Hemingway, Craft, and the Creation of the Modern Short Story
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: LSU Press
Cover, Title Page, Copyright
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This book is the first comprehensive study of the short story art of the twentieth century’s most influential fiction writer. It is aimed at several audiences: Hemingway scholars and enthusiasts, critics of twentieth-century literature, fiction writers...
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Introduction: The Hemingway “Problem” and the Matter of Art
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The ultimate goal of this book is to justify Hemingway’s centrality in the canon by focusing on his aesthetics. This may seem a curious objective, since his place in literary history hardly seems threatened: Hemingway scholarship...
1. Historical Genre, Dispassionate Presentation, and Authorial Judgment: The Legacy of Maupassant and Chekhov
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By the time Ernest Hemingway commenced his career as a professional author, the short story had been developing for nearly a century, emerging from a variety of traditional short narrative forms—fable, myth, parable, tale, yarn, sketch, and anecdote...
2. Minimizing Words and Maximizing Meaning: Suggestiveness, Concision, and Omission
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The short story’s lack of space leads to prose that relies heavily on suggestiveness and implication, allowing the reader a greater role in bringing the narrative to life. Sean O’Faolain observes: “Telling by means of suggestion or implication...
3. Depicting Consciousness in Modern Fiction: Expressionism and Impressionism from Crane to Cather and Hemingway
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All literary historical genres possess an epistemological dimension: How can the self know the world? Related to this question is another: Where does “reality” reside? Generally speaking, American narrative from the mid-nineteenth...
4. Who Sees and Who Speaks: Hemingway’s Art of Focalization
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No fields of literary theory have contributed more to our understanding of the writer’s craft than narratology and reader-response criticism. But these fields have led to a proliferation of new terms that are unnecessary for the practical...
5. Repetition and Juxtaposition: From Stein to Hemingway
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Acknowledging Gertrude Stein’s influence on Hemingway has become obligatory when discussing his use of repetition, but the extent of her influence has been exaggerated and misunderstood. It was Hemingway’s nature to learn quickly from mentors...
6. Openings, Endings, and the Disjunctive Bump
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In the short story, beginnings are read in anticipation of the end, and the end is read with the beginning still fresh in mind. The reader brings a greater alertness to a story than to a novel, in which one settles in for the long haul and...
7. The Normative Center, the Illustrative Stamp, and the Joycean Epiphany
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I wish to begin this chapter by coining two terms: the normative center and the illustrative stamp. The concept of a normative center is employed in political discourse to signify a cultural mainstream, but I wish to appropriate the term for literary...
8. The New Art of Constructive Dialogue: From James to Hemingway
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Hemingway’s most original and influential contribution to the art of fiction was his creation of an entirely new role for dialogue. Between the completion of his sixth story, “Indian Camp,” in February 1924 (the first new story written...
9. Plot, Characterization, and Setting
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Hemingway’s habit of eliding words in his correspondence sometimes leaves his meaning open to multiple interpretations. A case in point is the above excerpt from a letter to Charles Poore, a longtime admirer of Hemingway in the pages of the...
Coda: Hemingway’s Legacy
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In 1904, two years before his death, Paul Cézanne was asked by a friend what he thought about the Masters. He replied: “They are good. I used to go to the Louvre every morning when I was in Paris; but in the end I attached greater...
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All academic careers begin with teachers, and I was a fortunate student. In the History of American Civilization Program at Harvard University, David Herbert Donald and Warner Berthoff were my mentors, role models, and guardian...
Appendix: Chronological Listing of Hemingway's First 53 Stories by Date of Completion
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Page Count: 296
Publication Year: 2010