If Hemingway were still alive he’d be making up subject lines for Spam

I’m in the midst of suffering through Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls. I’ve often proclaimed quite vehemently that I dislike Hemingway. Most of this was based on whatever the hell Mrs. Vold made me read in 11th grade English class. I can’t even remember what we read, I do remember that I hated it. I also hated Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine though I cannot remember why.

Since RP2006 involved reading ‘the classics’ I thought I’d give ol’ Ernie another shot. It has proven quite painful.

Jodi’s Crackpot Lit-Theory #43 states that the only chicks who actually dig Hemingway are only saying so to impress those guys who actually dig Hemingway. It seems that mostly men dig the crusty old guy (which totally proves Jodi’s Crackpot Theory #182, men dislike anything super emotional).

Of course when I spouted out that theory at my last writing group meeting, Jags immediately started to talk about how much she loved Hemingway. hrmph! And if you knew Jags, you’d know she’s not the kind of woman to proclaim to like someone as lame as Hemingway just to impress some guy.

Jags said she liked Hemingway because his writing was so sparse. I agree. But where she sees sparseness that leads to great emotion, I see sparseness that leaves me cold because it lacks any warmth of emotion. And, really to be frank, I don’t give a flying fuck about a bunch of Commies trying to blow up a bridge in some Spanish Mountains (again, war and blowing up stuff is boy stuff), and why don’t I care? Because Hemingway sucks rocks.

So anyway, this was all brought to my mind because I got some Spam. The subject line of this Spam is what drives me so nuts about Hemingway, because he writes bullshit circular crap like this (the subject line from the Spam):
Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.

Totally Hemingway. Totally bullshit.

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16 Comments

  1. wilhelm 18.May.06 at 8:38 pm

    Aw, come on. Love being the desire to be desired? That’s not half bad claptrap. It’s like his “What is moral is what you feel good after.” and “A man can be destroyed but not defeated.”

    And saying Hemingway sucks rocks because he writes about boy stuff – now THAT is running with the bulls, baby!

    Reply
  2. jodi 19.May.06 at 10:22 am

    i like to run with the bulls.

    Reply
  3. Thomas 19.May.06 at 12:03 pm

    Question: When a guy gets told something devastating, and all he does is get really quiet and take deep, even breaths, do you think here’s anything going on up in his head? To you, does it show that hes not able to process it? Because to me I see a man about to break down in tears, but can’t cry because of the societal for men not to cry. I see a man re-adjusting his entire life like he’s playing a giant Tetris game: Childhood scars long forgotten are revealed again and other concerns fade away into the pile of missed opportunities much like crepe paper in a firepit.

    Perhaps unless you have it tangibly explained what every nuance means, you use the opportunity to insert preconceptions and your own emotions. Perhaps if you put it in the same framed mental perspective you put your favorite authors in, you might enjoy a passage or two.

    Reply
  4. jodi 19.May.06 at 1:18 pm

    But, i would argue that in hemingway there are no nuances.

    Reply
  5. Thomas 19.May.06 at 3:42 pm

    No nuances at all, or none that you like/see?

    Reply
  6. dabysan 22.May.07 at 9:11 am

    The only Hemmingway I ever enjoyed was the posthumously published “A Movable Feast,” which was basically a memoir of his life on the Left Bank and his friendships with Gertrude Stein and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

    And I think that’s mainly cause I have huge writer crush on Mr. Fitzgerald, the far more talented of that duo.

    Reply
  7. Jodi 22.May.07 at 9:13 am

    Now, that sounds like some Hemingway I could get into. I too have the hots for Fitz. Who doesn’t?

    Reply
  8. dabysan 22.May.07 at 9:40 am

    Great minds. In all seriousness, any writer will devour A Movable Feast. It’ll make you want to go to Paris.

    Reply
  9. Jodi 22.May.07 at 9:44 am

    Okay, it’s next up on my audible queue. If I ever finish the interminable Fear of Flying, I’ll listen to that next.

    I don’t know if I can actually waste paper-book time on Hemingway, so I’m gonna audiobook it.

    Reply
  10. dabysan 22.May.07 at 12:19 pm

    Excellent. I expect a full report.

    Reply
  11. Lisa Gray 01.Jul.07 at 6:30 pm

    Jodi, Jodi, Jodi,
    Ernest “Write hard & clear about what hurts” Hemingway is indeed a great writer, which dispells your ridiculous gender specific argument: Whaddaya know? Girls luv Papa Hemingway too!!
    Jodi, there’s a bull with your name on it.

    Reply
  12. daniel 27.Jul.07 at 10:34 pm

    I’m a guy, and I like over emotional things. It isn’t what tells the story, but it is the one that flavors it. Hemmingway talks in plain english, which is what some people prefer: simplicity, and not overly analytical. It’s fine that you have criticism for another author, but please learn the different styles of writing. In other words, become cultured.

    Reply
  13. cody 05.Nov.07 at 1:08 am

    well, as a history, philosophy, psychology, and english major, i can honestly say that hemingway is a talletnless hack. he thought he was better than tolstoy, than dosteyeski, than kafka, come on…get over yourself you jock misogynist. fitzgerald, henry james=far better.

    Reply
  14. yason 13.Dec.08 at 11:26 am

    uh…I think you guys are a little hard on hemingway. maybe you make up for not knowing how to read hem. by bashing him. no nuances–that is laughable. all of the great hem: _Sun_ ,_farewell_ , the early storys—they are all about nuance—but this is beside the point.

    Here’s a tip: write 5 hours a day for 40 years, publish countless works of fiction, make enough money off of writing to support 3 families AND receive (for the most part) rave CRITICAL reviews, travel the world, learn three languages…

    then i’ll call you a hack if the writing doesn’t tickle your fancy.

    and
    (sorry but i just can’t help myself) to the history, philosophy, psychology, english major who prefers Fitz. and H. James—thanks for your credentials–i now believe you are a hack yourself.

    Reply
  15. Cody Sucks 09.Jan.09 at 3:14 am

    Cody, you’re a moron. Plain and simple: a moron.
    You can’t even spell Dostoevsky. Please turn your screw elsewhere and lave the Internet alone.

    Reply

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