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bentley
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A Train Trip, The Porter, Black Ass at the Crossroads

[ Edited ]
Just thought I would open up a thread on the above three short stories for discussion. I am "just starting" to read them and wondered if anybody else read these stories and what their thoughts were on "any" of them.

I am not sure how the Hemingway stories are being read (order, timeframe, structured or not structured) so I just thought I would open up a thread to learn as much as I can (while reading them for the first time)

I find the discussions very helpful in fine-tuning my interpretations of the stories and to challenge my thinking. I have learned so much already from how different readers seem to see so many different interpretations/elements from the same short story. I guess a lot of us are looking for the right answer..what is the correct interpretation..what did Hemingway say he meant, etc?

I am just focusing on the Hemingway short stories for now and not on other bcs (hard to read and digest everything I think at the same time)..at least for me it is. So I plan to read all of the Finca Vigia Edition if I can "first".

I have read some of Hemingway's novels (like most people have); but never focused on the short story genre.

Message Edited by bentley on 02-15-200712:43 PM

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ELee
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Re: A Train Trip, The Porter, Black Ass at the Crossroads

give me a chance to catch up with you; I'll be back later. (I've been reading all of the "Nick" stories.
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bentley
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Re: A Train Trip

[ Edited ]
Never go on trips with anyone you do not love. - Ernest Hemingway ...

This was quite an unremarkable story about a train trip that Jimmy takes with his father. To me this is a young Hemingway on a trip with his Dad and they are leaving a summer place in Michigan.

They have just said their good-byes to Fred Cuthbert who is going to take care of their boat in his boat house.

They board the train and may be heading to Chicago (possibly Canada) and they are not sure when they are coming back.

The father asks the son if he is sorry to go away. And the boy answers, "I don't care where we go." The father states, "Try and keep that way."

They encounter prisoners being transported who are accused of killing an Italian. One knives a guard and then escapes from the train through a window. Jimmy's father had previously observed the prisoner stealing a knive but he did nothing about informing the guard about it to begin with. He did try to counsel his son about what he saw and what he did not see. "Well, my father said. While the sergeant hit him in the face with the handcuff on his right hand he picked up a steel-bladed knife off the table with his left hand and put it in his pocket." Jimmy did not see that at all. His father stated, "No. Every man has two hands, Jimmy. At least to start with. You ought to watch both of them if you're going to see things.

Everybody calls Jimmy's father Doc but it was explained that Jimmy's father was not a doctor.

The father states at the end of the story, "Blood is thicker than water. That's the first proverb you run up against when you lead an active life."

Jimmy said, "It doesn't mean that. It means about family."

"No," said my father. "It means just that, but it always surprises you. I remember the first time I found it out." "I felt my shoes full of it. It was very warm and thick. It was just like water in your rubber boots when we go duck hunting except it was warm and thicker and smoother."

To me this was another autobiographical incident possibly between Hemingway and his father. Some of these images seem to foreshadow the suicidal tendencies that seem to have been part of the Hemingway legacy. I am not sure that I saw that much remarkable about the story itself.

Message Edited by bentley on 02-19-200712:15 AM

Message Edited by bentley on 02-19-200712:15 AM

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Re: The Porter

If you have not read "The Porter" please do not read any further because I do not want to spoil the story for you.

I will start the discussion of "The Porter' today and will add to this as I have an opportunity. This story is another scene or sequel to "A Train Trip" and describes the same trip that Jimmy is taking with his father after they leave their Michigan vacation spot/former home.

"A Train Trip" and "The Porter" are self-contained excerpts from an "abandoned novel" that match in tone and appeal the early Hemingway work in which he explored "the adolescent sensibility exposed to an adult world that is exciting but at the same time threatening and morally complex". (Publishers Weekly)
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Hemingway Trivia (Timeless Hemingway)

The following is from the url for Timeless Hemingway and is quite good.

http://www.timelesshemingway.com/trivia.shtml



What was little Ernie's pet name for his mother?

"Silkey Sockey"

Hemingway once wrote he'd like to grind this author into powder, which he would then sprinkle over the grave of this author with the hopes of bringing him back to life.

