New Warhorn Media post by Nathan Alberson:
My last year of college I took 20th Century American Novel. We were asked by our prof whether “A Farewell to Arms” was a love story or an anti-war story. I disappointed him greatly by saying it was neither. I couldn’t say what it was, but I told him it was a pathetic love story and an uncompelling anti-war story.
The ending really summed up the whole book. Tragic and pointless. His view of life is terrible, but he does a really good job portraying his view in literary form.
Agreed. Very dour. I preferred For Whom the Bell Tolls (which I decided to read based solely on the name). It was somewhat tragic as well, but it didn’t feel as empty, to me.
I can understand why it made such a splash THEN. It’s hard for me to fathom why anyone loves it now.
I had an apostrophe the other day…
What Ernest Hemingway thought of himself and wasn’t, Ernest Shackleton was. Hemingway was on to something with his attempt at rugged masculinity, but his execution was awful. There are glimpses of what he could have been in For Whom the Bell Tolls, but glimpses amidst what I think @nathanalberson called ‘grossness.’ Ranulph Fiennes’ bio of Schackleton is on my shelf. I haven’t had a chance to crack it yet, but I doubt it will suffer for a want of genuinely rugged masculinity…the good kind.
A Tale of Two Ernests
Now THAT’s funny! Poe? Ortlund? Wodehouse?
Hemingway…from @jtbayly’s lit class story.
I haven’t listened to the podcast! Means I’m probably jumping in the convo midstream.
And I tried Wodehouse…found it the same as Chesterton. Interesting and entertaining for the first couple stories, but really boring after that. Probably means I’m the boring one!
Poe and Ortlund…now there’s an interesting comparison!
Edited to add: Just got it. I’m a bit slow!
Finished “A Farewell to Arms” the first time a few months ago.
Felt like it was a huge waste of time. Empty. Meaningless.
I had just finished Hemingway’s short story “The Short Happy Life of Frances Macomber” which I found absolutely fantastic. Boy, what a drop-off I experienced.