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Posted: 2/15/2006 10:44:27 PM EDT
Did anyone here read this? I am still puzzling out my position on this book. The ending was sad and sudden although the last fifty pages were very serene and did not lead me to expect anything horrible to happen. Not after the apparent danger was passed. But then again I suppose that is how life is sometimes.

The main character Henry is not very sympathetic to this reader. He is not really in the Italian army for any good reason so his desertion doesn't really mean anything to me. Especially when they tried to kill him. His love Catherine is not that enthralling either as she spends most of the book saying the most concentrated bullshit that is stereotypical of irrational women the world over. My favorite character was Count Graffi who only appears for five pages to play billiards and drink champagne.

But it made me want to go back to Switzerland. When Hemingway talked about the Swiss soldier adjusting his rifle I saw that Schmidt-Rubin on a green canvas strap!
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 5:17:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/16/2006 5:19:20 AM EDT by SteelonSteel]
You think that is bad try reading his short stories like "The short happy life of Francis MacComber" or "The snows of Kilimanjaro." Great setups for a story but all to dissappointing as a whole.

Hemingway sucks. What do you expect, his mother dressed him as a girl for half his childhood.
His skills with English writing were good, not great, I don't know why he was so popular, maybe because of his extremely simplistic writing style which was different than American or English writers that predated him. Compare James Fenimore Cooper with Hemingway, night and day different. You really don't need as much education or reading experience to read Hemingway as compared to Cooper. That is probably why the "average" person liked his writings then.

Look at his stories, he was basically saying life sucked and that he was fucked up. He belonged in Hollywood. In the end he swallowed a shotgun. Goodnight papa.
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 7:04:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/16/2006 7:08:36 AM EDT by Joaquin]

Originally Posted By SteelonSteel:
You think that is bad try reading his short stories like "The short happy life of Francis MacComber" or "The snows of Kilimanjaro." Great setups for a story but all to dissappointing as a whole.

Hemingway sucks. What do you expect, his mother dressed him as a girl for half his childhood.
His skills with English writing were good, not great, I don't know why he was so popular, maybe because of his extremely simplistic writing style which was different than American or English writers that predated him. Compare James Fenimore Cooper with Hemingway, night and day different. You really don't need as much education or reading experience to read Hemingway as compared to Cooper. That is probably why the "average" person liked his writings then.

Look at his stories, he was basically saying life sucked and that he was fucked up. He belonged in Hollywood. In the end he swallowed a shotgun. Goodnight papa.



I like Hemmingway, unlike other writers he doesn't try to dress up with fancy language, he tells it plain and simple and yet there are often nuances underneath. With Hemmingway you often have to read between the lines.

I especially like the "Nick Addams" stories, such as "Indian camp", "Three day blow","The end of something" and other snippets of life growing up in Michigan then later in WWI. As for his mom dressing him up as a girl, that was not unsuall in those days.

"The snows of mount Kilimanjaro" is a good short story and I enjoyed reading it. "Hills like white elephants" is also good. His stories are haunting because they well written and simply told, not to mention good stories. Thumbs up

[edit to add]

Roland, I would like to recommend stories by "Flannery O'Connor". She was a southern writer died at the age of 39 from Lupus in 1963(?). Anyway her short stories are unusal to say the least. Hard to explain but I think you'll like reading her. O'Connor and Hemmingway are probably my two favorite writers.



Link Posted: 2/16/2006 7:35:23 AM EDT
English teacher checking in! What makes Hemingway great is his understated depth. His works seem simple, but are not. A Farewell to Arms is really a book about war and love being equal. Both always end in death and heartache; both are microcosms of life. Look at the first paragraphs of the book: the soldiers are described as looking pregnant because of their ammo pouches and packs. This, of course, foreshadows the combined themes of pregnancy and death later in the novel. The lull in the action before Henry is wounded is mirrored by the seeming peace in Switzerland before Catherine dies. After Henry is to be executed, he escapes by crossing a river, being "re-born" into a new life with Catherine. (Rivers and oceans always are symbols of new life, according to Freud).

