Ernest Hemingway: Short Stories (And also, where have I been lately?)

I am guilty again of neglecting my blog! My excuse this time is finals…the torture designed by higher education to make you vomit every shred of knowledge you amassed during the semester. Usually this vomit occurs in short answer and essay questions, especially in literature classes. So my hand hurt, my mind was tired, and I did a lot of knitting to relax.

Anyways! I’m on break now and I have a very ambitious reading list to tackle.

Recently, I finished a short story collection by Ernest Hemingway. I had already read “Hills Like White Elephants,” which is one of my favorites, but I was also impressed espeically with “Cat in the Rain” and “My Old Man.”

As I was reading, I thought about what makes the stories so profound, and of course it’s Hemingway’s writing style, which has been analyzed and critiqued up to here (I just put my hand way above my head). I wanted to spout my opinion now on why Hemingway’s prose is so elegant and his stories so meaningful.

He writes with such a simple style, and I think that is really what makes the stories come alive. He can capture a wide range of emotion – although most of his characters are sad – and can accurately portray the desperation many of his characters feel in that moment. I think the simplicity of the sentences allows the reader to imagine depth and background in the stories, because Hemingway doesn’t explain a lot of history or motivation for the character’s actions. He just drops you right into the scene, which is often right in the middle of a character’s life. His writing is descriptive and to the point. I think part of the reason why I love his writing so much is that he writes in short scenes, which is how I like to write short stories.

I look forward to reading more by him, but for now I’m moving on to my next book!

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