An LEC author comments on some other LEC authors

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An LEC author comments on some other LEC authors

Editado: Ene 31, 2:39am

This post was inspired by some comments I read in the archives of this forum:

JeromeJ: Fitzgerald and Hemingway would be the first to admit they were second-rate writers.

Django6924: Literature is not a football game where there has to be a winner and a loser, and when there aren't winners and losers ranking seems to be highly subjective and, as I maintain, somewhat frivolous.

The following extracts are from two letters, one from Hemingway to Max Perkins and another from Hemingway to Charles Scribner; and also from a New Yorker interview of Hemingway:

There is no use writing anything that has been written before unless you can beat it. What a writer in our time has to do is write what hasn't been written before or beat dead men at what they have done. The only way he can tell how he is going is to compete with dead men...

Am a man without any ambition, except to be champion of the world. I wouldn't fight Dr Tolstoy in a 20-round bout because I know he would knock my ears off. The Dr. had terrific wind and could go on forever and then some. But I would take him on for six and he would never hit me and I would knock the shit out of him and maybe knock him out. He is easy to hit. But boy how he can hit. If I live to 60 I can beat him (MAYBE)...

Mr Henry James I would just thumb him once the first time he grabbed and then hit him once where he had no balls and ask the referee to stop it.

There are some guys nobody could ever beat like Mr. Shakespeare (The Champion) and Mr Anonymous. But would be glad, any time, if in training, to go twenty with Mr Cervantes in his own home town (Alcala de Henares) and beat the shit out of him. Although Mr C. very smart and would be learning all the time and would probably beat you in a return match. The third fight people would pay to see. Plenty peoples.

But these Brooklyn jerks are so ignorant that they start off fighting Mr Tolstoy. And they announce they have beaten him before the fight starts. They should be hung by their balls for their ignorance. I can write good and I would not get into the ring with Mr Tolstoy over the long distance unless I and my family were not eating. (𝑯𝒆 𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒆𝒅 𝒂 𝒘𝒂𝒓 𝒘𝒓𝒊𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒘𝒉𝒐, 𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒂𝒊𝒅, 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒂𝒑𝒑𝒂𝒓𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒍𝒚 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒐𝒇 𝒉𝒊𝒎𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒇 𝒂𝒔 𝑻𝒐𝒍𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒚, 𝒃𝒖𝒕 𝒘𝒉𝒐’𝒅 𝒃𝒆 𝒂𝒃𝒍𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒑𝒍𝒂𝒚 𝑻𝒐𝒍𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒚 𝒐𝒏𝒍𝒚 𝒐𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑩𝒓𝒚𝒏 𝑴𝒂𝒘𝒓 𝒇𝒊𝒆𝒍𝒅-𝒉𝒐𝒄𝒌𝒆𝒚 𝒕𝒆𝒂𝒎. “𝑯𝒆 𝒏𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒔 𝒂 𝒔𝒉𝒐𝒕 𝒇𝒊𝒓𝒆𝒅 𝒊𝒏 𝒂𝒏𝒈𝒆𝒓, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒆𝒕𝒔 𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒃𝒆𝒂𝒕 𝒘𝒉𝒐? 𝑻𝒐𝒍𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒚, 𝒂𝒏 𝒂𝒓𝒕𝒊𝒍𝒍𝒆𝒓𝒚 𝒐𝒇𝒇𝒊𝒄𝒆𝒓 𝒘𝒉𝒐 𝒇𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝒂𝒕 𝑺𝒆𝒗𝒂𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒑𝒐𝒍, 𝒘𝒉𝒐 𝒌𝒏𝒆𝒘 𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒔𝒕𝒖𝒇𝒇, 𝒘𝒉𝒐 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒂 𝒉𝒆𝒍𝒍 𝒐𝒇 𝒂 𝒎𝒂𝒏 𝒂𝒏𝒚𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒑𝒖𝒕 𝒉𝒊𝒎—𝒃𝒆𝒅, 𝒃𝒂𝒓, 𝒊𝒏 𝒂𝒏 𝒆𝒎𝒑𝒕𝒚 𝒓𝒐𝒐𝒎 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒉𝒆 𝒉𝒂𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒌. 𝑰 𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒓𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚 𝒒𝒖𝒊𝒆𝒕 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑰 𝒃𝒆𝒂𝒕 𝑴𝒓. 𝑻𝒖𝒓𝒈𝒆𝒏𝒆𝒗. 𝑻𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝑰 𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒊𝒏𝒆𝒅 𝒉𝒂𝒓𝒅 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑰 𝒃𝒆𝒂𝒕 𝑴𝒓. 𝒅𝒆 𝑴𝒂𝒖𝒑𝒂𝒔𝒔𝒂𝒏𝒕. 𝑰’𝒗𝒆 𝒇𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝒕𝒘𝒐 𝒅𝒓𝒂𝒘𝒔 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝑴𝒓. 𝑺𝒕𝒆𝒏𝒅𝒉𝒂𝒍, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑰 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒌 𝑰 𝒉𝒂𝒅 𝒂𝒏 𝒆𝒅𝒈𝒆 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒍𝒂𝒔𝒕 𝒐𝒏𝒆. 𝑩𝒖𝒕 𝒏𝒐𝒃𝒐𝒅𝒚’𝒔 𝒈𝒐𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒐 𝒈𝒆𝒕 𝒎𝒆 𝒊𝒏 𝒂𝒏𝒚 𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝑴𝒓. 𝑻𝒐𝒍𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒚 𝒖𝒏𝒍𝒆𝒔𝒔 𝑰’𝒎 𝒄𝒓𝒂𝒛𝒚 𝒐𝒓 𝑰 𝒌𝒆𝒆𝒑 𝒈𝒆𝒕𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒃𝒆𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒓.")

