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nUMANlTJJ:;~ 445 scrivener relationship of the story. Returning to the American writer most often called 'stoical,' Melvin Backman comes to Hemingway armed with biographical data and psychoanalytic theory, which he deploys with some success. Daniel Fuchs gracefully brings together Bellow and Dostoevsky in an essay that enlarges our understanding of Bellow's allegiances both to his predecessor and to other, more contemporary thinkers. Munro Beattie examines stoicism in James, and Richard Allan Davidson and Duane J. MacMillan contribute readings of Norris's The Pit and Faulkner's A Fable respectively. Appropriately, all of these academic offerings are bracketed by George johnston's poetic tribute to Marston LaFrance and Torn Middlebro's reminiscence and bibliography of the late scholar of Carleton University. The illustrations are by Patrick Hayman. A smorgasbord indeed, then, with even the common seasoning sprinkled in varying doses and sometimes from different containers. Some dishes are inevitably more appetizing than others, but then at such spreads one may pick and choose. (FREDERICK ASALS) Jacqueline Tavemier-Courbin. Ernest Hemittg1Oay: l'education europeenne de Nick Adams Etudes Anglaises 72. Paris: Didier 1978. 182 At a time when the biographical approach to literary studies, especially for Francophones, has become decidedly unfashionable, Jacqueline Tavernier-Courbin's book on Hemingway is a timely reminder how faSCinating and indeed engrossing such an approach may prove to be when it is thoroughly researched and skilfully accomplished. Perhaps this is because the emphasis is not so much on the work (where the limitations of the method become more apparent) as on the man. Hemingway's writings, as his biographer notes, are an excellent source for such an endeavour: 'II serait difficile de trouver un ecrivain meme autobiographique qui ait donne dans son ceuvre un compte rendu plus exact de sa propre personnalite et de ses propres experiences.' Tavemier-Courbin has not, however, set out to write another fulllength biography of the American author. No radically new sources of information would seem at this time to authorize such a project. Rather, she has chosen to limit her field of investigation to the exploration of Hemingway's experience as an expatriate in Europe, with some minor digressions to his experiences in Africa. If such a narrow focus proves to be particularly fertile, it is largely because of Tavernier-Courbin's ability to blend the general and the particular; to see in Hemingway's experience an archetype of a whole generation of American writers and artists who fled their native shores for the allure of Europe, and yet at the same 446 LETTERS IN CANADA '979 time to locate and particularize this experience in such a way that only a detailed study of the Hemingway psyche can offer a coherent explanation ofit. To accommodate this perspective the study is divided into three parts. The first seeks to trace the reasons for the exodus of so many writers and artists from America and their re-establishment as an American colony in Paris between '920 and 1930. Whatever the individual motivations and emphases, four major causes appear to have occasioned this massexpatriation . First, it may be conceived as a strategy for combatting a sense of the overwhelming materialism and puritanism afflicting the United States. A second reason may be traced to problems of readaptation into the mainstream of American life by many who had directly experienced the horrors of World War I. The third reason is the necessity felt by many Americans to situate themselves in a more enriching intellectuallife and culture, if only to secure the necessary distance by which they might evaluate the achievements of their own country. Finally the strength of the American economy provided considerable financial advantages for expatriates who, while decrying American materialism, managed to live 'la vie bohemienne' precisely by being beneficiaries of American economic strength. The second part of the book contains the most fascinating and perhaps the most controversial elements of this study. Here Tavernier-Courbin is forced into value judgments of a cultural nature and draws more heavily on Hemingway's published fiction to substantiate her judgments and interpretations. The two initial chapters deal with Hemingway's sense of involvement in but detachment from his experience of war. A similar process is...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 445-447
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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