These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

hemingway and other authors

i've hit my stride, it seems. i'm reading, reading and reading. i told someone last week that i have so many dry spells during the year when i read. i stop and go with books. sometimes i read a book or two then i'm struggling, often reading something crappy, just to keep on with a book.

but for the past two or three months, maybe more, i've had steady reading material. i think it started with goodreads back in sept. it's sparked something in me with a little help from friends.

i'm actually reading two ro three books at once -- not at the same time, but they're at different point of being completed.

the mammoth book i'm in right now is carlos baker's bio on hemingway. it spans his life and really digs in during his middle years, from the 1930s to 1940s. it's taken me a long time to read and i've actually read cormac mccarthy's 'the road" and husseine's "a thousand splendid suns" while rading the hemingway bio. then i read hemingway's "old man and the sea" and started chris crutcher's "king of the mild frontier" recently.

i enjoy hemingway's work, most of it, anyway. i find the man very interesting, if not an egotist anf dull of machismo, trying to compensate for things. he's always trying to outdo someone else, write the better story, kill the bigger fish or bear or deer. plus he went from woman to woman. and a womanizer in between.

there are so many negatives to hemingway and he's disliked by many people. i don't blame them.

however, he did create an original writing style of sparse words and sentences, leaving out unneeded details to be figured out by the reader. he used so much autobiographical mateial i'm surprised he didn't get sued. although he was told to write about things you know about. and so he did: war, love or lack of, paris, spain, cuba, fishing, hunting, bullfighting, michigan.

he went everything, did most things people could only dream of doing, knew a large crowd of celebrities, was admired and hated. and yet he decided to kill himself in the end.

i think that's why i have to break up this bio. his life was rich and full, yet it's filled with sadness. even in the 1920s, he talked of suicide and suicide by gun. and it was probalby in the genes. his father, brother, sister and granddaughter all committed suicide.

so to break up this bio, i've been intermittantly reading other books to keep me going.

it's worked.
i think i'll be done in another week or so with the hemingway bio.