In the big book I hope to take Mr Melville and Mr Dostoevsky, they are coupled as a stable entry, and throw lots of mud in their faces because the track isn't fast. But you can only run so many of those kind of races. They take it out of you.
Know this sounds like bragging but Jeezoo Christ you have to have confidence to be a champion and that is the only thing I ever wished to be.


By way of explanation of the Melville/Dostoevsky reference I was informed that "Mud gets thrown from the hooves of the lead horse into the faces of the horses and jockeys in the pack that follows."

These words of the H man might seem like the worst kind of braggadocio, except that according to Somerset Maugham, the three best books of American literature are 'Leaves of Grass', 'Moby Dick', and 'Huckleberry Finn', and these three are closely followed by 'For Whom the Bell Tolls'. Maugham's interview where he says this (and where he claims he is a great admirer of Hemingway) can be seen here (watch from 6:18):

Ene 31, 2:08am

>1 blue.eyes:
Lovely quotes!

Ene 31, 10:42am

There was an interesting article in Esquire magazine which ran a few years after Hemingway's death. At that time, there was a critical reaction attempting to devalue Hemingway's reputation, and many critics whose names I have forgotten (such tends to be their fate) were attacking his work, not on its literary merit, but on their perceived faults in Hemingway as a man--his macho persona, his pettiness towards other writers, his celebrity status. The article was titled "Papa and the Parasites," and I think the attitudes it portrayed are still prevalent in much of the critical establishment today.

Thanks for pointing out the Maugham interview; I can see why he was an admirer of Hemingway and why he singled out For Whom the Bell Tolls--Maugham once claimed he was himself in the "first row of the second rate," and in this showed an amazing self awareness and critical aptitude. He lacked Hemingway's drive to be "a champion" and never attempted a canvas on the larger scale of War and Peace, Moby-Dick, Huckleberry Finn or For Whom the Bell Tolls. That doesn't mean he didn't achieve greatness in what he did, and it's not difficult to point out the flaws in War and Peace, Moby-Dick, Huckleberry Finn or For Whom the Bell Tolls; but those flaws don't diminish their greatness. Before pointing out the faults in those literary monuments, critics need to go back and read Browning's "Andrea del Sarto."

