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bentley
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Re: a little bit of slack (spoiler for "Get a Seeing-Eyed Dog")

Maybe some have not seen the discussion of "Get a Seeing-Eyed Dog". Am bumping it up again because it was "on topic for this thread", and about a Hemingway short story.


ELee said:

Me too Bentley. I was looking to cut him a little slack also. I thought I had found something in "Get a Seeing-Eyed Dog" which was one of his later (and less accomplished?-according to some) stories that looked a little like an expression of love and true compassion. Then I got hit in the head with the heavy brick of understanding and a great wave of sadness washed over me. True sadness to the point of poignancy. What I originally thought was love and concern for the wife of the newly blind writer, as he tries to come up with a way for her to take a "vacation" from nursing him, turned sour after a second reading. Yes, they've been on the rocks and Phil says they were "for keeps". Yes, he tries to placate her and make her believe things will almost be like they were before. Phil says "Of course I want you, darling" and "We do wonderful things in the dark". But then she says "Don't lie too much" and the thin veil disguising his intent begins to tear. In his mind he has "The Plan" which is basically her going away so that he can relieve his conscience and embrace it as one would a pillow. As she weakens and begins to cry, we find out that he is not going to sleep with just "any" lousy pillow (woman?). At the closing he says that he has to get her away because he is "not doing too well at this". What at first glance appears to be a struggle with his rehabilitation from recent blindness is actually the acknowledgement that what he can't do well is have a mutual loving relationship with his wife.

Hemingway definitely had "mother" issues. When he was very young, she tried to "make" him and his older sister "twins", dressing him as a girl and having them pursue the same activities. This, along with her other "dominations" had to have a profound effect on Hemingway. My personal opinion is that he may have wanted to love women and lead a "normal" married life, but was incapable of it. While I have the greatest respect for his writing, I think in future it will have to be enjoyed in smaller doses - I'm Hemingway-ed out. I am going to read Kenneth S. Lynn's biography of EH and finish "Moveable Feast", and then move on for a while. (I also got Claire Tomalin's new biography on Thomas Hardy and I can't wait to read it - I really like the way she writes!)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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bentley
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The Man and some of his attitudes (Author's quotes - Women and even bananas)

[ Edited ]
There are some quotes by authors regarding their take on the characterization of women characters in Hemingway's works and other really fabulous quotes.

Here is one from Francine Prose:

And Francine Prose says "I don't think I noticed, in fact I'm sure that I didn't notice, the appalling quality of many of his many female characters. And if I did notice, I think I actually liked those women, because given the cultural alternatives that we were presented with then, I would much rather have been Lady Brett Ashley than Donna Reed."

My favorite was this one:

"All over the world obituaries appeared: Hemingway dies in plane crash in jungle. Instead he walked out of the jungle, by some accounts carrying a bunch of bananas and a bottle of Gordon's gin, which was a wonderful image to have. I asked him about that. I said: 'Did you really come out with a bunch of bananas and a bottle of Gordon's gin that you rescued from that thing?' He said: 'Would I come out with bananas'?"




http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/1999/05/13/sunday/main41240.shtml

Message Edited by bentley on 02-27-200710:05 AM

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fanuzzir
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Re: For Bentley



bentley wrote:
. Patrick tried to pretend in the interview at the Kennedy Library that everything was A-OK. Jack at least stated that it was a blessing that the marriage with his mother Hadley ended when it did..she still had her looks and found someone else (a poet) She had a "second life" after Hemingway with the poet Paul Mowrer.

His exact words were, "She was eight years older than Papa, and...the breakup...was a blessing. It took place while she was still an attractive and desirable woman."

.




Bentley, you have done your homework and developed a keen eye for the family relationships of the broken Hemingway family. We should never forget that all discussions of monogamy and man's nature have direct bearing on the lives of offspring, and in those interviews,you see it. I'm particularly struck at how a son internalized his father's measurement of a woman's worth--of being attractive. There's nothing really untoward, I suppose, in saying that your mother was still attractive when she got divorced and good for her. There's just something about that attitude that reminds me of the father. . .
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fanuzzir
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Re: a little bit of slack (spoiler for "Get a Seeing-Eyed Dog")

ELee wrote:
While I have the greatest respect for his writing, I think in future it will have to be enjoyed in smaller doses - I'm Hemingway-ed out. I am going to read Kenneth S. Lynn's biography of EH and finish "Moveable Feast", and then move on for a while. (I also got Claire Tomalin's new biography on Thomas Hardy and I can't wait to read it - I really like the way she writes!)

