Other Literary Forms (Critical Survey of Short Fiction, Second Revised Edition)
During the four decades in which Ernest Hemingway worked at his craft, he published seven novels, a collection of fictional sketches, and two nonfiction accounts of his experiences in Spain and in Africa; he also edited a collection of war stories and produced a considerable number of magazine and newspaper articles. The latter have been collected in posthumous editions. Manuscripts of two unfinished novels, a series of personal reminiscences, and a longer version of a bullfighting chronicle have been edited and published posthumously as well. In 1981, Hemingway’s first biographer, Carlos Baker, brought out an edition of the writer’s correspondence.
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Achievements (Critical Survey of Short Fiction, Second Revised Edition)
After spending a decade in relative obscurity, Ernest Hemingway finally became a best-selling author with the appearance of A Farewell to Arms in 1929. His long association with the publishing firm Charles Scribner’s Sons, where the legendary Max Perkins was his editor for more than two decades, assured him wide publicity and a large audience. His passion for high adventure and his escapades as a womanizer made him as famous for his lifestyle as for his literary accomplishments.
For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940) was selected to receive the Pulitzer Prize in 1940, but the award was vetoed. In 1952, the Pulitzer committee did give its annual prize to The Old Man and the Sea (1952). Two years later, Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Even more significant than these personal awards has been the influence that Hemingway has exerted on American letters. His spare style has become a model for authors, especially short-story writers. Further, Hemingway has received significant critical attention, though not all of it laudatory. His tough, macho attitude toward life and his treatment of women have been the subjects of hostile reviews by feminist critics during the 1970’s and 1980’s.
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Other literary forms (Critical Survey of Long Fiction, Fourth Edition)
Ernest Hemingway will be best remembered for his novels and short stories, though critical debate rages over whether his literary reputation rests more firmly on the former or the latter. In his own time, he was known to popular reading audiences for his newspaper dispatches and for his essays in popular magazines. He wrote, in addition, a treatise on bullfighting (Death in the Afternoon, 1932), which is still considered the most authoritative treatment of the subject in English; an account of big-game hunting (Green Hills of Africa, 1935); two plays (Today Is Friday, pb. 1926, and The Fifth Column, pb. 1938); and reminiscences of his experiences in Paris during the 1920’s (A Moveable Feast, 1964).
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Achievements (Critical Survey of Long Fiction, Fourth Edition)
There is little question that Ernest Hemingway will be remembered as one of the outstanding prose stylists in American literary history, and it was for his contributions in this area that he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954, two years after the publication of The Old Man and the Sea. The general reader has often been more intrigued by Hemingway’s exploits—hunting, fishing, and living dangerously—than by his virtues as an artist. Ironically, he is often thought of now primarily as the chronicler of the so-called lost generation of the 1920’s, a phrase that he heard from Gertrude Stein and incorporated into The Sun Also Rises as an epigraph. The Hemingway “code,” which originated as a prescription for living in the post-World War I decade, has become a catchphrase for academicians and general readers alike.
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Discussion Topics (Magill's Survey of American Literature, Revised Edition)
What do the stories in Ernest Hemingway’s In Our Time owe to experiences of his boyhood life, including the influence of his physician father?
What is the essence of Hemingway’s famous style?
Does this style owe more to Hemingway’s journalistic training or to his early friendships with writers such as Gertrude Stein and Sherwood Anderson?
With reference to the Lost Generation characters in works such as The Sun Also Rises, is the point that they were lost themselves or that they had lost certain basic values?
The title For Whom the Bell Tolls comes from a meditation by John Donne. How does the plot of this novel reflect Donne’s conviction about human connectedness?
How does Santiago in The Old Man and the Sea exemplify Hemingway’s definition of courage?
What instances of Spanish cultural influences are found in Hemingway’s fiction?
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Bibliography (Censorship (Ready Reference series))
Benson, Jackson J., ed. New Critical Approaches to the Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1990. Section 1 covers critical approaches to Hemingway’s most important long fiction; section 2 concentrates on story techniques and themes; section 3 focuses on critical interpretations of the most important stories; section 4 provides an overview of Hemingway criticism; section 5 contains a comprehensive checklist of Hemingway short fiction criticism from 1975 to 1989.
Berman, Ronald. Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and the Twenties. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2001. An explication of the cultural context of the era and how the works of these two American writers are imbued with the attitudes and icons of their day.
Berman, Ronald. “Vaudeville Philosophers: ‘The Killers.’” Twentieth Century Literature 45 (Spring, 1999): 79-93. Discusses the influence of the modernist reevaluation of vaudeville on Ernest Hemingway’s short story; notes that Hemingway’s interest in vaudeville resulted from its pervasive presence in society and its acceptance in the intellectual world; argues that vaudeville scripts inspired Hemingway’s interest in the juxtaposition of urban sophistication and rural idiocy.
Bloom, Harold, ed. Ernest Hemingway. Broomall, Pa.: Chelsea House, 2000. Includes articles by a variety of critics who treat topics such as Hemingway’s style,...
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