Ernest Hemingway: The Art of Despair
The paper summarizes the reviews by major literary critics of the works of Ernest Hemingway.
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The author states that despite critics’ sometimes negative reviews, Hemingway was a major American writer, a winner of the Noble prize who could claim literary greatness. He continues that many of Hemingway’s works are classics of American literature. The selected reviews refer to some of these classics. The author writes that Hemingway’s ability to capture the essence of the despair and desolation of his generation is his major achievement.
Although critics have offered praise and blame for Hemingway’s writing, raved about successes, and panned failures, the consensus must be that he is a major American writer who can claim literary greatness. In 1925, when he was not yet twenty-six, his first short story collection, In Our Time, was reviewed in The New York Times. An anonymous critic described his prose as lean, pleasing, with tough resilience, fibrous, athletic, fresh, hard, and clean, as if an athlete, not a book, was being reviewed. Hemingway’s style was so different, that new ways had to found to describe it. Hemingway’s 1961 New York Times obituary echoed the early review, describing his lean and sinewy prose, and his laconic, understated dialogue.