Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Everyone Hem for Hump Day

Hump Day here, and I just spent the morning evaluating rough drafts of student writing. I imagine this life is similar to old Hemingway allowing his young son a glass of beer as Hem writes his stories and cultivates his fame in the cafes of Paris. Speaking of which, keep your eyes out for the new, expanded A Moveable Feast, which if I'm not mistaken is due to be published this week.

Christopher Hitchens--quite possibly the journalist satirized in the "Isaac Babel" chapter of Keith Gessen's debut novel, All the Sad, Young Literary Men--has a piece on the new version in the June 2009 issue of Atlantic Monthly:

The photograph of Hemingway as a young man is quite different from the grizzled, macho fellow we might imagine behind his words. I suspect a lot of us visualize Fitzgerald as a bit light in the loafers, but Hemingway allows us to imagine a fellow ready to wrestle bears, run with bulls, limp after the war, and well, Hem it all up you could say... to be honest, the seventy year old Philip Roth depicted on the back of the hardcover of Everyman looks like he could kick this young Hemingway's derriere. That's probably not the literary fame Phil Roth is looking for although I'm not certain he'd turn down the opportunity to get at one of these upstarts like Gessen, Franzen, Auster, Delillo... yikes! Even Delillo is a young one for Roth? Maybe not.

For some fun Philip Roth on Ernest Hemingway, check out the opening of Roth's The Great American Novel. In that Everyman's explicit focus is on the mortality and fear of death, I suppose we could call it commentary on The Old Man and the Sea... or just about every novel Hemingway wrote.

As you were, writer.

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