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Analogues of the Deserter-in-the-Gauertal Incident: Philoxenia in "The Snows of Kilimanjaro"

From: The Hemingway Review
Volume 33, Number 1, Fall 2013
pp. 15-26 | 10.1353/hem.2013.0015



The Gauertal incident in “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” employs elements of an archetypal hospitality plot involving aid for a pursued man, a plot previously employed by Jack London, Joseph Conrad, Robert Louis Stevenson, Victor Hugo, Homer, and others as well as by Hemingway himself. The essay locates these influences in short story collections recently found in the library of the Hemingway family’s Windemere Cottage. Elucidation of the hospitality plot in Harry’s reminiscences, particularly those of the secretaries in the snow, the attack on the Austrian officers’ leave train, and the death of Williamson, aids in interpretation of the story’s essential conundrums, the frozen leopard carcass and Harry’s death flight to Kilimanjaro’s summit.

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