A River Runs Though It, the backstory (Wash Post)

wadin' boot

Donny, you're out of your element...
WFF Supporter
"Bad time" screening tool for Ernest Hemingway


1- Do you or the waiter have Anchovies, Pulpo or Sardines? Yes no
2- Are there alcohols with regional and italicized names? Yes no
3- Are there bullfighters to watch? Yes No
4- Are they androgynous in appearance? Yes No
5- Are in a place where you can fire large guns? Yes No
6- Are you able to fish? Yes No
7- Are there partisans? Yes No
8- Are there attractive expats that would conventionally be described as female or at least feminine in appearance who do not merit the term bitch? Yes No
9- Have the fascists or Falangists left the town or now hang in the town square? Yes No
10- Are you in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in a logging camp by a trout filled stream? Yes No
11- Has the rain of rocks and mud stopped? Yes No
12- Is Roger Stephens fishing because it is cool? Yes No
13- Are you wearing a big woolen turtleneck sweater and amazingly not sweating? Yes No
14- Are you able to write the sentence with no comma? Yes No
15- Is the sun also rising? Yes No
16- Is the bell tolling, but not for thee? Yes No
17- Have all your one-named colleagues avoided gut-based shrapnel injuries? Yes No
18- Are you at peace with your father viewing you as a coward by pitying him for being a fool? Yes No
19 Have you gone less than 86 days without a fish? Yes No
20 Has the waiter brought the Anchovies, Pulpo, Sardines and Rioja to you and the expat and the androgenous bullfighter? Yes/ no

Score 15- 20 is "The good time"
Sore 6-14 is "the angry time"
Score 0-5 is "the bad time"
 
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Jojo

A sometimes eternal optimist
WFF Supporter
I tried but could never get into Ernest Hemingway novels so i realize I’m out of my element by even commenting. This thread has me now kind of wanting to read him. But then again i think just reading what @wadin' boot and @dustinchromers is all i need. Plus for sure y’all are much finer men than Hemingway. From what I’ve read about him he seems like a total jackass and not very nice to women.

My favorites from the above post: #13, #14, #16,
#18 has an error. ;)
 

dustinchromers

Active Member
.
I tried but could never get into Ernest Hemingway novels so i realize I’m out of my element by even commenting. This thread has me now kind of wanting to read him. But then again i think just reading what @wadin' boot and @dustinchromers is all i need. Plus for sure y’all are much finer men than Hemingway. From what I’ve read about him he seems like a total jackass and not very nice to women.

My favorites from the above post: #13, #14, #16,
#18 has an error. ;)

Hemingway was and wrote about men that were god's original prototypes. Perfect and pure in function for the world at the time. These drunken old thunder lizards of the lost age just don't fit in the modern padded world. They flourished on a diet of vice. Chiefly italicised alcohol, womanising, fighting, and essentially wringing the marrow out of life. Hemingway's writing was fueled by all of the above but combusted this caustic concoction into voice. Voice, perhaps the single captivating intangible most valuable asset for a writer. And in Hemingway's case limited use of the comma. Because commas are for men that pause or hesitate. Men that hesitate are cowards.
 

CreekScrambler

Active Member
Yep....boot and Chromers are having marathon parallel writing sessions, each at standing desks rigged with smartphones and wayyyyy too much whiskey.

I dig Hemingway’s books, but he was certainly the kind of asshole that earned his alcoholism. Dead from the toxicity of his own masculine fantasies.
 

dustinchromers

Active Member
Yep....boot and Chromers are having marathon parallel writing sessions, each at standing desks rigged with smartphones and wayyyyy too much whiskey.

I dig Hemingway’s books, but he was certainly the kind of asshole that earned his alcoholism. Dead from the toxicity of his own masculine fantasies.

He looked over at Pilar and took a long slow draw from the bottle of wine to control the pain of the gut wound. He knew this could be it and the harbingers of death were around him. Men that die sober are cowards.

While I agree the man was a dick in many ways I find it ironic that people won't read his books because of this. Meanwhile people will idolise modern day sports stars who are domestic abusers and ultra assholes. The man's work was sound and stands the test of time for a reason, it's good. The latter are nothing more than entertainers with a limited skill set and horrible habits and records. Are they good? Well I'm sure but what good do they do? I personally find literature a much greater gift to mankind than some half wit domestic abusers running fast with a ball. It's a matter of perspective. Take the above for what it's worth. Personally I can't stand fandom as it relates to professional sports. I feel the same about adult males playing video games and the monolithic waste of time each is. I got better things to do and so should others.
 
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CreekScrambler

Active Member
^For sure! While art can stand up over the years, it’s pretty rare for the norms of the day to remain acceptable once enough time has passed. The famous example of “All men are created equal” and it’s authors had some serious asterisks at the time it was written, yet the overall document itself represents a major achievement.

