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Re: "A Clean Well Lighted Place"



Seattleslew wrote:smileyfrustrated:ome people have trouble with Hemingway, and many literary writers, because they are used to people like Grisham or Stephen King who make it so easy for readers and TELL them everything instead of the literary manner -- e.g. RENDERING. The dramatic manner -- rendering -- forces readers to actually do the work of reading.




SeSl...would you mind expounding on what you mean by rendering. I understand how you mean but I'd like to hear more about what you actually see in that word.

thanks
ziki
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Katelyn
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Re: Leaves and shadows



ELee wrote:
The leaves are like Hemingway's writing; each leaf self-contained and declarative like the sentences that create his stories. They block the light in ever changing ways as they move gently in the breeze. The shadows are small openings into the great beyond of Hemingway's darkness. As we peer into these little windows searching for clues, we see only shadowy suggestions of his meaning before the breeze moves and closes them. Sometimes they bring a vague, uncomfortableness that we can't quite recognize. The old man in the cafe (like Hemingway) is on the darkened side in the shadows, looking toward the light that is obstructed by the leaves.




Elee,
A very beautiful and powerful description. Love your writing here: "each leaf self-contained and declarative like the sentences that create his stories". The way the leaves sway and reveal and conceal and darkness beyond is very poetic and moving. I am going to reread the story just to look at the leaf references. I wonder what Hemmingway's attitude toward nature was also. You inspired me; I'll be back to comment. Thanks for these images...

Kate
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LeuschenN
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Re: "A Clean Well Lighted Place"

In essence this story is about the contrast between the light and the dark, and the gray area in between (the shadows in the cafe). Despite the distracting dialogue between the two waiters, not that that doesn’t have something to do with things, café symbolizes an oasis of serenity in the confused and disillusioned landscape of the period. The waiters, young and old, are the mentor and student that appear in many of Hemingway’s stories. The young waiter eager push the old man out, does not realize the comfort that both the old man and the old waiter get from being in the medium ground. The young waiter also personifies Hemingway’s hatred of aging. Overall this story is really just a typical scene with an overlay of Hemingway’s personal vices and feelings. Not wonderful but an excellent portrayal of feelings.
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LeuschenN
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Re: "A Clean Well Lighted Place"

In ACWLP Hemingway describes obvious dark areas (bodegas) and the obvious middle ground (the café) where the characters are wary about going or are entirely apposed to going, but where if at all, is the light side of things?
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schrackd
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Re: "A Clean Well Lighted Place"

In ACWLP Hemingway describes obvious dark areas (bodegas) and the obvious middle ground (the café) where the characters are wary about going or are entirely apposed to going, but where if at all, is the light side of things?

In ACWLP there is no light side of things. This story is modern and follows modern themes in which darkness is overwhelming and a light side is hard to find.
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tangeman_s
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Re: "A Clean Well Lighted Place"

In A Clean Well Lighted Place, I don't think that there is a light side in the story. It's about the old man and his loneliness and depression. It's about the nothingness inside of people.

The only light side would possibly be the younger waiter in the cafe. He represents the youthfulness that the old man once had.
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jsacco
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Re: "A Clean Well Lighted Place"

I think that ACWLP is somewhat autobiographical like many of Hemingway's stories. He would be the old man in the story. He is very lonely and doesn't see the point of aging at all. He doesnt want to live a lonely depressing life. Hemingway really did try to kill himself once before he actually took his life. What would he have to live for after he planned on killing himself? He had nothing to look forward to and no one to live for, not even himself. He had given up. He was no longer young, and no longer had any confidence.
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ajanak08
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Re: "A Clean Well Lighted Place"

I agree with the previous post saying that ACWLP is semi-autobiographical. The old man and the old waiter represent Hemingway and the nothingness he felt in his life. The young waiter represents the youth and joy that leaves people as they age. This story serves as a commentary on the wickedness of old age and the alternatives a man has as he ages. Hemingway mentions suicide as as option if one's life becomes empty (i.e. the old man at the cafe), and oddly enough he ended up committing suicide.
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jacksonc
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Re: "A Clean Well Lighted Place"



LeuschenN wrote:
In ACWLP Hemingway describes obvious dark areas (bodegas) and the obvious middle ground (the café) where the characters are wary about going or are entirely apposed to going, but where if at all, is the light side of things?




The light side of things is the daytime, which the old man avoids entirely.
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ajanak08
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Re: "A Clean Well Lighted Place"

In ACWLP, what is significance of the old man saying that he will not sleep that night, but rather wait until morning when it is light outside?
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mpierson
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Re: "A Clean Well Lighted Place"

Why do you think Hemingway believed that aging was such a tragic, awful thing?
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past...
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Re: Let's discuss "A Clean Well-Lighted Place"

[ Edited ]

zman wrote: In this story, the characterizations of the old drunk and the two waiters imply vast and varied histories, but we only hear a few notes of those histories - we see only a bit of a rich landscape through a tiny window.




For me it is different. In the description of light/shadow in one tiny sentence/stroke/moment I see all warm evenings in Cuba or Greece or South America, I see all husbands wanting to go to bed, the whole ungraspable pastorale...and that is the beauty, the total opening into it All through the minimal situation of Now.

The whole universe in the grain of sand that's what he is for me.
ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 02-10-200706:42 AM

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apara001
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Re: "A Clean Well Lighted Place"

"clean well lighted places" are fixtures in our societies. we expect people to patronize them, but what kind of people can they attract?
clubs and bars offer an opportunity for instant gratification and false happiness.
it seems as if in some cases these establishments attract people that are trying to escape certain aspects of their lives and find temporary relief as opposed to coming to terms with reality.

the character seems to be profoundly depressed and resorts to drinking at "a clean well lighted place" because he is afraid to be alone with his own thoughts. the darkness, the silence (his deafness), his alcoholic tendencies, and the lonliness have driven him to suicide before. he depends on his alcoholism and staying at cafes until late in the night to (ironically) stay alive.

by the end of the story, this person is so fearful/ addicted/ troubled, that he thinks he has insomnia... he doesnt even realize that he is suicidal and an alcoholic.

he doesn't seek help and help isn't offered. society takes no pity on him. men cannot and should not be weak--if you have a problem keep it to yourself, suck it up wussy.

i love this story. it takes these classic symbols in our culture and turns them upside down to make you see "this is how it was or is and it doesnt have to be this way."
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