and terror, and-ultimately-liberation and death.

It will surprise no one that a book so vivid and deeply felt originated in the author’s own life. Hemingway served as an ambulance driver for the Italian army in World War I. Severely wounded, he recuperated in a Red Cross hospital in Milan where he fell in love with one of his nurses. This relationship proved the model for Frederic and Catherine’s tragic romance in A Farewell to Arms.

Obviously I’m more drawn to books about wartime romance than bullfighting and fishing but besides that I really gained a new respect for Hemingway, and have already checked out The Snows of Kilimanjaro as my next read.

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3 Responses to “It’s Hemingway’s Fault…”

  1. […] It’s Hemingway’s Fault…By sheridAfter all it was my recent reading of A Farewell to Arms that caused all of this. You see sometimes this happens to me, I read a very good classic piece of literature and I get intimidated about writing about it. …BOOKIE – https://sherid.wordpress.com […]

  2. I know it’s sometimes unfashionable to like Hemingway, but I do! I love his short stories — Snows of Kilamanjaro is a good one to pick — and I just read For Whom the Bell Tolls this year. And I loved it. Now, must read Farewell to Arms — your post inspires.

  3. My only Hemmingway experience is with A Farewell to Arms, a book I had to read as part of a senior English class in high school. I remember dreading it and then really enjoying it and I have almost no recollection of any of the plot of the story, only enough to say that I liked it.

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