T. S. Eliot; Joseph Conrad

According to Hemingway folklore, Grace Hemingway (EH's mother) declined what invitation in order to be present on her wedding day?

To sing at a gala honoring Queen Victoria

What nickname did Hemingway give himself while in high school?

"Hemingstein"

What was the name of the high school literary magazine in which one of Hemingway's earliest stories, "The Judgment of Manitov" appeared?

The Tabula

Which one of Hemingway's friends once wrote that the author left his wives, "more able to cope with life than he found them"?

John Dos Passos

After reading a draft of The Sun Also Rises, this writer advised Hemingway to "start over again, and concentrate." Hemingway did just that.

Gertrude Stein

Not only did he publish some of Hemingway's earliest work, he has also been accused of spreading rumors that Ernest Hemingway was a homosexual.

Robert McAlmon

In his review of Hemingway's Death in the Afternoon, he called the book a "Baedeker of bulls."

Malcolm Cowley

She once said of Ernest Hemingway: "I honestly think that if more people had friends like Ernest was, there would be fewer analysts."

Marlene Dietrich

Of all his novels and short stories made into movies, which was the only film Hemingway actually liked?

The Killers

Which Hemingway novel is the only of his novels to be set in the United States?

To Have and Have Not

What sum of money did Paramount Pictures give Ernest Hemingway for the rights to film, For Whom The Bell Tolls?

$100,000

What was Hemingway's original title for "The Killers"?

"The Matadors"

What was Hemingway's original title for "The Snows of Kilimanjaro"?

"A Budding Friendship"

What was Hemingway's original title for "The Short Happy Life Francis Macomber"?

"The Happy Ending"

He was the timekeeper, whose negligence in stopping a round of boxing, caused Hemingway to be floored by his opponent, Morley Callaghan.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Hemingway forbade this man to marry his sister Carol.

John Gardner

She introduced Katherine Anne Porter and Hemingway because she said, "I want the two best modern American writers to know each other."

Sylvia Beach

Hemingway once bet John O'Hara $50 that he could break his blackthorn walking stick over his head (Hemingway won the bet). Who had given this walking stick to O'Hara?

John Steinbeck

Hemingway was not at all amused when this man, a fellow Oak Parker, jokingly asked him to autograph a set of Mark Twain books.

Colin Miller

Where is "Harry's Bar" mentioned in Hemingway's oeuvre?

Across the River and into the Trees

He is the model for Robert Cohn in The Sun Also Rises?

Harold Loeb

She is the model for Brett Ashley in The Sun Also Rises?

Lady Duff Twysden

She is the model for Nurse Barkley in A Farewell to Arms?

Agnes Von Kurowsky

When adolescent Ernest started walking home with this fellow classmate, it prompted his mother to write, "It is the very first notice he has ever taken of any girl." Ernest would have his first date with this girl.

Dorothy Davies

This journalist was the first to advise young Ernest that the best writing comes from personal experience.

Trumbull White

While his mother played the piano and his father, the cornet, what musical instrument did Ernest try his hand at?

The cello

Who introduced Hemingway to the Shakespeare quotation that he would later use in the story, "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber"?

Eric (Chink) Dorman-Smith

Other than being married to the same man, what two things did Hemingway's first wife Hadley Richardson and third wife Martha Gellhorn have in common?

Both attended Bryn Mawr College; Both were from St. Louis

Hemingway was amused when this man misspelled his last name (Hemenway) in print.

Edward O'Brien

Hemingway is one of the world's most translated writers, but he is not the world's most translated writer. According to numerous sources, who holds first place honors?

Agatha Christie

Hemingway was greatly distressed that this man made it out to the barn before he did.

Gary Cooper

He once said of Hemingway: "Something within him drove him to want to be expert at every occupation he touched."

Morley Callaghan

While legend has it that Hemingway was the first American wounded in Italy during World War I, this Lieutenant was killed in June, several weeks before young Ernest's wounding at the Fossalta di Piave.

Edward M. Mckey

A young Hemingway once labelled this writer, "the greatest writer in the world."

James Joyce

What was the number of the suite at the Sun Valley lodge that became known as "Hemingstein's Mixed Vicing and Dicing Establishment"?

Suite 206

Her term of endearment for Hemingway was "The Pig."