Editado: Feb 2, 4:53am

>3 Django6924: "Thanks for pointing out the Maugham interview"

You may also wish to listen to another interview of Maugham (probably his best interview on youtube) where he talks about his views on various authors all of whom were published by the LEC:

(For a few seconds in the middle of the interview, there is no audio at all, but if you just wait for a bit it comes back right on.)


I regret Leccol is not here among us. Among other things, I learnt a lot about which Hemingway short stories to read after I read your exchanges with him in the archives. I've only read two works of Hemingway so far, 'A Moveable Feast' and 'The Sun also Rises', and what impressed me the most in these works was the writing style. There is some speculation that the distinctive writing style Hemingway uses did not originate with him but from someone else. I wonder whether you have anything to say on the following:

You could argue that Hammett was the most influential American writer of the 20th century. This is an honor generally accorded to Ernest Hemingway, but who influenced him? There has been some question about whether Hammett influenced Hemingway or whether it was the other way around.

There is no question they knew each other's work. In Hemingway's "Death in the Afternoon," he remarks that his wife is reading Hammett's "The Dain Curse," adding that it's his "bloodiest yet" ("The Dain Curse" was Hammett's second novel). In Hammett's "The Main Death," his detective, the Continental Op, notices that a witness is reading "The Sun Also Rises."

Joe Gores, one of today's most distinguished hard-boiled writers, a three time Edgar winner and a Hammett scholar, knew Lee Wright, one of the greatest editors of mystery fiction who ever lived. Wright knew both men, Mr. Gores has written, and she said she always believed Hemingway learned his terse writing style from Hammett.

Chronology supports this assessment. Hammett's first story for "Black Mask" magazine came out on October 1, 1923, and the Op appeared regularly after that for some years. Hemingway's first book, "In Our Time," was published in a limited edition in Paris and did not appear in America until 1925, and then in a very small edition (1,335 copies), by which time Hammett was well established and his writing style firmly entrenched.

Feb 2, 1:05am

Interesting speculation, but as far as who influenced whom, I think the evidence remains somewhat slim: Hammet's first published work was in 1922 in the magazine Smart Set, and if anyone cares to read them, here is a link:

I wonder if after reading them, you could explain how these sketches were the inspiration for Hemingway's prose style. The first Continental Op story in The Black Mask was, as pointed out, in October, 1923; Hammett was probably living in San Francisco and the magazines were published in the US. Hemingway was living in Paris in the summer of 1923 when Three Stories and Ten Poems was published in Paris; two of the 3 stories, "Up in Michigan" and "My Old Man" which are very characteristic of his style, must have been written at least in the fall and winter of 1922. In fact "My Old Man" apparently survived the famous "missing suitcase" of Hemingway manuscripts stolen from his wife in December 1922 only because it had already been posted to the publisher. Given this chronology and the fact that the two writers were widely separated by space, it's hard to see how either one could have much influenced the other in their early years.

And in fact, I think both were reacting against the effusive prose of Victorian writers as well as the polemical nature of the propagandistic literature of WW I. A better case of literary influence on Hemingway would be Gertrude Stein, and especially Ezra Pound, who befriended him when he was a young expatriate in Paris, and taught him the Imagist style, with its concrete imagery and clarity of expression..

