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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: August 2020

Chapter 7 - Hemingway and Pleasure

from Part II - Identities


In “Hemingway and Pleasure,” David Wyatt (re)introduces readers to Hemingway as a sensualist. Wyatt suggests that Hemingway’s deep, if complicated, appreciation of pleasure and sensuality has been occluded by years of criticism that focus the moral implications of pleasure and the idea that Hemingway’s stoicism and sense of discipline put him at odds with the release of enjoyment – basically the theme as iterated in A Moveable Feast: “Hunger is Good Discipline.” Wyatt argues that contemporary culture’s fascination with artisanal food and drink and with raw, natural experiences have provided a path to recovering Hemingway’s sense of pleasure. He canvasses recent popular and scholarly works that celebrate Hemingway’s love of food, drink, sex, art, and good living in general as he reads specific passages from Hemingway’s work to demonstrate the author’s consistent interest in these experiences. Critics examined include Nicole J. Camastra and Hilary Kovar Justice, among others. Wyatt finally argues that, for Hemingway, pleasure challenges us to be fully present and to have the desire of pleasure renewed in the face of the certainty that all pleasure must end.