Martha Gellhorn

During his relationship with fourth wife Mary Welsh Monks, Hemingway often referred to his sexual potency as this.

Mr. Scrooby

At the end of the film, Saving Private Ryan, a dying Tom Hanks says "angels on our shoulders" in reference to the P51 tank bombers flying overhead. Private Ryan (played by Matt Damon) responds, "What sir?" What Hanks says next sounds like, "Ernest, Ernest." Having learned earlier in the film that Hanks was a teacher of English composition, many think that in saying "angels on our shoulders," he is actually quoting Ernest Hemingway. But Hanks has not said, "Ernest, Ernest." What are his exact last words to Private Ryan?

"Earn this. Earn it."

At the end of the film, Se7en, Morgan Freeman recites a Hemingway quote, which includes the following words: "world, fine, place." What novel does this quotation come from?

For Whom the Bell Tolls

He was the producer of a film version of A Farewell to Arms that Hemingway absolutely despised.

David O. Selznick

If you examined the resumes of Hemingway's fourth wife Mary and his brother Leicester, you would notice a similarity. Where were the two once employed?

The Chicago Daily News

E. B. White felt this would have been a more appropriate title for Hemingway's critically scorned 1950 novel, Across the River and into the Trees.

Across the Street and Into the Grill

Her nickname for Hemingway was "Oinbones."

Madelaine (Sunny) Hemingway

What is the street address of Hemingway's Key West, Florida home?

907 Whitehead Street

In what year was Ernest Hemingway awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature?

1954

The Spanish Civil War was the inspiration for which Hemingway novel.

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Hemingway occasionally referred to this fellow writer as "the golden walrus."

Ford Madox Ford

He had a theory that Hemingway needed a new woman for every big book.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

She always resented being known solely as Ernest Hemingway's wife and once said: "Why should I be a footnote to someone else's life?"

Martha Gellhorn

Hemingway called this wife his "pocket Rubens."

Mary Welsh Monks

One of the characters in Green Hills of Africa is referred to as P.O.M. What do these initials stand for?

Poor Old Mama

Upon hearing the news of Hemingway's death in 1961, he said: "I remember the fascination that made me want to read aloud 'The Killers' to everybody that came along. He was a friend I shall miss. The country is in mourning."

Robert Frost

After she broke her back in a deliberate jump off her second-story balcony, Hemingway referred to her as "the girl who fell for him literally."

Jane Mason

Her artwork appeared on the first edition cover of Hemingway's 1950 novel, Across the River and into the Trees.

Adriana Ivancich

This writer once offered a friendly bit of advice to Hemingway's first wife Hadley: "Most wives try to change their husbands. With him it would be a terrible mistake."

Ezra Pound

What is the name of the boat Harry Morgan uses to transport the Cuban bank robbers from Key West to Havana in Hemingway's novel, To Have and Have Not?

The Queen Conch

He once wrote that The Old Man and the Sea "is an idyll of the sea as sea, as un-Byronic and un-Melvillian as Homer himself, and communicated in a prose as calm and compelling as Homer's verse."

Bernard Berenson

When this man declined an invitation to narrate the 1937 documentary, The Spanish Earth, Hemingway was asked to fill in and he did.

Orson Welles

Who was Hemingway referring to when he told Tennessee Williams: "She died like everyone else . . . and after that she was dead"?

Pauline Pfeiffer

When this man was informed of Hemingway's death by suicide, he replied, "Well Done." Appropriate words from a man who would ultimately take his own life in a similar way.

Juan Belmonte

What is the name of the cat mentioned in Hemingway's 1964 book, A Moveable Feast?

F. Puss

In 1937, the North American Newspaper Alliance paid Hemingway this amount of money per word to report on the Spanish Civil War.

$1.00

He once said of Hemingway: "I did not read more than six words of his before I decided to publish everything he sent me."

Ford Madox Ford

She once described Hemingway by saying: "He had the nerve of a brass monkey."

Hadley Richardson

Once while shark hunting, Hemingway shot himself in this part of the body.

The calves

A Hemingway phrase inspired the title of this book written by John Knowles.

A Separate Peace

Hemingway wrote an introduction for this book, which was originally published in June of 1930.

