Why I Love Hemingway

David Dobbs

Hemingway’s reputation has suffered immensely over the last two or three decades. Read around enough and you’ll see this. And I can feel it when I occasionally confess to people — for you don’t tell this, you confess it — that I love him and his writing. I always sense a bit of a surprise, as if that’s a rather strong feeling for a man who could be so odious and a writer who at times nudged close or fell in to self-parody. I’ve long thought of trying to explain what makes him so great and how he so utterly captivated me when I discovered him in my early 20s. Now I don’t need to explain it. For James Salter, in an essay in the New York Review of Books that is itself achingly beautiful and sad, does the job splendidly:

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