I'm hoping that you'll join our upcoming Twain discussion. And I think it's a sign of great readers that they actually discovered a raving neurotic with serious family issues underneath the terse, tough guy prose. Congratulations on turning over the rock of Ernest Hemingway.
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fanuzzir
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Re: "Cat in the Rain"

Yes, yes, I agree with everything you say about style. It is a perfect haiku of a relationship gone bad. The wet cat is like Stein's image, "tender buttons." A big artistic influence on Hemingway by the way. And he was able to put it in a conventional romance narrative. So here's to Hemingway the artist.
But I still hate that the woman is the one with this sensitive perspective, and finds the beauty and irony in a random street scene. It seems so clearly designed to give her solace for what she won't, can't do in the relationship. So I guess the story worked on me also in a conventional way: I took sides.
Bob



ziki wrote:

fanuzzir wrote:Let me add my two cents. I hate this story. I hate the way it makes a noble pursuit of a woman's interest in a wet cat. I hate the way the cat is all she can have, all she can want. I hate the fact that she gets the cat and will go on to live with this unfeeling **bleep**. Of course I admire Hemingway for having the bravery to paint such a bleak portrait. But I also resent him for giving a women her, so to speak, say, and making her the wounded little kitty. Go to it.




I liked the story. Yet another variation of a no-relationship. I wonder how many EH can think of. He paints the moment very well. As usually, it is like he's taking snapshots. Here one feels like a voyeur. I wonder about the function of those two men, the transposition. Her liking of the hotel manager shows how desperate and frustrated she is. It's more or less screaming out of her when she is on her way out to fetch the cat.

Another good thing about the story - it is really short! An abreviation of sorts, all actually summed up in one line: "don't get wet". Sex is not gonna happen there and neither an intimacy of any other sort.

I like that the stories talk for themselves, the more I read the less I want to hear about his life; it's actually irrelevant if his writing can stand on its own as it does. Neat discovery.

I take his advice: "Why don't you shut up and read something?"......OK, darling. I will.

ziki ;-)


PS
gosh... I get my one star by my enemy while I am still editing the post...amazing...cat's waiting for the rat.....ROFL.

Message Edited by ziki on 02-26-200705:54 PM




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fanuzzir
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Re: a little bit of slack (spoiler for "Get a Seeing-Eyed Dog")



bentley wrote:
Maybe some have not seen the discussion of "Get a Seeing-Eyed Dog". Am bumping it up again because it was "on topic for this thread", and about a Hemingway short story.


ELee said:

Me too Bentley. I was looking to cut him a little slack also. I thought I had found something in "Get a Seeing-Eyed Dog" which was one of his later (and less accomplished?-according to some) stories that looked a little like an expression of love and true compassion. Then I got hit in the head with the heavy brick of understanding and a great wave of sadness washed over me. True sadness to the point of poignancy. What I originally thought was love and concern for the wife of the newly blind writer, as he tries to come up with a way for her to take a "vacation" from nursing him, turned sour after a second reading. Yes, they've been on the rocks and Phil says they were "for keeps". Yes, he tries to placate her and make her believe things will almost be like they were before. Phil says "Of course I want you, darling" and "We do wonderful things in the dark". But then she says "Don't lie too much" and the thin veil disguising his intent begins to tear. In his mind he has "The Plan" which is basically her going away so that he can relieve his conscience and embrace it as one would a pillow. As she weakens and begins to cry, we find out that he is not going to sleep with just "any" lousy pillow (woman?). At the closing he says that he has to get her away because he is "not doing too well at this". What at first glance appears to be a struggle with his rehabilitation from recent blindness is actually the acknowledgement that what he can't do well is have a mutual loving relationship with his wife.