Hemingway is not considered a literary genius for no reason.
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 8:23:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Beleg:
English teacher checking in! What makes Hemingway great is his understated depth. His works seem simple, but are not. A Farewell to Arms is really a book about war and love being equal. Both always end in death and heartache; both are microcosms of life. Look at the first paragraphs of the book: the soldiers are described as looking pregnant because of their ammo pouches and packs. This, of course, foreshadows the combined themes of pregnancy and death later in the novel. The lull in the action before Henry is wounded is mirrored by the seeming peace in Switzerland before Catherine dies. After Henry is to be executed, he escapes by crossing a river, being "re-born" into a new life with Catherine. (Rivers and oceans always are symbols of new life, according to Freud).

Hemingway is not considered a literary genius for no reason.



Beleg, it's great to get an English teacher's take on all this. You mention rivers as being symbolic, reminds me of ""Big hearted River I and II" where Nick Addams returns home from the war. I've read most of H's short stories and several of his novels, my favorite being "For whom the bells toll"(didn't care for the film adaptation with Gary Cooper) and of course "The oldman and the sea" which won him the Nobel Prize for literature. I think Heminnway is really in his element with short stories. Even after all these years I still find myself re-reading them.

What do you think of "Flannery O'Connor"?

Link Posted: 2/16/2006 8:40:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/16/2006 8:42:48 AM EDT by peasant]
I especially like the Nick Adams stories but Hemingway's parent hate gets old. Some real baggage there. But, one of my all time favorite experiences in life was going to his home(Finca Vigia) in Havana. BEAUTIFUL home!
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 8:45:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/16/2006 8:45:23 AM EDT by Ardenner]

Originally Posted By Roland_O_Gilead:
Did anyone here read this? I am still puzzling out my position on this book. The ending was sad and sudden although the last fifty pages were very serene and did not lead me to expect anything horrible to happen. Not after the apparent danger was passed. But then again I suppose that is how life is sometimes.

The main character Henry is not very sympathetic to this reader. He is not really in the Italian army for any good reason so his desertion doesn't really mean anything to me. Especially when they tried to kill him. His love Catherine is not that enthralling either as she spends most of the book saying the most concentrated bullshit that is stereotypical of irrational women the world over. My favorite character was Count Graffi who only appears for five pages to play billiards and drink champagne.

But it made me want to go back to Switzerland. When Hemingway talked about the Swiss soldier adjusting his rifle I saw that Schmidt-Rubin on a green canvas strap!



This is definitely one of Hemmingway's better works and I enjoyed a lot. It is actually semi-autobiographical. I believe Hemingway did actually drive an ambulance on the Italian front during WWI.

A Moveable Feast is also very readable – it is a memoir of his time in Paris. I think I like both of them because they are essential both stories of Hemmingway’s life. There is also a lesbian in A Moveable Feast (Gertrude Stein).
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 9:52:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Joaquin:

Originally Posted By Beleg:
English teacher checking in! What makes Hemingway great is his understated depth. His works seem simple, but are not. A Farewell to Arms is really a book about war and love being equal. Both always end in death and heartache; both are microcosms of life. Look at the first paragraphs of the book: the soldiers are described as looking pregnant because of their ammo pouches and packs. This, of course, foreshadows the combined themes of pregnancy and death later in the novel. The lull in the action before Henry is wounded is mirrored by the seeming peace in Switzerland before Catherine dies. After Henry is to be executed, he escapes by crossing a river, being "re-born" into a new life with Catherine. (Rivers and oceans always are symbols of new life, according to Freud).

Hemingway is not considered a literary genius for no reason.



Beleg, it's great to get an English teacher's take on all this. You mention rivers as being symbolic, reminds me of ""Big hearted River I and II" where Nick Addams returns home from the war. I've read most of H's short stories and several of his novels, my favorite being "For whom the bells toll"(didn't care for the film adaptation with Gary Cooper) and of course "The oldman and the sea" which won him the Nobel Prize for literature. I think Heminnway is really in his element with short stories. Even after all these years I still find myself re-reading them.

What do you think of "Flannery O'Connor"?




I haven't read much Flannery O'Connor since college, but I remember thinking it was good stuff. "A Good Man is Hard to Find" - wasn't that O'Connor?
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