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Hemingway
     

Hemingway

by Michael S. Reynolds, Michael Reynolds, Micahel Reynolds
 
This new biography focuses on the maturing Hemingway when fame is hitting fullforce the years between A Farewell to Arms and the writing of For Whom the Bell Tolls. During the bleak years of the thirties, Ernest Hemingway matured as a writer against the backdrop of the Cuban Revolution, African game trails, Key West impoverishment, and the Spanish Civil War.

Overview

This new biography focuses on the maturing Hemingway when fame is hitting fullforce the years between A Farewell to Arms and the writing of For Whom the Bell Tolls. During the bleak years of the thirties, Ernest Hemingway matured as a writer against the backdrop of the Cuban Revolution, African game trails, Key West impoverishment, and the Spanish Civil War. Reaching for a prose not yet written, he experimented in fiction and nonfiction, pushing his limits as a writer. In a sympathetic narrative, Michael Reynolds creates a rich map of Hemingway's journey from promising young novelist to literary lion. He gives us the look and feel of the times and the people, as well as the give and take of literary life. We come away from this book knowing more about what Hemingway wrote and why. We also know more about where we as a people have been, for Hemingway explored every element of this decade with the intensity of a natural historian. Drawing on a wealth of new material and period documents, Reynolds adds a human touch to a writer too often seen only in caricature. Hemingway: The 1930s illuminates a time, a place, and a man that have captured the American imagination and have defined the American experience.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
Reynolds, whose The Young Hemingway was a National Book Award finalist, here reconstructs Hemingway's life in the decade during which he was transformed from a little-known literary cult figure to an American icon-the decade that produced Death in the Afternoon, Green Hills of Africa, Winner Take Nothing and To Have and Have Not. The story begins in 1930, when Hemingway, his second wife, Pauline, and their son Patrick were living in Europe. Using to great advantage a detached tone, a direct style and a mix of present and past tenses (strongly reminiscent of Hemingway's own language), Reynolds imaginatively brings the story to life. He chronicles the ups and downs of Hemingway's friendship with F. Scott Fitzgerald and other writers of the period-including Archibald MacLeish, Gerald and Sara Murphy and John Dos Passos; Hemingway's obsessions with hunting, fishing and boxing; and, always, his struggles to grow as a writer. His restless genius takes him from Europe to Key West, to Cuba and back to the Midwest, all the while being protected from the severest effects of the Depression by the constant flow of magazine work and a sympathetic aid of his editor, Max Perkins. Hemingway's activities during the Spanish Civil War as the decade ended marked two major events of his life: his meeting with correspondent Martha Gellhorn, who would become his third wife, and the experiences that became the raw material for his next novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls. Filled with fascinating details and anecdotes, this fine biography illuminates our understanding of this crucial decade. Photos.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Reynolds, whose The Young Hemingway was a National Book Award finalist, here reconstructs Hemingway's life in the decade during which he was transformed from a little-known literary cult figure to an American iconthe decade that produced Death in the Afternoon, Green Hills of Africa, Winner Take Nothing and To Have and Have Not. The story begins in 1930, when Hemingway, his second wife, Pauline, and their son Patrick were living in Europe. Using to great advantage a detached tone, a direct style and a mix of present and past tenses (strongly reminiscent of Hemingway's own language), Reynolds imaginatively brings the story to life. He chronicles the ups and downs of Hemingway's friendship with F. Scott Fitzgerald and other writers of the periodincluding Archibald MacLeish, Gerald and Sara Murphy and John Dos Passos; Hemingway's obsessions with hunting, fishing and boxing; and, always, his struggles to grow as a writer. His restless genius takes him from Europe to Key West, to Cuba and back to the Midwest, all the while being protected from the severest effects of the Depression by the constant flow of magazine work and a sympathetic aid of his editor, Max Perkins. Hemingway's activities during the Spanish Civil War as the decade ended marked two major events of his life: his meeting with correspondent Martha Gellhorn, who would become his third wife, and the experiences that became the raw material for his next novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls. Filled with fascinating details and anecdotes, this fine biography illuminates our understanding of this crucial decade. Photos. (May)
Library Journal
This fourth volume in Reynolds's ongoing series finds Hemingway setting up a home base in Key West, Florida, while also following the bullfightsand later the civil warin Spain, going on safari in Africa, and fishing off Cuba. Though it might seem that he had put his talent in dry-dock to enjoy leisure pursuits, his adventures resulted in Death in the Afternoon, Green Hills of Africa, and To Have and Have Not. The book also offers a fine portrait of Pauline, the dutiful second wife who attended patiently to Ernest's every need until he scuttled their marriage when the soon-to-be-next Mrs. H (Martha Gellhorn) appeared. This is everything a literary biography should be: it not only ably dissects the artist's actions but puts his life and work into historical and, more importantly, emotional context as well. The great writer emerges here as a fully drawn personalityyou can all but smell Hemingway's whisky breath coming off the pages. Though he pursues a much overstudied subject, Reynolds again proves that Hemingway is still a rich mine with much gold in his veins. A masterpiece in the making. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/97.]Michael Rogers, "Library Journal"
Kirkus Reviews
The author of a multivolume biography of Hemingway (which began with The Young Hemingway, 1986) continues his fact-packed, engaging exploration of the talent Lionel Trilling called perhaps the most "publicly developed" in America's history.

As in his previous volumes (Hemingway: The Paris Years, 1989; Hemingway: The American Homecoming, 1992), this one focuses on both Hemingway's life and American cultural history, in this case during the 1930s. The approach not only suits a subject so prominent in his time, but lifts the view of Hemingway beyond the familiar outline: the friendships, the mood swings, the writing schedule, the aggressively masculine lifestyle, and the oft- repeated premonitions of death (though all are here, in moderation). Also well presented are Hemingway's two women: his prim, devoted wife, Pauline, who made "her husband her life's work," and his lover Martha Gellhorn, whose beauty, political activism, and "footloose idealism" drew him away. Reynolds's careful explanations of the genesis and meanings of such landmark stories as "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber," and his careful examination of Hemingway's ambivalence about Catholicism, are all fresh, impressive, and useful. Concerned about the apparent divide between his beliefs and his fiction, Hemingway told Pauline that he was constantly struggling to separate "Hemingway the writer from Hemingway the private man"—the former a man with "no politics nor any religion," the latter a parishioner, almsgiver, and penitent. Deftly woven into the narrative are striking words and images from the decade, reminding one of the turbulent context in which Hemingway worked.

Aside from occasional slips into floridity, this is a steady, dramatically satisfying, even enlightening look at a major talent and his times.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393040937
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
06/01/1997
Pages:
360
Product dimensions:
6.37(w) x 9.52(h) x 1.40(d)

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