Si, pe masura ce creste in ochii celorlalti, se cufunda tot mai mult in singuratate. Iar daca este suficient de bun, in fiecare zi e nevoit sa se confrunte cu eternitatea sau cu absenta ei. Pentru un scriitor adevarat, fiecare carte este un nou inceput, o noua incercare de a atinge ceva care ramane mereu de neatins. Misiunea lui este de a merge pe cai ce n-au mai fost umblate sau de a izbuti acolo unde altii au dat gres. Dar sa scrii literatura nu inseamna doar sa spui cu alte cuvinte ceea ce deja s-a spus - tocmai pentru ca au existat marii scriitori ai trecutului, noi, cei de astazi, suntem nevoiti sa mergem mai departe decat am fi crezut vreodata ca putem ajunge, sa iesim in larg, pana cand ramanem cu totul singuri, lipsiti de orice sprijin. Stia prea bine ca substanta operei unui artist este artistul insusi, viata si trairile lui, si a reusit ceea ce putini scriitori din epoca lui sau dintotdeauna au izbutit sa faca: sa devina, ca om si in vazul lumii in mijlocul careia traia, imaginea vie a semnificatiei celei mai autentice si mai profunde a operei sale, iar acest lucru a continuat sa-l faca neabatut si cu cea mai deplina onestitate pana in momentul mortii.

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Between a war happened in Spain. It was a war for control of the soul of a country. It was fought between the Republicans, who were democratically elected and the Nationalists, a Fascist group wanting to overthrow the government. Most people were not aware at the time, but really this Civil War was a precursor, a warming pan for World War Two.

The Soviet Union and a coalition of other future allies who stayed behind the scenes provided help and advice for the Republicans. Germany and Italy provided support for the Nationalists. There were international brigades formed up of volunteers from all over the world who came to Spain to fight against fascism. They lost. Francisco Franco, leader of the Nationalists, was the dictator of Spain until his death in Ernest Hemingway went to Spain as a war correspondent for the North American Newspaper Alliance and was hoping to find some great material for a book.

The dialogue is written in an archaic style implying that it is the most correct translation from the Spanish. The thees and thous are distracting and certainly added some ponderousness to a book that was set in the s not the s. Hemingway in Spain. Robert Jordan is an American who has been trained to be a dynamiter.

He joins a band of gypsy freedom fighters up in the hills of Sierra de Guadarrama with orders to blow a bridge that may or may not be important. The chances of survival are slender because they are too few and the timeline too tight. He meets Maria who has been saved by the band from the Fascists who had tortured and raped her.

He falls head over heels in love. Their relationship quickly goes medieval with her begging him for ways to help him: shining his shoes, pouring him wine, mending his clothes, or fetching him something to eat. She is constantly insecure about her appearance because the Fascists had cut off her hair and she only had a stubble grown back.

The relationship is built on the most shallow grounds. It is difficult to conceive that it would have survived a move back into a regular life. Especially when the gypsy witch Pilar tells Maria that she will only feel the earth move three times in her lifetime. Why three times? It is not known, but Pilar is most certain it can only happen three times. There is a movie starring Ingrid Bergman and Gary Cooper. He certainly is stepping on the toes of the original leader Pablo who used to be a man of great courage, but had lost his desire to want to kill or be killed.

He commits an act of treason in an attempt to save the band, but decides in the final moment to come back and help. In some ways he is the most interesting character in the book. A man who is evolved past mindlessness and wants more reason for blowing a bridge or killing people than just to follow orders.

The best scene in the book is the death of a band of guerrillas who are lead by El Sordo. Courage is something Hemingway respects and cowardice is something he worries about.

The potential of experiencing his own bout of cowardice or finding it in others is a theme of his life. He is worried that he will be captured and would be forced to kill himself like his father. It puts into question his whole feelings about his father and the way he died. The curse continued into another generation with the suicide of his granddaughter Margaux. If Hemingway felt the way Jordan did I believe he did. I do wonder if he finally forgave his own father when he became the mechanism of his own death or did he maybe blame his father for cursing the family with suicidal thoughts?

Hemingway posing with his favorite shogun. Later he used it to end his life. I read this book as a teenager and was suitably impressed with Hemingway at the time. Rereading it now, at this point in my life was a struggle. The story is actually very simple, but this is a book that has fallen in a barrel of water and been bloated beyond recognition.

Hemingway is famous for his concise sentences and for the precision of his plots, but in this novel he certainly moves away from both of those concepts. There is a wonderful short novel here hidden behind too much ink. The plot actually becomes tedious and repetitive. Words I thought I would never use to describe a Hemingway novel.

It makes me fearful to read others of his books that I have such fine memories of reading. This book was very popular and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.


Ernest Hemingway



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