Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Wait ... What?

So, I finished The Paris Wife, and I found it to be absolutely exquisite. It broke my heart(figuratively) in 20 different ways and left me sad that there was not more to read. That's the mark of a good book.

The whole thing got me thinking about checking out some Hemingway. Somehow I'd avoided reading any of his works throughout school - and while some of his contemporaries left me ... let's say, underwhelmed, at the time ... perhaps I'd developed enough over the years to have a great appreciation for this literary genius.

I took Incrediboy to the library last night and while we were there I grabbed a collection of Hemingway's short stories (which, I have gathered from my nosings, is the forte where he really shone). These were written duting the time frame of TPW, so that made it even more fun.

I read about 50 pages last night - the equivalent of 5 short stories.

I wasn't impressed.

Other than a few dazzling lines sprinkled sparsely throughout, I found his style to be choppy, awkward, and even juvenile. THIS is the greatest American writer of the 20th century? Really?

I guess he's just not my style.

I'm going to keep reading for a while, thinking that maybe Hemingway is an acquired taste for me. I also have the desperate feeling that I'm simply missing something. Personally, I think I'm a pretty good judge of worthy writing. I like it beautiful but simple. Poetically descriptive yet not too fluorishy. Could I really be so at odds with what's considered literary gold?

I'm telling you though - my creative writing professors would have given us a C-minus at best for turning in that stuff. I'm really quite perplexed.


Anonymous said...

Hemingway's writing tends to score bonus points for him being a drunken buffoon-ish prick.

Coffeypot said...

If it doesn’t have a centerfold, forget it. Unless there are lots of pictures - or porn…or, better yet, porn with lots of pictures. Who’s Hemmingway, anyways?

Stacy said...

It's his life that fascinates me, not his writing. I am just biding my time waiting for the day I can explore Hemmingway's Cuba. The Paris Wife is on my list of "want to reads."

Danielle said...

Glad to see you blogging again... I am checking at the library for that book...I always love to see my To Be Read pile grow to unmanageable proportions!