Kiki's Memoirs

Hemingway once labelled this writer, "the undisputed champion."

William Shakespeare

What was Hemingway's nickname for second son Patrick?

Mousie

Nicholas Cage, Meg Ryan, and Ernest Hemingway: in what movie did each of these personalities play a role? Hemingway's role, of course, was not that of an actor. Cage simply makes reference to the great author in the film.

City of Angels

The longest sentence Hemingway ever wrote was 424 words. In which of his books does this sentence appear?

Green Hills of Africa

What was Hemingway's nickname for his brother Leicester?

The Baron

In what bar did Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald first meet?

The Dingo Bar

Hemingway's 1940 novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls was an incredible seller for its time. By the close of 1943, almost 900,000 copies had been sold worldwide, making it the biggest selling book in American fiction since this work.

Gone with the Wind

He once said of Hemingway: "His judgement is not of the best, and if his sobriety is the same as it was some years ago, that is certainly questionable."

J. Edgar Hoover

"You're even bigger than I imagined," she said, after meeting Hemingway in Spain.

Lauren Bacall

Which company manufactures the "Ernest Hemingway Collection" line of furniture?

Thomasville

This writer, who wrote a preface for Gregory Hemingway's book, Papa: A Personal Memoir once paid Ernest Hemingway a great compliment by calling him the "literary father" of all modern novelists.

Norman Mailer

This president asked Hemingway to read at his inauguration. Hemingway declined the invitation due to his failing health.

John F. Kennedy

Who played the part of Ernest Hemingway in the 1996 film, In Love and War?

Chris O'Donnell

Which press published Hemingway's first book?

Contact Publishing Co.

This editor prepared Hemingway's unfinished book, The Garden of Eden for publication in 1986.

Tom Jenks

The Torrents of Spring (1926) is a parody of this writer.

Sherwood Anderson

What animal can be heard at the end of Hemingway's 1936 short story, "The Snows of Kilimanjaro"?

Hyena

In Martha Gellhorn's book, Travels With Myself and Another, Hemingway is referred to as U.C. What do these initials stand for?

Unwilling Companion

He said of his father: "He may have been a SOB to some people, but he was not a SOB to me."

John Hemingway

She called Carlos Baker's biography of Hemingway, "the King James Version."

Martha Gellhorn

In a 1958 interview with this man, Hemingway claimed to have written the ending of A Farewell to Arms 39 times before being satisfied.

George Plimpton

Of all the professors in academia, he was Hemingway's favorite, mainly because he admired the great writer's works and told him so.

William Seward, Jr.

"All you Truman Capote fans get your hats and coats and leave the room. Here comes a real writer." Who is the "real writer" Hemingway is referring to in this quote?

Nelson Algren

This type of shark devours Santiago's marlin in The Old Man and the Sea.

Mako

Mary Hemingway tried (unsuccessfully) to prevent the publication of this book, for she felt it was nothing more than a "shameless penetration into my private life and the usurpation of it for money."

Papa Hemingway

He served as Hemingway's lawyer from 1948-1961 and then as Mary Hemingway's lawyer until his death in 1985.

Alfred Rice

When Robert Jordan and Maria make love in For Whom the Bell Tolls, it is this that moves.

The earth

In The Old Man and the Sea, Santiago advises the boy, Manolin to have faith in this baseball team.

The Yankees

What is the name of Brett Ashley's perpetually drunk fiancé in The Sun Also Rises?

Mike Campbell

Hemingway compared this writer's talent to the pattern made by the dust on a butterfly's wings.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

He was "the man who was marked for death."

Ernest Walsh

Gertrude Stein used this word to describe Hemingway's story, "Up in Michigan"?

inaccrochable

In "The Three-Day Blow," Nick shows his appreciation for this British novelist/poet.

G. K. Chesterton

He was Hemingway's first bibliographer.

Louis Henry Cohn

She played the role of Maria in the film version of Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Ingrid Bergman

This man, the author of The Apprenticeship of Ernest Hemingway, also ended his life in suicide.

Charles Fenton

Hemingway called this woman, "the best and truest and loveliest person that I have ever known."

