The Cult of Hemingway

8 Apr

-For the Uncensored!

With much of Ernest Hemingway’s life and adventures that make up much of the cult of Hemingway’s writing, it makes an average reader marvel at the simplicity of writing. Yes, I am not at war with Hemingway’s shadow but nor do I find him a genius, by any means. What Hemingway did with his writing was ignoring what most of his peers, including Ezra Pound and Faulkner did, by complicating the text. Hemingway went for simplicity. “A true sentence.”

            I’m not angry at a man who had a bachelors life and had a lot of trust issues, which is common with most artists, and nor does his suicide signify his legacy. A writer committing suicide is probably the least noteworthy efforts of any writers accomplishments. He considered his father weak for committing suicide, and thus would then in turn push himself to committing the same act. It’s common for people whose loved ones to commit suicide to do it as well. So, I don’t fault him for Hemingway killing himself.

            But the cult of Hemingway’s writing is that while his major accomplishment of writing simply is part of the appeal of Hemingway, you can honestly lose a lot if you don’t pay attention and stop reading Hemingway just to get to the end of a book report. 

            What would make Hemingway racy and controversial during his heyday would not really matter to most modern readers anymore. Hell, the Marquis De Sade had his own version of how to torment his characters to such an extent that most readers don’t even go near his fiction, like Justine or Salo. What makes Hemingway attractive is the simplicity of his work, but does that simplicity mean a lot if you are reading him for a book review/report and you don’t slow down to get the subtlety of his dialogue to understand the pain the characters go through.

            My concern with Hemingway is not with the life of the writer in question. I don’t care about what he did in the past or outside of his writing to consider him a great writer. He was a hunter, womanizer, drunk, but does this really concern the argument in question.

            The cut of Hemingway is concerned with a a simplicity that often now is not even cared for anymore, or it’s disregarded in fiction. Simplicity is fine if you don’t have all the time in the world. Most difficult writers are ignored for the sake of a writer who writes simply. Hell if that’s true, James Patterson is avant garde and daring. Which he is not. 
            What Hemingway’s writing, whoever was inspired by it, would introduce a mediocre quality. A best seller list of authors who are about as anonymous names that you could pull out of a phone book. Hell, simplistic clear writing doesn’t guarantee you money or wealth anymore. Nor does a writers difficulty mean that he’s a literary genius. What Hemingway did introduce with his simplicity is what can not be duplicated.

            While I’m more of a Conrad, Kipling, and Pynchon fan, I do see why Hemingway is revered by book readers in general. But that doesn’t mean anyone who followed in Hemingway’s footsteps is a genius either. 

            Cormac McCarthy is the only one who might be able to wear the title of a most difficult but widely read writer who has a mass appeal, just like Hemingway.

            While I do see there is a cult and fascination with the past, and trying to cancel someone like Hemingway would undo the years of commercial writing, Hemingway’s simplicity can be seen as a crutch, if not paying attention.

            A question in some of my reviews, when I don’t get it is, “How can someone write so simply yet obfuscate the direction the writer is heading in.” That’s like taking Lovecraft’s weird warped vision but making it accessible, but still dense. It takes a genius to do that sort of writing, but Hemingway’s simplistic technique is why so many people like him. 

            I’m not coming down on Hemingway at all. I read like all young people Old Man and the Sea, and I thought it was important. But the overall starch quality of writing today can’t compare to the painful observations Hemingway adds in much of his work. Most would rather trade substance for starch, with writers like Dan Brown and James Patterson, taking accessibility, but allowing speed to take over for substance. Just because a book is fast doesn’t mean it deserves awards, fame, or monetary recognition. 

            Commercial writers can use both starch and substance and create really effective work. David Mitchell proves to make difficult work while writing simply and with a commercial appeal. A reader, and critics could confuse John Irving’s books reminiscent of Hemingway, but Irving is more of a Dicken’s fan, as Dickens used heavy emotion within a grand tapestry. Hemingway sacrificed much of a grand tapestry for a sparse declarative sentence. Irving relies on comedy and drama, but not just drama entirely. 

            It’s hard for me to consider Hemingway a great writer when he was a better editor. Dickens loved long sentences while Hemingway did not, which comes from his background in journalism. 

            I do think Hemingway did leave a legacy but those who copied his style do not do his legacy any favors, but also, how trite it can be, too. 

-Louis Bruno is the author of more than 15 books, including, The Michael Project, The Michael Project: Book 2: The Lost Children of Eve, Thy Kingdom Come, The Disintegrating Bloodline, Apocalypse Soldier, Hierarchy of Dwindling Sheep. His books can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Lulu. He can be found on Gab, https://gab.com/thereallouistbruno, Minds https://www.minds.com/lbruno8063/, and Parlerhttps://parler.com/profile/therealLouistbruno/posts. Instagram @lbrruno8063 and @louisbrunoofficialbook. He has written for the Intellectual Conservative and Ephemere. Also, he writes on https://louisbruno.substack.com, where you can support him directly, and where he will post one article a day. Also he can be found on Our Freedom Book https://www.ourfreedombook.com/thereallouistbruno17 His latest, Come Home, Young One, a dark fantasy novel is out now at Lulu.com. Link is here: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/louis-bruno/come-home-young-one/hardcover/product-pw8q7z.html?page=1&pageSize=4.  His next series, City of Sand, will be available sometime this year.

Also available on podcast too: 

http://www.breaker.audio/the-real-louis-t-brunos-blog

https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy81MDA5ZDY3MC9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw==

https://pca.st/504t7jxr

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