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The early short story Up in Michigan is explained in relation to the short story cycle In Our Time.Problems of narration are analysed in Now I Lay Me, an integral part of the famous Nick Adams stories.In much of the criticism that has been devoted to the writer’s life and work from the 1950s to the 2000s, there have appeared numerous and contradictory theories backing up an ideologically oriented interpretation of Hemingway’s work.5 One can even underline a persistent confusion between the false fiction Hemingway and his popular and academic admirers created, and the true fiction he wrote out of the intimate and precious parts of his being.
John Killinger’s existentialist interpretation of Hemingway underlines the protagonist’s solitude but also his heroic quest for authenticity, the courageous choices he has to make, the godlike position he reaches thanks to his moral courage: “The is possible only in the valley of the shadow of death, for it is there that man comes face to face with the uncanny feeling of nada.
It is there, in the moment of truth, that the encrustations and accretions of historical man drop away, and the real, ex-sisting man emerges, timeless, Godlike, and free” (32).
Hence, the essays brought together in this volume value the textual dimension of Hemingway’s narratives, and eschew in varied degrees and manners the ideological background and the usually underlined alleged links with the reality “out there.” Close in spirit and method, they lay bare the poetic, plastic, fantasmatic matter at work in Hemingway’s short fiction, and minimize more or less radically the illusions of depth and the false mimetic knowledge of the author, in favor of the rich textual network and surface phenomena, overlooked more often than not by Hemingway’s commentators.
The essays are indeed off the beaten track as they view suspiciously the overemphasized referential assumptions about Hemingway’s “Code” and its positivist and ideological implications, and his alleged moral, political, or even biographical “messages.” If they acknowledge and synthesize usefully the abundant critical work already realized on the stories under consideration, the contributors propose new ways for reading Hemingway’s (short) fiction.
in 1986, Hemingway’s work has been discussed by most commentators within this consensual frame of reference.
It comes as no surprise then that even the philosophical studies devoted to the writer, such as John Killinger’s , should display the same concern for the heroism of his protagonists.
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Ernest Hemingway is one of the most gifted, oft-taught, and frequently criticized authors of the short story in the English language.
The introduction and four original scholarly essays in this volume constitute an survey of Hemingway's career as a short story writer and offer an overview of practical problems involved in reading his work.