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By the mid-1930's, just as the Times reviews indicate, a literary movement with Hemingway at its head was sweeping American writing.Critical opinion on "The Green Hills of Africa" was divided: John Chamberlain, reviewing the book for the daily paper, was not amused, calling the safari story "all attitude, all Byronic posturing." Charles Poore, a Hemingway admirer, wrote in the Sunday Book Review that the writing in "Green Hills" was "fuller, richer, deeper," yet expressed the hope that Hemingway could find a novel to write in the same manner.
At the end of October 1926, when the Times review appeared, Maxwell Perkins wrote to Hemingway that the reviews "in the Times and Herald Tribune are perhaps the most important, and both are admirable -- particularly the Herald Tribune. If you went any deeper inside they couldn't read it because they would be crying all the time." When "A Farewell to Arms" (1929) was published serially, and secured the reputation made by "The Sun Also Rises" (which has been successful after what Hemingway described in a 1933 letter as a "terrificly [sic] slow start"), authorities in Boston banned the Scribner magazine in which is appeared, which merited a news story on page two of The New York Times.
It is not that it speaks more highly of the book than the Times, but it shows better understanding, and it is a signed review, which gives it more authority. When "A Farewell to Arms" was published in book form, The Times reviewer made it clear that although he did not approve of this new form of fiction, it was effective, even if he found it difficult to praise a book in which the protagonist was a war deserter rather than a hero.
As a writer, he was quickly learning how to make the reader supply from his own dark heart the details which could not yet be published in America; making a virtue of necessity -- he could not describe Jake's mutilation itself -- he forced the reader to supply the word.
In this way, the reader cannot keep the story at a distance. It's funny to write a book that seems as tragic as that and have them take it for a jazz superficial story.
This essay introduces a New York Times on the Web retrospective on the life and work of Ernest Hemingway.
n October 18, 1925, an American writer, not yet turned twenty-six, was first reviewed in The New York Times, whose anonymous critic called his short stories "lean, pleasing, with tough resilience," "fibrous," "athletic," "fresh," "hard," and "clean," almost as if an athlete, not a book, was being reviewed.
In the 1930's, when Hemingway moved into non-fiction with "Death in the Afternoon" (1932) and "Green Hills of Africa" (1935), neither his established audience nor the New York Times knew quite what to make of his new direction.
His style, once so "lean," was in "Death in the Afternoon" sometimes so complex that it was difficult to "distinguish the subordinate verbs from the principal one," according to the Times reviewer (who compared the style to Henry James) and who found it equally difficult "to pass judgment on certain passages which in former days would have been called vulgar or even obscene." Yet even discussing Hemingway's nonfiction, the reviewer notes "an important literary movement as typified in Mr.
One hundred years after his birth, he has become an American icon whose picture needs no identifying caption, for his face and his name, both ubiquitous, are the very definition of "the writer" to many people.
His rise from promising unknown writer to world-renowned figure was charted with clarion accuracy by The New York Times, in whose pages Hemingway's life and art were regular features.