Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway (1898-1961) was born in Illinois. His family took him, as a boy, on frequent hunting and fishing trips and so acquainted him early with the kinds of virtues, such as courage and endurance, which were later reflected in his fiction. After high school, he worked as a newspaper reporter and then went overseas to take part in World War I. After the war he lived for several years in Paris, where he became part of a group of Americans who felt alienated from their country. They considered themselves a lost generation. It was not long before he began publishing remarkable and completely individual short stories. The year he left Paris he published the powerful novel The sun Also Rises. His subjects were often war and its effects on people, or contests, such as hunting or bullfighting, which demand stamina and courage.

Hemingway's style of writing is striking. His sentences are short, his words simple, yet they are often filled with emotion. A careful reading can show us, furthermore, that he is a master of the pause. That is, if we look closely, we see how the action of his stories continues during the silences, during the times his characters say nothing. This action is often full of meaning. There are times when the most powerful effect comes from restraint. Such times occur often in Hemingway's fiction. He perfected the art of conveying emotion with few words.

In contrast to the Romantic writer, who often emphasizes abundance and even excess, Hemingway is a Classicist in his restraint and understatement. He believes, with many other Classicists, that the strongest effect comes with an economy of means.

This is not to say that his work is either emotionless or dull. "In Another Country" is filled with emotional overtones. Its dominant feeling is one of pity for misfortunes that can never be remedied. A hand crippled is, and will always be, a hand crippled. A beloved wife lost through death is lost indeed. Perhaps we should be resigned to such misfortunes, but the Italian major in this story laments that he cannot be resigned. The tragedies of life cannot really be remedied.