[lit-ideas] Re: Hemingway's quarrel with Gertrude Stein

  • From: Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2006 23:31:23 -0700

Lawrence wrote:

In regard to Hemingway's boxing, he seemed to enjoy it even if he lost.  He
wasn't a coward but he obviously felt that twinge of fear when in dangerous
situations and he made the mistake of describing it to Stein.  One isn't
courageous because he never feels fear but because he overcomes fear.  As to
who was the better writer, I think history has come down on the side of
Hemingway -- although I have never been fond of his writing.  I used to have
most of Hemingway's writings but don't now.  Reading Meyers tempts me to
reacquire some of them, but only mildly.  I was curious about A Movable
Feast which I don't recall reading.  I may get that eventually.

Movable Feast isn't a bad book, or so I remember. I wonder where Hemingway's
fascination with boxing came from--? His writing about it is much deeper and
far less stylized than his writing about bull fighting. The opening sentence of
The Sun Also Rises, is 'Robert Cohen was once middleweight boxing champion of
Princeton.' The Killers, My Old Man, and Fifty Grand are about boxing (those
are the ones I can list without going to the googlary). Fifty Grand is a
wonderful story. Despite the sham and pretense he wore like a pair of surplus
fatigues, he could write circles around Gertrude, who could barely write.

Robert Paul
Professor of Trends and Wonders
Mutton College

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