Hemingway: Symbols and the limitations of scholarly analysis

What a strange and wonderful thing, to have learned how to converse either with the shade of Hemingway or with some representation of that shade that my mind has made up (which I don’t actually believe is the case, but recognize that it remains a possibility) and not only enjoy the process but continually learn things. While engaged in going back over my conversations with Hemingway, thinking to make a book out of them, I came across this one that should be of interest.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A thought that has come to mind repeatedly is how much good thinking is contained in your books that, for some reason, makes no impression on The Hemingway Myth. That myth is not really larger than life. It is distorted, with certain elements exaggerated and others ignored — suppressed, I sometimes think. The result misses you entirely.

And so does biography based on external fact, as I’ve said. What we do is only part of our life, only part of what we are. Why we do it — in what internal and external circumstances — is rarely obvious. That’s why these professors keep coming up with their theories, trying to explain everything. But nobody’s life can be explained, just explained away. And I never could persuade anybody of the fact.

Continue reading Hemingway: Symbols and the limitations of scholarly analysis