What is The Hemingway Affect? Do you think literature today is still indebted to his style?  Who do you think does it well, or poorly? 

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e-martin's profile pic

e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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When I read All the Pretty Horses recently, I thought the McCarthy's novel was basically a re-working of A Farewell to Arms. The connection is in the hero type (a person of great abilities, of extra-national sensitivities, of romance, of self-possession, and of quietude).

There are connections in story type as well, though the actual prose style is not especially similar.

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renelane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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I agree with Sagetrieb that Dubus is similar to Hemingway. The male characters in his stories are often stoic and flawed. The perspective is almost simplistic in both of these male authors, but always leaves me affected by their stories. I also see similarities in the authors themselves-women, physical ailments, and intimacy issues are something both men struggled with, and often shows up in their male characters.

sagetrieb's profile pic

sagetrieb | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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I guess I turn to other male writers to make a comparison--maybe Tobias Wolfe? His short stories take a  hard look at humanity; he looks at difficult ideas and doesn't shy away from them.  I'm thinking of the collection Garden of North American Martyrs (I hope I have the title correct for a change). His story about friendship among the guys--ouch--it hurts to read it. But This Boy's Life, which is his autobiography (using the term very loosely) I would also describe as authentic in something like the Hemingway tradition that you describe. The short stories of Andre Dubus use that very solid point of view that characterizes Hemingway, and he too seems to tell a truth in a deeply authentic way.  He has a story called "Fat Girl" that almost angers me in what I feel is its voyeurism but what critics describe as "truth without judgment." 

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Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Dated? The man died less than 20 years ago, and I would guess (but don't know) that many contemporary writers would say they learned a good deal from him, just as he learned a good deal from Gardner. But in any case, in thinking about Hemingway in terms of "reveal[ing] the iceberg," I don't think Carver was about that, and I doubt in this still postmodernist climate any thinking person would be so arrogant to assert there is "one true thing" that he/she has access to. I think of some those I consider great, such as Julian Barnes or Ishiguru or Morrison or Eugenides or Desai....but that is the point of your question.  Asserting "one true thing" is the problem, I think, of chasm that this war we are in reveals--that one person has a Truth (in capitals) rather than holding on to and writing about the complexity of truth (with a small t).

Okay, "dated" was prob the wrong word, I just meant contemporary in the sense of current authors. 

Hemingway was looking for authencity in voice, and writing what was "true" from the writer's perspective; the audience free to find their own "truth(s)"

sagetrieb's profile pic

sagetrieb | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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Dated? The man died less than 20 years ago, and I would guess (but don't know) that many contemporary writers would say they learned a good deal from him, just as he learned a good deal from Gardner. But in any case, in thinking about Hemingway in terms of "reveal[ing] the iceberg," I don't think Carver was about that, and I doubt in this still postmodernist climate any thinking person would be so arrogant to assert there is "one true thing" that he/she has access to. I think of some those I consider great, such as Julian Barnes or Ishiguru or Morrison or Eugenides or Desai....but that is the point of your question.  Asserting "one true thing" is the problem, I think, of chasm that this war we are in reveals--that one person has a Truth (in capitals) rather than holding on to and writing about the complexity of truth (with a small t).

jamie-wheeler's profile pic

Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Oy...yipes.  Definitely a typo!  But perhaps you are right, a subconscious one. 

Although I respect and enjoy Carver, he is a bit dated.  Who do you think currently shows the impact of the Hemingway influence?  Does anyone still strive to reveal the iceberg, to tell "one true thing" or has this impulse died out? 

While I can at times find Hemingway a blowhard and a misogynist, I still find that his discpline and, for lack of better words, love of life, compelling and sometimes awe-inspiring...

sagetrieb's profile pic

sagetrieb | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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Jamie, I think you subconsciously threw out a pun on the affect/effect relationship in Hemingway. I read "the Hemingway affect" to mean the way he sometimes portrays the lack of affect / ability to show feeling in his heros, and how this is part of the "Hemingway code." I think of the "effect" of this on writers such as Raymond Carver, where, in stories such as "Cathedral," the protagonist has such a lack but gains in feeling by the end of the story: indeed, that is his achievement and what the story is all about. Because it is first person point of view, the Hemingway "effect" is evident as well, for the narrator shows little feeling, apparently fearing it--we really don't know why he lack this, only that he does.  But he does find it as a sort of "holy space" in drawing the cathedral with the blind man.  How about Hemingway's heros?

 

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rere89 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

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what about the sun also rises ?i didn't understand its relationship with the first war world ..

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