Saturday, July 22, 2006

Ernest Hemingway 1899-1961

I tried to get this post done earlier in the day, in honor of Pappy's birthday. Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899 in Oak Park Illinois. I was an English major in college, (I know hard to tell, I never said I studied) and to me literature before Hemingway was always a challenge to read. Victorian literature has it's fans, but frankly I can't be bothered to find out if Penelope will find true love and fulfillment with Lord Thistlewick if it takes 240 pages to find out. Hemingway is much more direct. Often times what isn't written is as important or more so than what is. From The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber:
Thirty-five yards into the grass the big lion lay flattened out along the ground. His ears where back and his only movement was a slight twitching up and down of his long, black-tufted tail. He had turned at bay as soon as he had reached this cover and he was sick with the wound through his full belly, and weakening with the wound through his lungs that brought a thin foamy red to his mouth each time he breathed. His flanks were wet and hot and flies were on the little openings the solid bullets had made in his tawny hide, and his big yellow eyes, narrowed with hate, looked straight ahead, only blinking when the pain came as he breathed, and his claws dug in the soft baked earth. All of him, pain, sickness, hatred and all of his remaining strength, was tightening into an absolute concentration for a rush. He could hear the men talking and he waited, gathering all of himself into this preparation for a charge as soon as the men would come into the grass. As he heard their voices his tail stiffened to twitch up and down, and, as they came into the edge of the grass, he made a coughing grunt and charged.

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