Ernest Hemingway, who ranks with William Faulkner as one of the indisputable giants of twentieth century American fiction, wrote more than fifty short stories. Together they constitute probably the greatest, certainly the most widely known and influential, work in the genre during that period, and a dozen or so, including “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber,” “In Another Country,” “A Way You’ll Never Be,” “The Killers,” “A Clean Well-Lighted Place,” and “Big Two-Hearted River,” are unsurpassed and unsurpassable today or at any time. Perhaps most at home in the short-story form, which in his case constitutes an unusually large portion of a major writer’s work, Hemingway used it for artistic purposes and achievements of the highest order.
Hemingway’s first short-story publication of note was IN OUR TIME, a collection containing fourteen stories bounded and interspersed by brief interchapters on violence coldly observed at bullfights, in World War I, and especially in the Graeco-Turkish War, which Hemingway had recently viewed as a war correspondent. Eight of the stories have Nick Adams for their protagonist—a character Hemingway employed frequently, not only here but also in numerous later stories—and are arranged chronologically, tracing Nick’s development from childhood to maturity. Because stories about Nick begin and end the collection, and since the other six stories are...
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