Hemingway Revisited

I have to confess that I never paid much attention to Hemingway stories. I always thought of him as the guys’ writer. War. Big game hunting. Bull fights.

But I might be changing my mind.

After reading a few novels in the “indie” category I decided that many of us have a problem with overwriting — too many adjectives and adverbs, using 10 words where 3 would do. Is it that we don’t trust our readers to “get” what we’re saying? Is it an unwillingness to do that last couple of drafts? An unwillingness to challenge the precision of our sentences?

Whatever, I decided to pick up some Hemingway, that master of the spare sentence.

I’m listening to an audio collection of his Nick Adams short stories. Yes, the sentences are perfect. But what I’m most impressed with is Hemingway’s judgment against insensitive men. Men being perfect assholes and shaming boys into following their lead. Stories that mothers of sons should read.

I guess I’m on my way to re-evaluating Hemingway. “Re-evaluating” is a stupid word to use. I mean to say it’s time for me to hear what he has to say.

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