Hadley Richardson

In 1941, Columbia University President Nicholas Murray Butler opposed the Pulitzer Prize Advisory Board's recommendation stating: "I hope that you will reconsider before you ask the University to be associated with an award for work of this nature." Which Hemingway book was he referring to?

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Hemingway spent the majority of his life in this home.

The Finca Vigía in Cuba

She narrated A&E's 1998 biography of Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway: Wrestling with Life.

Mariel Hemingway

Hemingway dedicated his 1950 novel, Across the River and into the Trees to this woman.

Mary Hemingway

He said, after reading Hemingway's 1940 book, For Whom the Bell Tolls: "If the function of a writer is to reveal reality, no one ever so completely performed it."

Maxwell Perkins

What is the name of the steamer that towed log booms in Hemingway's 1924 short story, "The Doctor and the Doctor's Wife"?

Magic

In A Moveable Feast, Hemingway claims to have written in a rented room where this man had died.

Paul Verlaine

Of the ten Hemingway novels published, which is the longest?

Islands in the Stream

Which magazine paid Hemingway an incredible $15 per word for a two thousand word story about bullfighting?

Sports Illustrated

Hemingway's lavish 60th birthday party was held here.

Spain

In The Garden of Eden, David and Catherine stay in this hotel while in France.

le Grau du Roi

In Across the River and Into the Trees, Richard Cantwell thinks a large lobster served to him resembles this man.

General George Patton

In To Have and Have Not, Harry Morgan thinks this man is the smoothest looking thing.

Mr. Sing

From 1920-1924, Hemingway wrote for this newspaper.

The Toronto Star

In his 1964 book, A Moveable Feast, Hemingway notes that the "talent" of this writer is one of the things needed to achieve the fourth and fifth dimension in writing.

Rudyard Kipling

Where did Hemingway and first wife Hadley enjoy sking?

Schruns, Austria





Timeless Hemingway's statement of copyright adherence.

Copyright © 1998-2007 Timeless Hemingway. All rights reserved.
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chadadanielleKR
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Re: A Train Trip

The short story "The Train Trip" is interesting because it deals with the question of the position of the witness: whether the witness should just remain silent or he should act. In the story, the father remains silent when he sees the prisoner stealing the knife but he interferes when he hears his son reporting him that there is blood coming out under the door.

The story most probably alludes to Hemingway himself as a witness of many tragedies throughout his life and who might have been willing to interfere or not... and then, later on, who might have felt sorry of his acts one way or the other. Besides,any of us can be caught in that kind of dilemma.
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Re: A Train Trip

Perhaps not written (finished) as a story the text was very potent. I liked that because of the bond between the father and son, the child's perspective intact: things are and some are strange and also the ethical part of it that Danielle mentioned in her post.
The text for me is very alive.

ziki
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fanuzzir
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Re: A Train Trip



chadadanielleKR wrote:
The short story "The Train Trip" is interesting because it deals with the question of the position of the witness: whether the witness should just remain silent or he should act. .




You have posed the question very well and made me want to read this. I'm working on the "End of Something" right now but I'll get back to this.
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bentley
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Re: A Train Trip


chadadanielleKR wrote:
The short story "The Train Trip" is interesting because it deals with the question of the position of the witness: whether the witness should just remain silent or he should act. br>


Chadadanielle, thank you for your perspective.

The father is guiding Jimmy and being a moral compass in some areas; to me it was interesting that he made that choice on the train. It may have simply been the "convenient" thing to do which he thought would be safer for the two of them - not becoming involved. Also at some level, he may have objected to the handling of the prisoners by the guards. I am not sure.

I have to admit that this particular story was not my personal favorite but it seems that in all of Heminway's work there are characterizations, events and/or themes which resonate with each individual in a unique and/or personal way. One story might create excitement and interest for one person more than another and I think that is what is so fantastic about this writer (it seems that he is talking to all of us about life as he knows it without any embellishments).

I really liked your perspective on this story and had thought about why the father did this but shrugged it off as his being indifferent to the act or thinking it might cause inconvenience for both of them if he came forward and told the guard. He may have thought that nothing would come of it.
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bentley
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Re: The Porter


bentley wrote:
If you have not read "The Porter" please do not read any further because I do not want to spoil the story for you.

