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Ernest Hemingway and the Geography of Memory

Edited by Mark Cirino and Mark P. Ott

Publication Year: 2010

A new collection of essays about the creative process of a renowned American author

Ernest Hemingway’s work reverberates with a blend of memory, geography, and lessons of life revealed through the trauma of experience. Michigan, Italy, Spain, Paris, Africa, and the Gulf Stream are some of the most distinctive settings in Hemingway’s short fiction, novels, articles, and correspondence. In his fiction, Hemingway revisited these sites, reimagining and transforming them. Travel was the engine of his creative life, as the recurrent contrast between spaces provided him with evidence of his emerging identity as a writer.

The contributors to Ernest Hemingway and the Geography of Memory employ an intriguing range of approaches to Hemingway’s work, using the concept of memory as an interpretive tool to enhance understanding of Hemingway’s creative process. The essays are divided into four sections— Memory and Composition, Memory and Allusion, Memory and Place, and Memory and Truth—and examine The Garden of Eden, In Our Time, The Old Man and the Sea, Green Hills of Africa, Under Kilimanjaro, The Sun Also Rises, A Moveable Feast, A Farewell to Arms, and Death in the Afternoon, as well as several of Hemingway’s short stories.

Ernest Hemingway and the Geography of Memory is a fascinating volume that will appeal to the Hemingway scholar as well as the general reader.

Published by: The Kent State University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii

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pp. ix-xvii

Ernest Hemingway had an uneasy relationship with the present; he seemed to believe it rarely made for the best fiction. Yet his mind was always attuned to the present, to the moment as he was immersed and absorbed within it, and that hypersensitivity to what he was experiencing...

Part I: Memory and Composition

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pp. 1-27

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1. Memory and Manhood: Troublesome Recollections in The Garden of Eden

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pp. 3-17

While it may be going too far to insist that the whole of Hemingway’s fictional enterprise was a remembrance of things past, a strong case can be made that the writing he did after his return from World War II is heavily influenced by the writer’s use of his life...

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2. Reclaimed Experience: Trauma Theory and Hemingway’s Lost Paris Manuscripts

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pp. 18-27

In a 1934 letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway advised, “We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt use it” (SL 408). Hemingway often made use of his own painful...

Part II: Memory and Allusion

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pp. 29-66

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3. Memory and the Sharks

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pp. 31-36

It is well-known that Hemingway’s ideal of life, and his favorite theme, is “grace under pressure.” But his best fiction originates in “emotion recollected in tranquility,” as William Wordsworth defined it in his preface to the...

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4. Memory and Desire: Eliotic Consciousness in Early Hemingway

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pp. 37-56

In the spring of 1922, only a few weeks after radically editing T. S. Eliot’s sprawling manuscript of The Waste Land and brokering its sale as a standalone volume to the firm of Boni and Liveright, Ezra Pound took another young writer under his...

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5. Lions on the Beach: Dream, Place, and Memory in The Old Man and the Sea

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pp. 57-66

In addressing both of these questions asked in The Old Man and the Sea, I will depart from the Eurocentric answers offered by previous scholars and suggest answers that take seriously Afro-Cuban elements in the novel. I will look carefully at the location...

Part III: Memory and Place

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pp. 67-145

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6. Hemingway and Cultural Geography: The Landscape of Logging in “The End of Something”

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pp. 69-82

I visited Ernest Hemingway’s house outside Ketchum, Idaho, in the fall of 2004. The late-September weather was golden, crisp, perfect—the skies an intense western blue, long ribbons of quaking aspen and cottonwood trees lining the graceful curves of the...

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7. Expatriate Lifestyle as Tourist Destination: The Sun Also Rises and Experiential Travelogues of the Twenties

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pp. 83-96

When The Sun Also Rises was published in 1926, F. Scott Fitzgerald famously dubbed Ernest Hemingway’s novel “a romance and a guidebook” (Aldridge 123). The novel was celebrated as a roman à clef that depicted an actual segment of Parisian expatriate...

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8. Pursuit Remembered: Experience, Memory, and Invention in Green Hills of Africa

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pp. 97-106

One of the great strengths of Ernest Hemingway’s mode of writing is his evocative development of memory. The technique is pervasive in his work, and powerful examples can readily be found in the two-page opening chapter of...

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9. Alchemy, Memory, and Archetypes: Reading Hemingway’s Under Kilimanjaro as an African Fairy Tale

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pp. 107-126

Under Kilimanjaro is a notable success, for it is a well-conceived and well-executed work of imagination rather than a linear narrative account of the events of Ernest Hemingway’s second East African safari (1953–54). Hemingway’s innovative...

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10. “A Moveable Feast” or “a miserable time actually”? Ernest Hemingway, Kay Boyle, and Modernist Memoir

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pp. 127-145

For every writer of Gertrude Stein’s “lost generation,” there exists a separate Paris. Like modernism itself, Paris of the 1920s resists definition, and memorializing their own version of Paris was something of a cottage industry for the aging Left Bank writers who survived...

Part IV: Memory and Truth

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pp. 147-212

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11. The Persistence of Memory and the Denial of Self in A Farewell to Arms

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pp. 149-165

Two years after the publication of A Farewell to Arms, Salvador Dali’s surreal masterwork The Persistence of Memory showed melting clocks on a desolate landscape, suggesting the inapplicability of linear chronology to modern life and its irrelevance...

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12. The Currents of Memory: Hemingway’s “Big Two-Hearted River” as Metafiction

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pp. 166-185

Hemingway began “Big Two-Hearted River” in Paris in mid-May 1924 and completed what would become the first part of the story when his work was interrupted by magazine editorial duties and a trip to Pamplona for the bullfights. In Spain he enjoyed...

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13 A Clean, Well-Lighted Place for Killing Nostalgia in Hemingway’s Death in the Afternoon

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pp. 186-203

When Hemingway’s Death in the Afternoon was published in 1932, few critics understood why a successful fiction writer would devote nearly a decade to a lengthy exposition of an archaic sport many considered immoral.1 Questions about “the book’s genus...

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14. Memory in The Garden of Eden

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pp. 204-212

An unfinished, posthumously published 1986 novel now looms as a benchmark in Hemingway studies. This is only part of the lure of The Garden of Eden. In 1996, citing the novel as a “benchmark,” Hemingway Review editor Susan F. Beegel reported that...


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pp. 213-215


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pp. 216-225

E-ISBN-13: 9781612775050
E-ISBN-10: 1612775055
Print-ISBN-13: 9781606350423

Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2010

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Memory in literature.
  • Hemingway, Ernest, -- 1899-1961 -- Criticism and interpretation.
  • Geography in literature.
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