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Faulkner and Hemingway

Biography of a Literary Rivalry

Joseph Fruscione

Publication Year: 2012

In the first book of its kind, Joseph Fruscione examines the contentious relationship of two titans of American modernism—William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway. At times, each voiced a shared literary and professional respect; at other times, each thought himself the superior craftsman and spoke of the other disparagingly. Their rivalry was rich, nuanced, and vexed, embodying various attitudes—one-upmanship, respect, criticism, and praise. Their intertextual contest—what we might call their modernist dialectic—was manifested textually through their fiction, nonfiction, letters, Nobel Prize addresses, and spoken remarks. Their intertextual relationship was highly significant for both authors: it was unusual for the reclusive Faulkner to engage so directly and so often with a contemporary, and for the hypercompetitive Hemingway to admit respect for—and possible inferiority to—a rival writer. Their joint awareness spawned an influential, allusive, and sparring intertext in which each had a psychocompetitive hold on the other. Faulkner and Hemingway: Biography of a Literary Rivalry—part analytical study, part literary biography—illustrates how their artistic paths and performed masculinities clashed frequently, as the authors measured themselves against each other and engendered a mutual psychological influence. Although previous scholarship has noted particular flare-ups and textual similarities, most of it has tended to be more implicit in outlining the broader narrative of Faulkner and Hemingway as longtime rivals. Building on such scholarship, Faulkner and Hemingway offers a more overt study of how these authors’ published and archival work traces a sequence of psychological influence, cross-textual reference, and gender performance over some three decades.

Published by: The Ohio State University Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. ii-iii


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p. v-v

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pp. vi-viii

Support comes in many forms. Joanna Hildebrand Craig deserves more credit than words can say. From the time she rst expressed interest in publishing my Faulkner–Hemingway project in 2004—mid-dissertation, awkward graduate student stage—she has been enormously helpful and supportive in giving feedback, providing advice, answering questions, answering more questions, and helping me ...

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pp. 1-19

If we substituted “bullghting” with “writing” and “bullghters” with “writers” in the above passage, then we would begin to understand just how strongly competitiveness shaped Hemingway’s views of writing. He saw bullghters and writers as motivated by their peers to seek greatness, to follow set codes, and to outperform their contemporaries in professions that, to his mind ...

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1. Modernism, Postwar Manhood, and the Individual Talent Maturing in the 1920s

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pp. 21-51

After the Armistice, two young men returned to their respective hometowns after professedly heroic war experiences. Each donned an officer’s uniform that had been tailored but not earned through rank; each, though, had a cane and wealth of stories describing his combat heroics. the younger one had been severely injured by mortar and machinegun fire in Italy ...

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2. Petulant Jibes, Catfishlike Uncatfishivity, and Hemingwaves

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pp. 52-102

By the early 1930s, Faulkner and Hemingway had become sure of their professional reputations and, as such, wanted to be the era’s elite American writer. Faulkner, writing to his wife about the Southern Writers’ Conference in Charlottesville, Virginia, was optimistic about his future as a prominent Southern modernist. Indeed, he was the center of attention at the conference, both for his artistic renown and his inebriated behavior, ...

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3. "Glad to Shoot It Out": Ranking and Dueling in the 1940s

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pp. 103-152

It could have been a riposte in an ongoing duel, or merely an objective view of a few American writers. It was probably some of both, though it sounded a lot like a confrontational, challenging response to an under-graduate’s question. While answering questions in a University of Mississippi Creative Writing class in April 1947, Faulkner was asked to rank his contemporaries. His answer initiated the definitive episode in his ongoing ...

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4. Nobel Laureates, Wolves, and Higher Ranking Writers

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pp. 153-205

For Faulkner and Hemingway, the 1950s would be their last full decade. they further protracted their sparring, received the highest literary honors, and made their last marks on the ever-closer wall of oblivion, an image that Faulkner oen invoked. More poignantly, they doubtless realized that they were American modernism’s old guard and that new, younger ...

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pp. 206-246

Artists of all kinds—writers, musicians, painters, and so on—have been known to influence and “talk” to each other through their work. One can look at similar tensions and exchanges between contemporary writers: Wright and Hurston, Ellison and Baraka, the “Men of 1914,” and numerous others. Such intertextual ricocheting creates a dialectic of competition and ...


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pp. 247-256


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pp. 257-263

E-ISBN-13: 9780814270400
E-ISBN-10: 0814270409
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814211748
Print-ISBN-10: 0814211747

Page Count: 304
Publication Year: 2012