I will start the discussion of "The Porter' today and will add to this as I have an opportunity. This story is another scene or sequel to "A Train Trip" and describes the same trip that Jimmy is taking with his father after they leave their Michigan vacation spot/former home.

"A Train Trip" and "The Porter" are self-contained excerpts from an "abandoned novel" that match in tone and appeal the early Hemingway work in which he explored "the adolescent sensibility exposed to an adult world that is exciting but at the same time threatening and morally complex". (Publishers Weekly)


OK..trying to get through The Porter. Please do not read any further in this post if you have not read this story. I do not want to spoil it for you.

Characters in Story:

Jimmy, his father, the porter (George), the chef

Jimmy was wandering about the train (a sequel from A Train Trip) - I guess part of an unfinished novel/novellette and he was "exposed to an adult world" while hanging out with the porter. Jimmy's perspective is interesting because he seems very old beyond his years. An adult version of a child (very mature). His father seems a puzzling combination of two different kinds of people (one caring, ethical and with strong boundaries, taking care of the wounded), the other (possibly drinking to excess if you listen to the porter, was a witness and did not say anything, in some ways removing needed structure from the boy's life (if you read between the lines). So much is left unsaid in Hemingway stories, that I find myself reading between the lines.

I marveled that Hemingway used a child as the narrator of the story and we looked at the world from his eyes and mind. I tried to figure out why Hemingway would have done that but I could find no references to speak of regarding this story. I am sure that there are some and would love to hear about any.

Once again Hemingway has no women characters in the story except for a woman who offers Jimmy a seat; yet there are references to woman and their characterizations by George. I will note these comments in the Hemingway and Women thread.

Jimmy seems ready for bed and gets to sleep in the upper berth while his father decides to stay up reading in the washroom. There is some dialogue about Jimmy's shoes and I am not sure what the symbolism is related to the shoes themselves but I am sure there must be some and I am missing it.

Jimmy was delighted that they were in Canada and asked where? The reply was Windsor..but they were in and out of Canada very soon and poor Jimmy could not see any of Canada at all. When he woke up he commented that this was a fine country that they were going through and it looked like Michigan only with higher hills and the trees were all turning. So it must have been fall and possibly they were leaving Michigan because the summer was over. It was interesting in this paragraph that they used terminology for races that we would find degrading today. I guess then it was common and not considered biased. Jimmy noted, "It was a different kind of looking country than Michigan. Going through it it all seemed to be connected and in Michigan one part of the country hasn't any connection with another." Does anyone have any idea what he was thinking about here? The porter asked him what do you see and Jimmy responded, "Not much." The porter responded, "You certainly do look at it."
I thought that line so summed up how a child stares intently at most anything without embarrassment just keen interest as they soak everything in.

Out of the blue and inappropriately I think..the porter let the child into an adult world. He asked if his father was the one who stayed up here drinking and Jimmy gave a one word answer. The porter then commented that he can certainly drink liquor...I am not sure if the porter wasn't in amazement about his father's drinking abilities.

Jimmy comically replied building up his father's capabilities by saying, "He's a great drinker." The porter agrees with him but Jimmy just maintains his own counsel and doesn't think it necessary to repeat himself. The porter goes on to tell him how his father never showed any effects from drinking and Jimmy stated that he never does but the porter doesn't leave it there. He has to make another adult like comment to the child..saying, "But if he keeps up that way he's going to kill his whole insides." Again the boy did not say anything... The porter then shows the chef the bottle that Jimmy's father has given him and states that Jimmy's father is the world champion of drinking. He later while drinking says that Jimmy's father was a noble Christian gentleman. And once again Jimmy didn't say anything.

Then the porter then makes some other biased comments about White Eskimos and yellow boys..all which I wonder would have taken some heat nowadays. Somehow the porter thinks that Jimmy is in his charge (maybe the bottle was the payment to be on the lookout for Jimmy and make sure he was safe while he slept). Jimmy was shocked that the porter even knew his name. Jimmy thought that the chef and the porter only talked a certain way because of the "drink". But the porter said that he and the chef were kindred spirits (Gentlemen with the same outlook on life).

