Hemingway: the writer and “the writer…”

The New Southern Gentleman

It’s almost impossible to write about Ernest Hemingway. He was such a caricature – a caricature of his own creation, mind you, both as the writer and as “The Writer” – that trying to write about his work or his writing style in any sort of rational, coherent way is, to quote Martin Mull, like “dancing about architecture.” Nothing one can say could be fair – and nothing one could say could be unfair.

Like the rock stars who first appeared near the end of his life and who proliferated in the decade immediately following his how-to for Kurt Cobain on ending life on one’s own terms, Papa, as he was called in the second half of his reign over American letters, was as authentically and in-authentically “The Man” as any guy who secretly wants to be a great artist while publicly scorning being a great artist could ever hope to…

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