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Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Nick Adams Stories

Hemingway's The Nick Adams Stories was published post-posthumously with some of the stories being mere sketches of what Hemingway had planned to write. Nick Adams to some extent mirrors the author's life. He is not Hemingway of course, but their lives revolve around some of the same experiences. The stories in this collection show Nick growing up in rural Michigan, hunting in violation of the law and fishing, always fishing. He fights in the war, he is injured, he goes back home and has a hard time adjusting, finally he marries and has a son.

I usually have a hard time getting into short stories, the themes they explore are seemingly over right when one started to understand them. This collection is different, not only is Hemingway's court writing well-suited for short stories, these also circle around and detail one person, meaning that a far more well-rounded picture of the character is given.

What I find fascinating with Hemingway per se, and this is true with other writers as well, but less so, is how much his writing is inspired by his own life. Every single book or story I have read by him can be traced back to an event in his life that inspired it. This is not supposed to detract from his writing genius of course, I think he is amazing quite honestly, but it is striking nonetheless.

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