Influence aside, all you have to do is compare the prose in Hemingway's short stories in In Our Time and The Sun Also Rises to The Continental Op stories or Red Harvest to see that the differences in their styles far outweighs the similarities. Hammett, a superb stylist with a gift for creating three-dimensional characters within the confines of his particular genre never attempted anything on the scope of Hemingway's novels. And although Hemingway could convincingly use the "hard-boiled" technique in stories like "The Killers," he never was a "genre writer," and I never read anything by Hammett that equalled the oblique exposition of "Hills Like White Elephants," a perfect example of Hemingway's "iceberg theory" of storytelling.

Raymond Chandler suggested that Hammett might have influenced Hemingway, but then Chandler was, I believe, very jealous of Hemingway, even to the point of having his alter go Philip Marlowe make snarky comments in Farewell My Lovely; a dim-witted gunsel Marlowe has been calling "Hemingway" asks "who is this Hemingway" and Marlowe replies:
"A guy who keeps saying the same thing over and over until you believe it must be good."

Not to criticize all those who want to snipe at Papa, who wasn't too generous to other writers himself, but when all's said and done, Hemingway's influence is enormous: later writers either tried to emulate his style or avoid it, but few could ignore it.

Feb 2, 5:52pm

>5 Django6924: nice explanation. thanks.

Editado: Mar 20, 11:54pm

In 'A Moveable Feast', Hemingway seems to refers to his learning some aspects of the craft of writing from painters. He again referred to this point (of learning from painters) in an interview with George Plimpton. He does not elaborate on this point, however. I wonder if anyone here would be interested in explaining how a writer would learn from painters. The only thing I can think of is that viewing a lot of certain paintings might help in writing descriptive scenes (where one is describing the geographical terrain), and also perhaps in describing the physical characteristics of an individual.

Edited to add: And i just noticed that his list of literary forebears also includes musicians. I have no idea how music can help learn some aspects of the craft of writing. Perhaps having an appreciation of good music can help one write musical prose? But this sounds silly at least to begin with.

Editado: Mar 21, 2:47am

Artists are usually very reluctant to attribute their influences to another artist for obvious reasons, and Hemingway's long list of writers, composers and visual artists is in one way his attempt to ward off critics saying (as does Chandler): "he got his style from Hammett" (or Ring Lardner--if you read Lardner's You Know Me Al you'll see a marked similarity in the dialogue of Hemingway's characters, and Hemingway himself often praised Lardner's writing).

I think most artists are influenced by art in general, and great art in particular. They hear emotions expressed in music that they may give utterance to in words (read Robert Browning's "A Toccata of Galuppi's") just as a writer may be inspired by a painting because it calls up associations for which the writer wants to find a literary equivalent (see Auden's "Musée des Beaux Arts").

A forebear Hemingway doesn't mention is Ezra Pound, who introduced Hemingway to Imagism, a literary movement that was itself influenced by visual art: specifically classical Asian art as well as Cubism. And as Hemingway pointed out in the Plimpton interview, certain musical features, counterpoint in particular, which occurs when you have two separate voices which may or may not be in harmony, but which at some point reveal an entirely new view of an event, a relationship, etc. A locus classicus in Hemingway's work is "Hills Like White Elephants," where the man and the women talk about how hot the day is and about other mundane things, when what is really happening is that the man wants the woman, who is probably Catholic though this is not explicitly stated, to get an abortion. They mostly talk at cross purposes, and this is literary counterpoint and is a technique Hemingway used a lot.

Editado: Mar 22, 2:16pm

>8 Django6924: Hemingway's Plimpton interview was published in the Spring 1958 edition of the Paris Review. By this time, Ezra Pound had been disgraced for his political views. Personally I think artists should be allowed to behave irresponsibly but I don't know the full details of why Pound had to be incarcerated. (Hammett suffered a similar fate.) This might be why Pound was not mentioned by Hemingway. The other omission is of Gertrude Stein with whom Hemingway had fallen out. In 'The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas', Stein had ridiculed Hemingway, and Hemingway had hit back at her later in some of his own writings.

