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In “Hemingway, Race(ism), and Criticism,” Ian Marshall surveys the recent surge of criticism on Hemingway and race exemplified by the work of Marc K. Dudley, Amy L. Strong, Gary Edward Holcomb, and Charles Scruggs, among many others. In a provocative argument, he insists that examinations of this topic do not sufficiently decenter the author and thus end up as character testimonials, attempting to gauge the degree to which Hemingway was/was not racist. Marshall instead argues that Hemingway’s leftist politics should be recognized (at least before his 1950s shift to the moderate right) to appreciate the influence of his stance on class divisions on Ralph Ellison. Insisting that critics have misunderstood Ellison’s supposed abandonment of radicalism after the 1940s, he argues that black writers have been far more wary and suspicious of Hemingway than Hemingway scholarship has admitted. He then concludes by noting the particularly inspiring use of comparative pedagogies to open the canon and introduce readers to the Harlem Renaissance as a counterpoint to Hemingway.
In “Object Studies and Keepsakes, Artifacts, and Ephemera,” Krista Quesenberry explores the fascination with artifacts Ernest Hemingway – often described as “a notorious packrat” – left behind. These keepsakes, which range from guns to family photographs to clothing, make up various formal and informal archives around the world, from the Hemingway Collection at the Kennedy Library to the Finca Vigía in Cuba to the materials stored in Benjamin “Dink” Bruce’s attic in Key West. Drawing from an eclectic range of sources, including not only newspaper stories about these possessions but academic calls for papers, Quesenberry notes how objects are invested with aura and give authenticity to the experience of examining an author’s life. The downside is that desire often leads to unexpected discovery of a new revelation. Quesenberry then examines materiality in Hemingway’s texts, arguing the author’s stylistic fondness for objects is a form of material realism. The essay also discusses several contemporary schools of theory in which analyses of these archives and objects may be analyzed: object theory, object-oriented feminism, material culture, and more.
In “Post-ߢAmerican’ Hemingway Studies: Multicultural Approaches and Redefinitions of Expatriation,” Jeffrey Herlihy-Mera explores the way that transnationalism has expanded notions of expatriation as they apply to Hemingway’s relationship with the foreign locales that became his adopted home – in particular, Europe, Cuba, and Africa. Beginning with the provocative argument that definitions of “American” are inevitably provisional, Herlihy-Mera examines how Hemingway scholarship in recent years has dislodged notions of him as a “foreigner” in other countries. These redefinitions cut across a range of topics, from Hemingway’s relationships with writers of other nations to his integration into local culture through the adaptation of rituals and sacraments to the psychology of speaking in a second or third language. Herlihy-Mera also explores the rise of critical concepts such as movement and immersion, both of which have redefined perceptions of the relationship between the self and other. Finally, he explores the possibilities that neurolinguistics offers.
In “’There’s No One Thing That’s True’: Hemingway Criticism and the Environmental Humanities,“ Lisa Tyler examines the role of Hemingway scholarship in the rise and proliferation of ecocriticism that has accompanied growing anxieties over (and accompanying denial of) climate change since 2000. Noting in particular the groundbreaking work of Susan F. Beegel and essays by the prolific Ryan Hediger, Tyler argues that critics have been appropriately attentive to both the pros and cons of Hemingway’s awareness of nature and conservation. On the one hand he was acutely aware of the ecological devastation of industrialism and yet at the same time he was famous for traveling the world as a collector of animal trophies. Tyler also explores Hemingway’s compatibility with such core ecocritical concepts as “the mesh” and the “anthropocene” while also documenting how contemporary criticism has redefined traditional notions of his pastoralism. She concludes by noting areas that await analysis, including the relevance of climatology to his fiction and of feminist ecology to his depiction of landscape.
In “New World Order, Old World Ways: Hemingway’s Colonialism and Postcolonialism,” Marc K. Dudley looks specifically to how well Hemingway studies of the past twenty years has engaged the tenents of postcolonial theory, which critiques the political oppressions of imperialism, both political and cultural. As he argues, criticism has mostly focused on Hemingway’s ethics, arguing in the main that between his first African safari in 1933–1934 and his final one twenty years later he grew in his awareness of the Third World political scene, which allowed him to tentatively overcome his ethnocentrism. That space, many critics argue, can be measured in the differences between Green Hills of Africa (1935) and the posthumously published True at First Light (1999) and the full manuscript from which it was culled, Under Kilimanjaro (2005). In addition to Africa, Dudley explores Hemingway’s political awareness of Cuba, from its late-nineteenth-century fight for independence from Spain to the revolutions of both 1933 and 1939. Texts examined include To Have and Have Not (1937) and the oft-ignored story “Nobody Ever Dies” (1939).