We can successfully separate the art from the artist as years go by, whereas athletics is only as close as we can get to actual gladiator spectacle. It’s probably worth factoring in the norms of the day before deciding what is verboten. There were plenty of men who weren’t abusive to women in Hemingway’s day....I don’t know how many of them were writing top-tier literature.
 

dustinchromers

Active Member
^For sure! While art can stand up over the years, it’s pretty rare for the norms of the day to remain acceptable once enough time has passed. The famous example of “All men are created equal” and it’s authors had some serious asterisks at the time it was written, yet the overall document itself represents a major achievement.

We can successfully separate the art from the artist as years go by, whereas athletics is only as close as we can get to actual gladiator spectacle. It’s probably worth factoring in the norms of the day before deciding what is verboten. There were plenty of men who weren’t abusive to women in Hemingway’s day....I don’t know how many of them were writing top-tier literature.

I don't even separate the two. You don't have to. People aren't perfect. I can appreciate something with flaws and all. The cleansing and purging of all things non politically correct for the current times that originate in the past will be how people lose their sense of history, perspective on progress, and in the end themselves and where they are derived from. Don't let perfect be the enemy of good. There's no such thing as perfect as it pertains to people.



There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.

E. Hemingway
 

Driftless Dan

Driftless Dan
WFF Supporter
I tried but could never get into Ernest Hemingway novels so i realize I’m out of my element by even commenting. This thread has me now kind of wanting to read him. But then again i think just reading what @wadin' boot and @dustinchromers is all i need. Plus for sure y’all are much finer men than Hemingway. From what I’ve read about him he seems like a total jackass and not very nice to women.

My favorites from the above post: #13, #14, #16,
#18 has an error. ;)
If I deleted all contact with men, past and present, who were total jackasses and not very nice to women, there'd be very few left. I note that most famous men - politicians, sports stars, rock stars, movie stars, rich folks, royalty - are jerks. If they're jerks generally, it stands to reason that they're jerks to women.

Keanu Reeves excepted. He's a nice guy to everybody, male and female, from what I hear.
 

Jojo

A sometimes eternal optimist
WFF Supporter
Ok. So if i want to try once again to read Hemingway, which novel should i start with?

While we are on the subject of asshole famous writers… another one who comes to mind is Norman Mailer. And also….JD Salinger. Though Catcher in the Rye is one of my all time favorite books.

Damn which member here mentioned that he hated the book… Salty someone…..

The one author who i think i would love to have as a family member is Richard Russo who won the Pulitzer Prize for Empire Falls. I own all of his books.
 
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dustinchromers

Active Member
Ok. So if i want to try once again to read Hemingway, which novel should i start with?

While we are on the subject of asshole famous writers… another one who comes to mind is Norman Mailer. And also….JD Salinger. Though Catcher in the Rye is one of my all time favorite books.

Damn which member here mentioned that he hated the book… Salty someone…..

The one author who i think i would love to have as a family member is Richard Russo who won the Pulitzer Prize for Empire Falls. I own all of his books.

Start out with an appetizer of Old Man and The Sea. It's short, it's sweet, and actually leaves allot on the table as far as Hemingway's with. However, just because the portion is small does not mean it's lesser than. I personally think it a credit to provoke all the meaning you intend with a reader with few words. You don't get the full monte in pages but it's a nice bacon wrapped scallop to start with. I would follow that up with some Big Two Hearted River. A full bodied broth with some staple flavours of the canon. Then for the main course I'd have to suggest For Whom The Bell Tolls. It's likely one of his best known works and as a novel is a full meal with a nice finish. It's reference to real history provide enough interest to keep even the most seasoned critic asking what spices were used in its preparation.

And as far as writers and other famous folks being dicks, specifically Hemingway. First, I don't endorse his actions as concerned with ladies. Second, I'd still drink with him. Third, I would be absolutely livid if I found out my younger sister was dating him. Fourth, if he was dating my sister I would have to fight him halfway through some bottle of italicised regional alcohol as I think that would be language he'd understand and I'd only hope honour as his prowess in fisticuffs is the stuff of legend. Lastly, I still contend there is value and worth in the works of jerks and assholes. You don't have to date them but you can read their books and some of the books are filled with the most noble and romantic notions and characters which make you proud or at least accept what it is to be human.







There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.

E. Hemingway
 

CreekScrambler

Active Member
I’d recommend The Old Man And The Sea, followed by The Sun Also Rises if TOMATS was enjoyable. For a short story, White Elephant is a great exercise in brevity and density. You could almost go line-by-line with that one.
 

Matt Paluch

WFF Supporter
I listened to Home Waters while driving this past week. It is a wonderful book - not because it was similar to his father's work, but because it gave a more behind the scenes perspective. The history was very interesting.
 

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