02-21-2007 11:22 AM
Landscape with Figures
I Guess Everything Reminds You of Something
Great News from the Mainland
The Strange Country
These stories alongwith the others in a previous thread complete the Part III (previously unpublished fiction)
I am still not reading the Finca Vigia chronologically and am sampling from different parts of the collection. I have not seen any discussion on any of the stories above thus far so therefore I thought I would open this thread.
02-21-2007 11:31 AM
02-21-2007 08:25 PM - edited 02-21-2007 08:25 PM
Landscape with Figures is a story about the Spanish Civil War (just started it)..so it would best be discussed (I guess) in the Hemingway and War thread. I will take the discussion there for this short short story.
I have begun the discussion of Landscape in the Hemingway and War thread (for the war related details) and I have posted the gender attitudes concerning this story in the Hemingway and Women thread.
However, the characterization of the Authority to me was very very funny and I felt that it would fit probably better here (not about a woman and not really describing war attitudes).
The Characterization of the (British) Great Authority:
First, the helmets were a sore spot as well because everybody else had inferior gear. Sound familiar.
However picturing the Great Authority was easy...EH was brilliant..I could actually see a visual of this guy and I was laughing.
This was the funny part. After Edwin repeatedly warned the guy (for everybody's safety and was ignored repeatedly), the first blast came and EH dove through the door. What he described was so funny. "As I dove through the door something with a steel hat on passed me going for the stairs. You may think a rabbit moves fast when it first jumps and starts zig-zagging away, but the Authority moved through that smoke-filled hall, down those tricky stairs, out the door, and down the street faster than any rabbit. One of the cameramen said he had no speed on the lens of his Leica which would stop him in motion. This is of course inaccurate but it gives the effect."
Then at the end, "He stopped and looked back, the great heavy helmet looking ridiculous as he turned his head, like the huge horns of some harmless beast."
I am still smiling.
Message Edited by bentley on 02-21-200708:29 PM
02-21-2007 11:21 PM - edited 02-21-2007 11:21 PM
The above is a quote from an article published in The Virginia Quarterly. I posted the url on the Hemingway and Women thread already.
I think this quote gives a pretty clear indication of what this story is about. Somewhat telling was the photo that I posted on one of threads of Gregory with his father both holding rifles..you could tell the boy was miserable and unhappy by the look on his face even then.
But the last line in this story sums it up: "Now he knew that the boy had never been any good. He had thought so often looking back on things. And it was sad to know that shooting did not mean a thing"
How cruel, thoughtless and insipid..you had to feel bad for Gregory but at the same time understanding how impossible it was for a man like EH to be able to understand a son who has these issues. Very sad.
Message Edited by bentley on 02-21-200711:23 PM
02-22-2007 09:11 AM - edited 02-22-2007 09:11 AM
Possibly you should not read futher because it might spoil the story for you if you have not read it.
Patrick Hemingway noted that Gregory had so many electric shocks that it would light up a whole house. This story was a discussion concerning calls from the treatment center where Gregory (called Stevie) was being treated and conversations that EH had with the doctor and with Gregory (Stevie).
In it Stevie (Gregory) tells his father that "this time I've really got the answer". Of course, there wasn't an answer for Gregory's problems at that time and he wasn't fine.
EH ends the story knowing also that Gregory was not and would not be fine. "Fine," I said. "He says everything is fine."
Message Edited by bentley on 02-22-200709:12 AM
02-22-2007 12:39 PM
This story was a little longer than the rest and were four chapters which were discarded when he published Islands in the Stream (which actually was published after EH's death).
The characters are once again his own personal family. The three sons are all part of his life already in this short story and he speaks of the wives. He seems to be traveling w/Martha Gelhorn (pseudonym in story Helena) and she continues to ask if him if he loves her. He (Roger - EH) seems to lie continually and acknowledges those lies in the story. I am not sure why he took up with Martha because she certainly did not fit the mold. Constantly he was thinking about how he was going to keep everybody afloat so that they would all be able to get along and still do what he wanted.
He also remembered how Hadley had lost his stories and manuscripts and he told that tale reiterating that he didn't know then if he could start over and here he was with another woman finding himself with the same dilemma (could he start over with a new woman and would it end up any better or about the same).
It has marvelous autobiographical anecdotes and you see how tortured he was about his choices but he still made them anyways.