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I have mixed feelings about Hemingway, but I looooved the Nick Adams stories. There's a collection of them (Hemingway's first book, I believe) called In Our Time. Very short but very fantastic book. I took a class on Modernism in grad school and we talked a lot about the iceburg theory. So often it's easy to write Hemingway off as oversimplified because of his concise style, but the bulk of the meaning is below the surface (like an iceburg). I've never been the best at gleaning meaning from symbolism and whatnot, but that discussion in grad school was one of the most informative I've ever been a part of, and I genuinely enjoyed Hemingway's work. My favorite short stories of his are "Cat in the Rain" and "Hills Like White Elephants." Both are short and full of wonderful, revealing dialogue. I hope you enjoy more of his stuff!

As for his longer works, try A Moveable Feast; an autobiographical work about his time as an expat in Paris along with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, TS Eliot, and others. GREAT book!


Andi--Thanks very much for your comment! This is the sort of stuff I wish I could go to school and learn about! I'm envious of the classes you must have taken. I'm going to be very curious to read more of Hemingway and will look for his Nick Adams stories. I probably sound like I totally don't know anything about literature when I post sometimes (and in some cases I guess I really don't), but I guess this is my small way of trying to learn more and other readers who are more knowledgeable are wonderful to offer me their insights! I do have A Moveable Feast and I did read Hills Like White Elephants last year (and you're right--that's a great story).


I certainly wouldn't have wanted to marry Hemingway but do enjoy his writing. The Sun Also Rises is a favourite.


The Old Man and the Sea is the only Hemingway I've read and I think 9th grade was way too early. I also think it's about time to try him again. I am doing a similar thing with Faulkner- read a short story (and I may read a few more) before diving into a novel. I'm just starting to get back to classics. I graduated 4 years ago and have been reading nonfiction and lighter romances these past few years. The sad thing is that I have an English degree and after all this time I recently tried to read a classic and a lot of things went right over my head I think because it had been so long. Therefore, I decided I need to slowly get back to them!


It's interesting that even in my primary school in Poland "The Old Man and The Sea" was an obligatory story to read. I quite liked it but I much prefered "Old Man at the Bridge". But in general I find Hemingway's short stories much better than his novels. I've read all his novels and I really liked only "To Whom the Bell Rings" and "The Sun also Rises".
Another great American classic writer who wrote brilliant short stories was Faulkner (I am ashamed I haven't read any of his, apparently very good, novels - but it's never to late it to match it up). And, of course, Truman Capote - a master of short stories!


Oh, I second the Truman Capote vote! I'm just dipping my toes in the water with Faulkner because for some reason I'm intimidated by his writing. I've read Old Man and the Sea (like every other high schooler), but that's it. I appreciate everyone's recommendations on what to try next. This is also why I love the book blogging community -- we all share our passions, our insights and our own expertise.


A little off topic - is your husband's truck ok after the real 3 day blow - the tornado? What about your yard?


Sarah--I'm looking forward to reading that book this summer! I even pulled out A Moveable Feast last night as well--I have a battered old used copy of it!
Sam--I don't remember when I read it in high school, but I am sure I didn't appreciate it as much as I would now. I sort of wish I had studied English in school, but I ended up with an Art History degree. Once I was out of high school, my classic reading was pretty spotty, but I am trying to make up for it now. Some authors I'm not sure how to approach either. I read one Faulkner and I had to buy a Cliff's Notes to feel like I was getting it at all, and I think I should reread it now. Short stories seem to be a nice way to get a little taste of an author's work, though.
Chihiro--I'm impressed that he is taught in Polish schools even--and that you've read all Hemingway's work! You put me to shame! :) I do intend to read something more this year though. I need to get around to something (sort story-wise) by Faulkner as well, and I hadn't even considered Truman Capote. I guess I can read a short story a week for years to come and not run out of authors to try!
Lisa--I read Breakfast at Tiffany's ages ago, so I will have to try something else by Capote as well. I guess Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea is staple reading in schools. I wonder if it is still one of the books taught. I also appreciate other reader's insights to classic works (or any works really). I've learned so much this way!


Isabel--We've at least talked to the insurance co. and they are going to cover the damages, now the next step is getting the truck to a body shop and all the damage to the house fixed! Thanks for asking! :)


This was so interesting to me, as the Nick Adams stories came out of that early period when he was living with his first wife, Hadley, in Paris. So I had an account of the fiction to put to the memoir I've read! I wonder whether Hemingway's writing isn't so stylised as to make it difficult to respond to it in a simple, wholehearted way. I felt just like you after reading A Movable Feast, like the jury was still out as to whether or not I liked him as a writer. Maybe it has to mean reading the longer fiction to be sure!

Dorothy W.

I'm rather fond of Hemingway, I have to say, even though he's not always the most popular writer, particularly among women! I find the iceberg theory interesting, and I think he does it well. I hope you enjoy The Sun Also Rises!


I thought I'd remembered you reading it (Hills Like White Elephants), but then again I tend to get things mixed up so I didn't know if I was right. hehe I hope you enjoy A Moveable Feast as much as I did when you get around to it!


Danni, you don't need to be ashamed :) You've read far many more authors than me. If you want to read just one short story by Capote, let it be "Miriam" (and the collection "Shut a Final Door" is, in my opinion, the best one).
I also like very much Salinger's "Nine Stories", although he himself as a writer is not really recognised or admired (apart from, of course, "Catcher in the Rye").
Oh, and I'm sure you'd absolutely love Jhumpa Lahiri's short stories! I've just bought her new collection "Unaccustomed Earth" but I'm still in awe for her "Interpreter of Maladies" , though I've read it a few years ago.


Litlove--It would be interesting to read his work with what he was actually doing and where he was living in mind. I do think I need to read more before I can really get a handle on his work. I liked the story, but it didn't necessarily make an imression on me one way or another. I have A Moveable Feast and The Sun Also Rises sitting next to my bed now!
Dorothy--I like the idea of the author leaving things up to the reader to figure out or fill in, and I really liked Hills Like White Elephants, where this technique comes through very strongly. I'm looking forward to reading more of his work.
Andi--It's hard to keep track of what you read where, isn't it! I've pulled out my copy of A Moveable Feast--now to fit it in with my other reads...
Chihiro--I will look for that story to read in the next few weeks! I try to alternate between a male author and a female when reading my short stories and am always happy for reading suggestions. I've not read any Salinger since The Cather in the Rye, but I will have to see if the library has the story collection, and I do have Interpreter of Maladies, which has been on my pile for a while!

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