In “Trauma Studies: Hemingway’s Neurological and Corporeal Injuries,” Sarah Anderson Wood examines the way recent developments in trauma studies and increased awareness of mental health issues have enhanced and sometimes reframed Hemingway scholarship about his mental and physical health over the course of his life, but particularly in regard to the author’s rapid decline in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Trauma studies, Wood contends, has informed advances in medical science, in psychiatry, in the historicity of treatment and therapy, and simply in the artistic representation of pain, all of which have impacted scholars’ understandings of Hemingway’s relationship to suffering. Wood also points to studies that are exploring the impact these conditions may have had on his later writing and to the potential of the burgeoning field of epigenetics, which looks at gene expression and not simply genetic coding. She pays particular attention to Andrew Farah’s Hemingway’s Brain and Linda Wagner-Martin’s Hemingway’s Wars: Public and Private Battles (both 2017).
In “Correspondence and the Everyday Hemingway,” Verna Kale and Sandra Spanier examine what letters as opposed to literary biography reveal about a writer. As two guiding forces behind the Letters Project – the collaborative effort producing a multivolume scholarly edition of Hemingway’s correspondence, which published its first volume in 2011 and is not scheduled to conclude until 2043 – Kale and Spanier are in a unique position to assess how the correspondence’s availability has expanded our notions of quotidian Hemingway. As they note, there has always been an interest in Hemingway’s letters: as early as 1930, correspondents attempted to sell their letters from him to collectors to cash in on his fame. But his private correspondence wasn’t officially available until 1981 with Carlos Baker’s Selected Letters, a book that immediately impacted Hemingway scholarship. That volume, however, collects less than 10 percent of the 6,000 letters catalogued by the Hemingway Project and gives disproportional attention to 1922–1926 and 1952, somewhat distorting impressions of his life and career; nearly 85 percent of the material the Project will gather has never been published before.
In “Politics, Espionage, and Surveillance: Hemingway and the Rise of Paranoia Culture,” Kevin R. West explores how the rise of surveillance and paranoia after 9/11 has focused attention on Hemingway’s often tenuous affiliations with various governments and agencies of law, order, and social control (such as the FBI), resulting in sometimes exaggerated claims for his serving as an espionage agent. West notes how scholarship on this topic often blends in with fiction by thriller writers such as Dan Simmons and Leonardo Padura who have spun fables of mystery and intrigue out of specific biographical incidents (such as Hemingway’s attempts to locate U-boats in the Gulf of Mexico after the bombing of Pearl Harbor). Meticulously noting descrencies and strategies of presentation in various biographies – including, most notably, the work of Nicholas Reynolds, whose 2017 study Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy epitomizes this critical trend---this essay explores the cultural desires appeased by these fantasies of espionage. While Hemingway did have curious connections to shadowy forces, they were more often tangential and incidents of happenstance.
In “Digital Hemingway,” Laura Godfrey offers an in-depth overview of Hemingway’s growing presence on the Internet since 2000. At the start of the new millenium, website technology and in particular interactive maps were relatively primitive. Hemingway fans/followers such as Michael Palin – the former Monty Python comedian whose late-1990s BBC series Hemingway Adventure popularized Hemingway tourism – employed only basic interactive technologies, relying on more analog experiences. Soon, however, advances in programming allowed for modes of mapping and spatial assessment that broadened the way readers could visualize place in Hemingway. With the introduction of e-books c. 2004, the experience of the Hemingway “book” also transformed – so too with access to images of Hemingway online and of clips on YouTube, in particular his playfully weird acceptance of the Nobel Prize in 1954. Godfrey also examines Hemingway’s place among the ever-proliferating memes that online users create and circulate. She also discusses the roles he plays in various forms of online gaming. All of these technologies have transformed the relationship between the reader and Hemingway’s writing.
In “Still Famous after All These Years: Ernest Hemingway in the Twenty-First Century,” Loren Glass offers a humorous overview of the way that Hemingway’s name has been franchised and flogged over the past two decades to sell an innumerable amount of products. He notes lawsuits that caused restaurants to change their name from Hemingway’s to Hemmingway’s to capitalize upon the writer’s appeal and catalogues the various tourist stops, from Ketchum Idaho to Key West Florida and Havana Cuba, that cash in on Hemingway’s fame. For Glass, commercial exploitation is no different than the scholarly commodification of the writer that has accelerated with the opening of various archives and museums over the past twenty years, as well as the Hemingway Letters Project, which ensures his pluripresence in American popular culture. Glass also notes how suicide and the struggles of fame have become a consistent narrative, leading to celebrity becoming a metatextual phenomenon in which people become famous for dramatizing their struggles with fame.
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