Farewell To Arms

Hemingway. I read Snows of Kilimanjaro when I was 12. I don’t remember much about it, but it freaked me out. It seemed very stark and mean and not nice.

I read it because my big brother had the book from a college class he was taking. He’d given me the Shakespeare plays, which I’d LOVED. Honestly, i think Shakespeare is very good for precocious readers. The tone and concept are fine for a young age.

But Hemingway was a different story. I was horrified by him. Therefore, I have not read anything by him since.

My alma mater, San Jose state university has a guilt list. They say “Any English Major Who Hasn’t Read These Has No Right To Joy.”

They deny English majors any right to joy; the list is HUGE. Shame on them for making beautiful books into something to feel guilty about! But, the fact is, it a good resource to turn to when I am looking for a suggestion about what to read next.

In this case, I thought I would try Hemingway again. Farewell To Arms. He is sad and horrifying, but I’m an adult now and I can take sad and horrifying in stride.

He’s also very MASCULINE. He doesn’t talk about how he feels much, just about what he does, what he says, where he’s going. He’ll say what he’s thinking a little bit.

That book was okay. I’m not sorry I read it. It was not as great as I might have hoped. But it made me wonder some more about WW I. The Great War. I’ll have to do some reading about it.

THis, of course, pleases Chris tremendously. He will happily talk all about it. Especially the ships.

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