Hemingway definitely had "mother" issues. When he was very young, she tried to "make" him and his older sister "twins", dressing him as a girl and having them pursue the same activities. This, along with her other "dominations" had to have a profound effect on Hemingway. My personal opinion is that he may have wanted to love women and lead a "normal" married life, but was incapable of it. While I have the greatest respect for his writing, I think in future it will have to be enjoyed in smaller doses - I'm Hemingway-ed out. I am going to read Kenneth S. Lynn's biography of EH and finish "Moveable Feast", and then move on for a while. (I also got Claire Tomalin's new biography on Thomas Hardy and I can't wait to read it - I really like the way she writes!)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




Bentley, this is helpful. I'll be reading the story tonight and getting back to everyone tomorrow.
Bob
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bentley
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Re: a little bit of slack (spoiler for "Get a Seeing-Eyed Dog")



fanuzzir wrote:


bentley wrote:
Maybe some have not seen the discussion of "Get a Seeing-Eyed Dog". Am bumping it up again because it was "on topic for this thread", and about a Hemingway short story.


ELee said:

Me too Bentley. I was looking to cut him a little slack also. I thought I had found something in "Get a Seeing-Eyed Dog" which was one of his later (and less accomplished?-according to some) stories that looked a little like an expression of love and true compassion. Then I got hit in the head with the heavy brick of understanding and a great wave of sadness washed over me. True sadness to the point of poignancy. What I originally thought was love and concern for the wife of the newly blind writer, as he tries to come up with a way for her to take a "vacation" from nursing him, turned sour after a second reading. Yes, they've been on the rocks and Phil says they were "for keeps". Yes, he tries to placate her and make her believe things will almost be like they were before. Phil says "Of course I want you, darling" and "We do wonderful things in the dark". But then she says "Don't lie too much" and the thin veil disguising his intent begins to tear. In his mind he has "The Plan" which is basically her going away so that he can relieve his conscience and embrace it as one would a pillow. As she weakens and begins to cry, we find out that he is not going to sleep with just "any" lousy pillow (woman?). At the closing he says that he has to get her away because he is "not doing too well at this". What at first glance appears to be a struggle with his rehabilitation from recent blindness is actually the acknowledgement that what he can't do well is have a mutual loving relationship with his wife.

Hemingway definitely had "mother" issues. When he was very young, she tried to "make" him and his older sister "twins", dressing him as a girl and having them pursue the same activities. This, along with her other "dominations" had to have a profound effect on Hemingway. My personal opinion is that he may have wanted to love women and lead a "normal" married life, but was incapable of it. While I have the greatest respect for his writing, I think in future it will have to be enjoyed in smaller doses - I'm Hemingway-ed out. I am going to read Kenneth S. Lynn's biography of EH and finish "Moveable Feast", and then move on for a while. (I also got Claire Tomalin's new biography on Thomas Hardy and I can't wait to read it - I really like the way she writes!)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




Bentley, this is helpful. I'll be reading the story tonight and getting back to everyone tomorrow.
Bob




Thanks..good luck..I have finished the Finca Vigia.
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a little bit more of that slack

fanuzzir wrote: I'm Hemingway-ed out.

ROFL....you, too?


F: I think it's a sign of great readers that they actually discovered a raving neurotic with serious family issues underneath the terse, tough guy prose.

But that is so evident! Are you serious to say this is a discovery?

My discovery this month then would be that it doesn't matter that his background was as it was......it's irrelevant to the value of his contribution to the literature. So somehow I was able to free him from all rude accusations that people (I bet) wouldn't dare to tell straight into his face. They would do into their pants and ask for a autograph.

ziki
ex cathedra :-)
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none

[ Edited ]

Message Edited by ziki on 03-04-200709:34 AM

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Kevin
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Re: Cleaning up, and moving on

Hi, everyone.