Then in a bizarre turn, the porter wants to educate Jimmy on the use of the razor..and Jimmy finds it necessary to say that he is not scared...although maybe in fact he was. He wanted to show Jimmy the keenness of edge, the simplicity of action and security of manipulation. I have to say I have no idea what this was all about. The porter then goes back to talking about the father's drinking and how he gets over the hang overs. And Jimmy says he exercises.

Later, Jimmy wished that he could go back and listen to the chef and the porter talk in the kitchen. He realized that he had been let in to the intimate life and conversation of "two kindred spirits" and it was both more exciting and not boring like the conversation in the regular cars where the porter talked like everyone else, less and more polite. He also saw the porter drinking a lot more water.

Jimmy compared the new landscape that he was viewing as dark, unreal, sad, strange and classical like the engravings like the illustrations in some book at Mrs. Kenwood's. Does anyone have a clue where they were going and what book Jimmy is referring to?

I liked this paragraph (especially the last line which shows they are somewhere along the Hudson). It also shows the uncertainty that the boy was facing and that this trip had transformed him a little (subtle changes like thinking more and maybe verbalizing in his mind and attaching words to these thoughts). I sense his loneliness and his missing all things familiar, warm and secure.

"That may have been because it was just after a rain and the sun had not come out. When the wind blows the leaves off the trees they are cheerful and good to walk through and the trees are the same, only they are without leaves. But when the leaves fall from the rain they are dead and wet and flat to the ground and the trees are changed and wet and unfriendly. It was very beautiful along the Hudson but it was the sort of thing I did not know about and it made me wish we were back at the lake."

"I do not suppose I thought of all those things because I have never thought much and never in words but it was the feeling of all of those things that the country along the Hudson River gave me. The rain can make places strange, even places where you live."
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bentley
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Re: Black Ass at the Crossroads

[ Edited ]
Please do not read any further if you have not read this story..I would not want to spoil it for you.

An interesting write up:

http://www.questia.com/PM.qst;jsessionid=FbQG2x2mQ6Ks91MdQvNh2lWcg4ngqG7jQ0cJfp8B6Zvj2JgznCJQ!1018765924!-261279895?a=o&d=5000664828

(You may have to be a member of questia to look at this but I am not and did a search on the short story title and found an interesting commentary here)..if you can see it that would be great.

I guess a place to start is with the title (I have come to find out that black ass is referring to depression or something you are very guilty about making you either depressed or unhappy).

I guess the depression that Hemingway was exhibiting or the young American infantry officer in the story deals with the events of the story.

I am not sure what crossroads the character is at but certainly his depression/guilt has something to do with it.

There is a great interview (look in the Kennedy Library Forums - Writers on War) They had a forum on writers on war and of course Hemingway is front and center. I was going to include the entire url. It was very worthwhile reading. (However, even though I read the interview transcript, the url did not publish properly)

If you get a chance see what Professor Fussell has to say about this story and why it might not have been published. He also talks about the title. He says, "If you have a black ass, you are extremely guilty and unhappy about something you’d done, and you can’t get it out of your mind. You’ve got a black ass. "

The forums have had a lot of discussion on Hemingway and transcripts and audio are available I believe. You will have to check it out because I was told to abstract and the url does not post properly. Sorry I couldn't get the actual transcript url to post. But I kept trying and...

This is the best that I can do..at least it lists all of the wonderful past forums (I believe you can order transcripts, listen to the audio etc.)

http://www.jfklibrary.org/Education+and+Public+Programs/Kennedy+Library+Forums/default.htm?view=historical


According to Publishers Weekly (1987):

"Drawing from the author's experiences in Europe during World War II, "Black Ass at the Crossroads" is excellent in its detailing of violent action, portraying an ambush of German soldiers from the point of view of an American infantry officer, depressed and angry over the suffering he has inflicted in the course of battle."

As I find more time today, I will be able to complete the story.

Note: I have noticed that a portion of the url does not link so only a portion shows up as blue (if you link that way you do not get the correct page...better to do a cut and paste of the entire url not just the portion showing up in blue...very odd (does anybody have any idea how to fix this..is it something that I am doing when posting? I will post the entire url again for the Kennedy transcript that ight be the problem.