Coming back to paintings, here are a few more details:

𝑰𝒏 𝑨 𝑴𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒂𝒃𝒍𝒆 𝑭𝒆𝒂𝒔𝒕 𝑯𝒆𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒘𝒂𝒚 𝒔𝒂𝒚𝒔:
"𝑰𝒇 𝑰 𝒘𝒂𝒍𝒌𝒆𝒅 𝒅𝒐𝒘𝒏 𝒃𝒚 𝒅𝒊𝒇𝒇𝒆𝒓𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒔𝒕𝒓𝒆𝒆𝒕𝒔 𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑱𝒂𝒓𝒅𝒊𝒏 𝒅𝒖 𝑳𝒖𝒙𝒆𝒎𝒃𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒈 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒂𝒇𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒏𝒐𝒐𝒏 𝑰 𝒄𝒐𝒖𝒍𝒅 𝒘𝒂𝒍𝒌 𝒕𝒉𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒈𝒂𝒓𝒅𝒆𝒏𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝒈𝒐 𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑴𝒖𝒔𝒆𝒆 𝒅𝒖 𝑳𝒖𝒙𝒆𝒎𝒃𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒈 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒈𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕 𝒑𝒂𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒔 𝒘𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒏𝒐𝒘 𝒎𝒐𝒔𝒕𝒍𝒚 𝒃𝒆𝒆𝒏 𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒔𝒇𝒆𝒓𝒓𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑳𝒐𝒖𝒗𝒓𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑱𝒆𝒖 𝒅𝒆 𝑷𝒂𝒖𝒎𝒆. 𝑰 𝒘𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒏𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒍𝒚 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚 𝒅𝒂𝒚 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑪𝒆𝒛𝒂𝒏𝒏𝒆𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒔𝒆𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑴𝒂𝒏𝒆𝒕𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑴𝒐𝒏𝒆𝒕𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝑰𝒎𝒑𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒔𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝑰 𝒉𝒂𝒅 𝒇𝒊𝒓𝒔𝒕 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒌𝒏𝒐𝒘 𝒂𝒃𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑨𝒓𝒕 𝑰𝒏𝒔𝒕𝒊𝒕𝒖𝒕𝒆 𝒂𝒕 𝑪𝒉𝒊𝒄𝒂𝒈𝒐.𝑰 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒔𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒂𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒐𝒇 𝑪𝒆𝒛𝒂𝒏𝒏𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒎𝒂𝒅𝒆 𝒘𝒓𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒔𝒊𝒎𝒑𝒍𝒆 𝒕𝒓𝒖𝒆 𝒔𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒆𝒔 𝒇𝒂𝒓 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒆𝒏𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉 𝒕𝒐 𝒎𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒔 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒅𝒊𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒔𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝑰 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒕𝒓𝒚𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒐 𝒑𝒖𝒕 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒎. 𝑰 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚 𝒎𝒖𝒄𝒉 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒉𝒊𝒎 𝒃𝒖𝒕 𝑰 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒂𝒓𝒕𝒊𝒄𝒖𝒍𝒂𝒕𝒆 𝒆𝒏𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉 𝒕𝒐 𝒆𝒙𝒑𝒍𝒂𝒊𝒏 𝒊𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒂𝒏𝒚𝒐𝒏𝒆. 𝑩𝒆𝒔𝒊𝒅𝒆𝒔 𝒊𝒕 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒂 𝒔𝒆𝒄𝒓𝒆𝒕...

𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒃𝒆𝒔𝒕 𝒑𝒍𝒂𝒄𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒈𝒐 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑳𝒖𝒙𝒆𝒎𝒃𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒈 𝒈𝒂𝒓𝒅𝒆𝒏𝒔 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒔𝒂𝒘 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒔𝒎𝒆𝒍𝒍𝒆𝒅 𝒏𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒐 𝒆𝒂𝒕 𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒂𝒚 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑷𝒍𝒂𝒄𝒆 𝒅𝒆 𝒍'𝑶𝒃𝒔𝒆𝒓𝒗𝒂𝒕𝒐𝒊𝒓𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒓𝒖𝒆 𝒅𝒆 𝑽𝒂𝒖𝒈𝒊𝒓𝒂𝒓𝒅. 𝑻𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒄𝒐𝒖𝒍𝒅 𝒂𝒍𝒘𝒂𝒚𝒔 𝒈𝒐 𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑳𝒖𝒙𝒆𝒎𝒃𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒈 𝒎𝒖𝒔𝒆𝒖𝒎 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒂𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒔 𝒘𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒔𝒉𝒂𝒓𝒑𝒆𝒏𝒆𝒅 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒄𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒆𝒓 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒎𝒐𝒓𝒆 𝒃𝒆𝒂𝒖𝒕𝒊𝒇𝒖𝒍 𝒊𝒇 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒘𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒃𝒆𝒍𝒍𝒚-𝒆𝒎𝒑𝒕𝒚, 𝒉𝒐𝒍𝒍𝒐𝒘-𝒉𝒖𝒏𝒈𝒓𝒚....

...𝑯𝒖𝒏𝒈𝒆𝒓 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒂 𝒈𝒐𝒐𝒅 𝒅𝒊𝒔𝒄𝒊𝒑𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒆. 𝑰 𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒏𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒖𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑪𝒆𝒛𝒂𝒏𝒏𝒆 𝒎𝒖𝒄𝒉 𝒃𝒆𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒔𝒆𝒆 𝒕𝒓𝒖𝒍𝒚 𝒉𝒐𝒘 𝒉𝒆 𝒎𝒂𝒅𝒆 𝒍𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒔𝒄𝒂𝒑𝒆𝒔 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝑰 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒉𝒖𝒏𝒈𝒓𝒚."

In a 1949 interview, Hemingway stated that 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 "𝑪𝒆𝒛𝒂𝒏𝒏𝒆 𝒊𝒔 𝒎𝒚 𝒑𝒂𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒂𝒇𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒍𝒚 𝒑𝒂𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒔 .... 𝑰 𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝒎𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒂 𝒍𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒔𝒄𝒂𝒑𝒆 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝑴𝒓. 𝑷𝒂𝒖𝒍 𝑪𝒆𝒛𝒂𝒏𝒏𝒆, 𝑰 𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒏𝒆𝒅 𝒉𝒐𝒘 ... 𝒃𝒚 𝒘𝒂𝒍𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑳𝒖𝒙𝒆𝒎𝒃𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒈 𝑴𝒖𝒔𝒆𝒖𝒎 𝒂 𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒔𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒆𝒔."

𝑰𝒏 𝒂 𝒍𝒆𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒕𝒐 𝑺𝒕𝒆𝒊𝒏 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝑨𝒖𝒈𝒖𝒔𝒕 1924, 𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒓𝒐𝒕𝒆, "𝑰 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒇𝒊𝒏𝒊𝒔𝒉𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒘𝒐 𝒍𝒐𝒏𝒈 𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒔 ... 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒇𝒊𝒏𝒊𝒔𝒉𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒍𝒐𝒏𝒈 𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝑰 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒌𝒆𝒅 𝒐𝒏 𝒃𝒆𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒆 𝑰 𝒘𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝑺𝒑𝒂𝒊𝒏 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝑰 𝒂𝒎 𝒅𝒐𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒄𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒕𝒓𝒚 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝑪𝒆𝒛𝒂𝒏𝒏𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒂 𝒉𝒆𝒍𝒍 𝒐𝒇 𝒂 𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒔𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒆𝒔 𝒈𝒆𝒕𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒊𝒕 𝒂 𝒍𝒊𝒕𝒕𝒍𝒆 𝒃𝒊𝒕. 𝑰𝒕 𝒊𝒔 𝒂𝒃𝒐𝒖𝒕 100 𝒑𝒂𝒈𝒆𝒔 𝒍𝒐𝒏𝒈 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒏𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒉𝒂𝒑𝒑𝒆𝒏𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒄𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒕𝒓𝒚 𝒊𝒔 𝒔𝒘𝒆𝒍𝒍. 𝑰 𝒎𝒂𝒅𝒆 𝒊𝒕 𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒖𝒑".

