COVID-19 rereads: The poetry of Hemingway’s stories

Film critic David Thomson wrote that “[Hemingway’s] short stories are still surprising, and in great part that’s because he rejected or could not do the excessively neat, shaped story….and so he pursued fragmentation, mood and a broken talk that seemed more lifelike, or was it just plain beautiful?”

Image result for Ernest Hemingway

Thomson comments on the deadpan humor in Hemingway, the grim facts of war and the ironies of human communication.

She had a pretty face and a nice smooth skin, and a lovely voice and she was nice all right and really friendly. But my God she was big. She was as big as three women. Tom saw me looking at her and he said, “Come on. Let’s go.”
“Good-bye,” said Alice. She certainly had a nice voice.
“Good-bye,” I said.
“Which way are you boys going?” asked the cook.
“The other way from you,” Tom told him.
-final lines of The Light of the World

Thomson points out that Hemingway’s clipped dialogue and trimmed description are in fact “very literary talk that only seem idiomatic, but which are founded in pause, rhythm, and breathing.”

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