Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hemingway: my take

I read "For Whom the Bell Tolls" about 15 years ago. I could only remember that it was about the Spanish Civil War, the main character was in trouble at the end, and that "the earth moved". Reading it again, I do feel like I rediscovered a good book and I derived more out of it the second time through.

I imagine that Papa will be re-discovered by every generation that reads his books. I enjoyed the five works of his that I finished in the last 5 weeks. His writing is simple and easy to digest, but also thoughtful and philosophical, depending on how much you are willing to invest. If you read him and know his biography, you know that he wrote about his own life. I do admire him for that, since he was really putting himself out there, in the world, over 80 year ago. "A Farewell to Arms" is literally an autobiographical account of his time serving as an ambulance driver in Italy during WWI. "The Sun Also Rises" is based on people he knew when he lived in Paris following the war and "For Whom the Bell Tolls" recollects some of his experiences during the Spanish Civil War. To me, Hemmingway is adventurous and he writes about his experiences in a way that is simple and direct, but his writing still has deep meaning.

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