When I read The Sun also Rises, I came across many pages where I felt I was reading a painting in words. Like when he describes the Spanish countryside. I am familiar with a writer describing the geographical terrain in one or two or three paragraphs, but in The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway could keep going describing the countryside in multiple pages. As if he was a painter, painting with words.

At first I thought that August 1924 letter to Stein, where Hemingway refers to the 'long one', was a reference to The Sun Also Rises. But in another interview he clarified that he started writing it on his 27th birthday, which would mean he started writing it on July 21, 1926:

𝑯𝒆 𝒃𝒆𝒈𝒂𝒏 𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒏𝒆𝒘 𝒃𝒐𝒐𝒌 𝒂𝒔 𝒂 𝒔𝒉𝒐𝒓𝒕 𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒚. “𝑻𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝑰 𝒄𝒐𝒖𝒍𝒅𝒏’𝒕 𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒑 𝒊𝒕. 𝑰𝒕 𝒘𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒔𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝒐𝒏 𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒐 𝒂 𝒏𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒍,” 𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒂𝒊𝒅. “𝑻𝒉𝒂𝒕’𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒂𝒚 𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒎𝒚 𝒏𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒍𝒔 𝒈𝒐𝒕 𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒓𝒕𝒆𝒅. 𝑾𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝑰 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒕𝒘𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒚-𝒇𝒊𝒗𝒆, 𝑰 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒅 𝒏𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒍𝒔 𝒃𝒚 𝑺𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒂𝒖𝒍𝒕 𝑴𝒂𝒖𝒈𝒉𝒂𝒎 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑺𝒕𝒆𝒑𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝑺𝒕. 𝑽𝒊𝒙𝒆𝒏 𝑩𝒆𝒏𝒆́𝒕.” 𝑯𝒆 𝒍𝒂𝒖𝒈𝒉𝒆𝒅 𝒉𝒐𝒂𝒓𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒚. “𝑻𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒉𝒂𝒅 𝒘𝒓𝒊𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒏 𝒏𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒍𝒔, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑰 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒂𝒔𝒉𝒂𝒎𝒆𝒅 𝒃𝒆𝒄𝒂𝒖𝒔𝒆 𝑰 𝒉𝒂𝒅 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒘𝒓𝒊𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒏 𝒂𝒏𝒚 𝒏𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒍𝒔. 𝑺𝒐 𝑰 𝒘𝒓𝒐𝒕𝒆 ‘𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑺𝒖𝒏’ 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝑰 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒕𝒘𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒚-𝒔𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒏, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑰 𝒘𝒓𝒐𝒕𝒆 𝒊𝒕 𝒊𝒏 𝒔𝒊𝒙 𝒘𝒆𝒆𝒌𝒔, 𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒓𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒐𝒏 𝒎𝒚 𝒃𝒊𝒓𝒕𝒉𝒅𝒂𝒚, 𝑱𝒖𝒍𝒚 21𝒔𝒕, 𝒊𝒏 𝑽𝒂𝒍𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒊𝒂, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒇𝒊𝒏𝒊𝒔𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒊𝒕 𝑺𝒆𝒑𝒕𝒆𝒎𝒃𝒆𝒓 6𝒕𝒉, 𝒊𝒏 𝑷𝒂𝒓𝒊𝒔. 𝑩𝒖𝒕 𝒊𝒕 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒚 𝒍𝒐𝒖𝒔𝒚 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒓𝒆𝒘𝒓𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒐𝒐𝒌 𝒏𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒍𝒚 𝒇𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝒎𝒐𝒏𝒕𝒉𝒔.

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