Ernest Hemingway: Brief

Cover of "The Old Man and The Sea"To be honest, I’m not sure I much care for Hemingway.  No, not sure at all.  I mean, he’s a writer.  A good writer. One of the best.  You know all that already.  But his stories, well, they’re sad.  Nothing good happens in them, nothing happy.  But you gotta read them, right?  Because he’s a great writer, everyone knows that.

The best thing, about his stories, is that they’re short. To the point. Brief. I like brief.  I like stories that say a lot with a little.

The Old Man and the Sea, that’s the only long one that I read all the way through. I had to, for school.  I didn’t like it.  Not much anyway.  It just went on and on about those damn sharks until I was hoping they’d just bite the old man and get it over with.

The best one, the best short one, was The Killers.  It’s sad, but it tells a whole story with almost no words at all. No extra words.

Can’t help but admire a guy who can say so much with so little.

Maybe if he can do it, I can too.


One Word Test

5 thoughts on “Ernest Hemingway: Brief

  1. Hemingway is SO sad…and a chauvinistic pig as well. So why would a happy, self-respecting woman like myself (or anyone for that matter) want to read his work?

    He’s just really good. He takes you away into a land where it is hot and raw and loves are lost and elephants are shot dead. Like you said–honest and beautiful. There is nothing else like it that I have ever found.


  2. It’s said that he called the following six-word-story his finest work:

    “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

    (It also bears out your argument that all his stories are sad. I still love them, though, because while they undoubtedly are sad, they are also filled with humanity and beauty.)


    1. I agree. Humanity, Beauty, and I would include: Honesty – he is the perfect proof of the one word test. The fewer words you use to tell a story, the closer you get to Truth.


      1. Very honest, yes. And I always feel like there is an inevitability to his truths as well, like Greek tragedy – the end of the story (or the end of the hero/heroine) comes about directly from his/her character and thereby decisions.


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