We've just done a pretty thorough cleanup of this (and some other) threads on this board. Let's all try to remember to keep our cool, and to keep the focus on the books.
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fanuzzir
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"Get a Seeing-Eyed Dog"

Thanks to Bentley and ELee for prompting this discussion of a wonderful story. The familiar motifs of the Hemingway romance are there: the pursuit of the "Plan" (the self-destructive will to peel off a loving partner); the self-pity of the predatory male; the helplessness of the "blessed" beloved. But there is more here that suggests a reflection on Hemingway's part of his life and his fiction. The story starts out in an attitude of nostalgia, as if all relationships are held together by recollection, and that the escapades themselves were merely preparation for the real pychic income, which was in reliving and recalling them. (This was a standard Modernist thesis: that experience was more intense for having lost it). There is also a subtle evocation of disability here (notwithstanding the blunt title) that can be extended to many dimensions of male identity and gender relations. I remain impressed at how expertly Hemingway layers his narrative through dialogue: it is as if life cannot be told with or through an omniscient narrator but through the random contact and interchanges of people involved all too deeply in their own lives.
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Re: Cleaning up, and moving on

[ Edited ]

Kevin wrote:
Hi, everyone.

We've just done a pretty thorough cleanup of this (and some other) threads on this board. Let's all try to remember to keep our cool, and to keep the focus on the books.




The kernel of the problem has not been looked into and the abuse of the system in this way by a participant doesn't promote any creative discussion. I for one am not able to look into any book and pretend smiles.

thank you
ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 03-02-200705:23 PM

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ELee
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"Seeing-Eyed"

Bob,

What do you make of the use of "seeing-eyed" rather than "seeing eye"? EH uses it in the title and then repeats it again in the story when Phil uses "eyed" and his wife tries to correct him. Or am I making too much of it?
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fanuzzir
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Re: "Seeing-Eyed"

I haven't the slightest idea on this. I'm just wondering who would say such a blunt thing to a Hemingway man since every exchange in the story is recalled with such indirection.

Bob
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fanuzzir
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Re: Cleaning up, and moving on

Ziki, I hope you'll be joining us for the Huck Finn discussion--a novel, mind you, juicy and substantial.
Bob
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chadadanielleKR
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Re: Hemingway and Women



bentley wrote:
This is an interesting article from Book Notes - cnn.com (1999 vintage). Francine Prose is quoted regarding Hemingway's female characters (The Secret Life of Francis Macomber)


http://www.cnn.com/books/news/9904/12/hemingway/index.html

Message Edited by bentley on 02-24-200704:02 PM

Message Edited by bentley on 02-24-200704:03 PM






For those who read Nadine Gordimer's short stories there definitely is some resemblance in style. Although N. Gordimer's short stories are usually longer and more elaborate. Her remarks are interesting: for instance, H. never paid much attention to the Black people either from Africa or from the States.
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fanuzzir
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Re: Hemingway and Women

Gordimer is like a highly self-aware Hemingway. Very artful, like him, but I always thought I knew where her fiction was going once I started a story. For sheer unpredictability about all things colonial and Africa, I enjoyed V. S. Naipaul's collection of novellas, In a Free State.
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chadadanielleKR
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Re: Hemingway and Women


fanuzzir wrote:
Gordimer is like a highly self-aware Hemingway. Very artful, like him, but I always thought I knew where her fiction was going once I started a story. For sheer unpredictability about all things colonial and Africa, I enjoyed V. S. Naipaul's collection of novellas, In a Free State.



True. Less things are remained untold in her short stories. She usually goes more into details like scenery for intance.I think you made me think about going back to V.S. Naipaul's writings! (I only have read some of his novels)
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fanuzzir
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Re: Hemingway and Women

[ Edited ]
I hope you do enjoy that Naipaul collection. The inter-racial relationships are strained to the point of Baroque, which is a far cry from Hemingway, who goes through Africa and doesn't have any. I come away convinced that no one does modern deterioration of private life better than Hemingway, but he really did not open himself up to the African world the way he did to Spain and Michigan.

(I'm copying this to the Hemingway and Africa thread to see if anyone will pick it up.
Bob

Message Edited by fanuzzir on 03-05-200708:51 PM

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gordimer



fanuzzir wrote:
Gordimer is like a highly self-aware Hemingway. Very artful, like him, but I always thought I knew where her fiction was going once I started a story.




I found myself jumping chapters in her latest book and it felt like I didn't miss much. This is a terrible thing to say and something I usually don't do, but I can't realy tune into her writing. Maybe the word "predictable" actually describes it. I couldn't put a finger on it.

ziki
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