On Reading / On Writing / The English Teacher / The Social Network


A current, avid interest: Ernest Hemingway.

Through my high school & college years, when the age was dark and dinosaurs roamed freely, I had no time, interest or tolerance for Hemingway. My best efforts to read his work were quarter-hearted. That many hold him in the highest regard, touting him as arguably the ‘best known American writer,’ until quite recently made no difference to me whatever. He drank (like many of the greats), he couldn’t seem to stay married (why does this bother me?), he ended in despair (strangely unaffected), and well, his style eluded me. And then…

“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.”

To this brilliance I say, ‘yes.’ And realize that Hemingway was a writer

I’m a far more excellent reader now. After all, the Enlightenment predictably follows the Dark Ages. I might be late to the Hemingway party, but I can still pour myself a hefty draught and drink him in. My writing is another story.  Still,  “all you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”

Okay, ‘Tatie,’ I’ll give that a go.


2 thoughts on “Homage

  1. Funny, I’ve never been inclined to read much Hemingway at all (and didn’t enjoy what I was made to read). At the library yesterday, however, I almost picked up a collection of his writings. I chose Faulkner instead (and I’m glad I did), but Hemingway has moved to my “almost-ready-to-read” list.

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