24 March 2014

On Hemingway, whom I cannot stand

from Yahoo! Answers:

Is Ernest Hemingway for children?

Or does he write for both?  :)

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Jonnie Comet:

Emotionally, Hemingway was very immature; so I'm not surprised someone might ask this question. He was an emo coward who feared losing his own ideal of manliness. For example, he shot himself in the mouth because he hated how he felt that he needed, emotionally, the love of his ex-wife and sons, who had all grown distant from him (probably from feeling emotionally neglected by him all those years of the past).

I find most of his work, even that which people like to claim is his 'deepest', intellectually immature. 'Francis Macomber' is a good example. It's typically read in years 7-8-9 because the themes resonate best with adolescent, or pubescent, males. Big macho lion hunter falls for good-looking girl whose husband is a wimp. Big macho lion hunter is even more of a 'real man' because he can satisfy a woman whose husband isn't macho at all. All women want big macho lion-hunter guys. Women are frustrated if they marry white-collar city men. They need a good fast tumble in a tent to show them what a real man is. They can even get city women to shoot their wimpy husbands in the back 'accidentally' just so they can live their fantasy of having big macho lion-hunter guys.

This is a typical theme for Hemingway. Couple this with his absolutely awful moral messages (Islands in the Stream, Old Man and The Sea) and-- and I do not mean this as an insult to anyone-- it really takes an immature mind, such as that of a 13-year-old boy, to 'get' him. I've sat with (and learnt from) intellects, scholars and lecturers who claim I'm not getting it, that there's more to him than that. But after seeing Message in a Bottle, the film based on Nicholas Sparks' book, I realised all over again that I'd been right about EH after all. You see, Sparks is the new Hemingway, with the same sort of immature, tearjerking, and thoroughly pointless ending, showing not a drop of usable morality, that EH pioneered for him. Maybe if you admire shallow losers, you get it. I'm sorry; but I don't.

The fact that 'most' people admire Hemingway, just as they rave over Nicholas Sparks stories, may be saying something about the modern book/film audience that I don't want to put too fine a point on here.

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1 comment:

  1. And, yes, I have contended such things in undergraduate papers-- papers on which I got As even when the professor was, in fact, a Hemingway scholar and devotee. So it just shows you. :p

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