Message Edited by bentley on 02-20-200702:33 PM

Message Edited by bentley on 02-20-200702:46 PM

Message Edited by bentley on 02-20-200702:59 PM

Message Edited by bentley on 02-20-200703:04 PM

Message Edited by bentley on 02-20-200703:04 PM

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bentley
Posts: 2,509
Registered: ‎01-31-2007
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Re: Black Ass at the Crossroads (Kennedy Library Forum transcript url)

[ Edited ]
http://www.cs.umb.edu/~rwhealan/jfk/forum_writers_on_war.html

Try the above..this should work. I persevered. Do a cut and paste of the entire url posted (do not just click on the blue).

Message Edited by bentley on 02-20-200703:12 PM

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bentley
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Known Bug (Special Characters in URLs)

Not sure that anyone else is aware..there is a problem posting urls. If you post them they may truncate and if a person clicks on just what is in blue, they will be directed to an incorrect site. No matter how many times you try...the url will not post correctly. It was odd for me when this started happening because in the beginning the url postings appeared to work for me (now sadly they are not).

There did not seem to be an ETA as to when this might be fixed but it is known and they are working on it. Also, I asked if it had been posted anywhere because I would like to know where to look first if I am experiencing a problem. I have not heard back from the technical staff yet on this second question.

Here is the response that I received (it may help save some time for others):

From: B&N.com Book Club Help

Thank you for your note. I'm sorry you're having trouble making these links. I don't think you're doing anything wrong. The special characters in the URL (in this case, the plus signs) are not being read the right way by our system. It's known bug that has been reported to the developers, and will be fixed over time.

Thanks for reporting this problem, and for being part of the Book Clubs.

Kevin
B&N Book Clubs
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bentley
Posts: 2,509
Registered: ‎01-31-2007
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Re: Black Ass at the Crossroads

I will continue discussion of this short story on the Hemingway and War thread.
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chadadanielleKR
Posts: 367
Registered: ‎10-29-2006
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Re: Known Bug (Special Characters in URLs)


bentley wrote:
Not sure that anyone else is aware..there is a problem posting urls. If you post them they may truncate and if a person clicks on just what is in blue, they will be directed to an incorrect site. No matter how many times you try...the url will not post correctly. It was odd for me when this started happening because in the beginning the url postings appeared to work for me (now sadly are not).


Don't worry. There is always a way. I copy the whole address and paste it in the google 's window and it works. By the way,thanks for all your good work.
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bentley
Posts: 2,509
Registered: ‎01-31-2007
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Re: Known Bug (Special Characters in URLs)

Hello Chadadanielle,

It appears they might have fixed the problem; not sure because the url that I posted did not have any special characters in it but it did appear complete.

And thank you for your kind words. Only trying to keep things moving. If I finish this anthology of short stories, it will be the first one that I have ever done. I read books/novels voraciously but have never been attracted to short stories as a genre.

Hope in my journey that I can be of help but I am focused on the end goal (more understanding and appreciation of Hemingway and the short story genre in particular).

Thanks for your comments..appreciated.





chadadanielleKR wrote:

bentley wrote:
Not sure that anyone else is aware..there is a problem posting urls. If you post them they may truncate and if a person clicks on just what is in blue, they will be directed to an incorrect site. No matter how many times you try...the url will not post correctly. It was odd for me when this started happening because in the beginning the url postings appeared to work for me (now sadly are not).


Don't worry. There is always a way. I copy the whole address and paste it in the google 's window and it works. By the way,thanks for all your good work.


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Choisya
Posts: 10,782
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Re: Danielle : Posting URLs/hyperlinks

[ Edited ]
Danielle wrote:
Don't worry. There is always a way. I copy the whole address and paste it in the google 's window and it works.


Hi Danielle - just caught up with you here! I enjoyed our meeting hugely and have reported on it elsewhere.

This pasting of URLs has been a problem since October and has been noted by the techies. As you say we can cut and paste into Google and it works OK. It seems OK with short links ending in html or shtml but has difficulty with longer hyperlinks. I know another way of doing it, using HTML codes, but if I post them here they go wrong, so I will mention it next time I Email you.

Message Edited by Choisya on 03-01-200712:56 PM

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