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Ernest Hemmingway on Writing ed. by Larry W. Phillips

June 28, 2015


This is not the book I was hoping for. I wanted a book about writing by the great Ernest Hemmingway (like Stephen King’s On Writing, Stegner’s On Teaching and Writing Fiction or Ray Bradbury’s Zen and the Art of Writing). This is instead an indexing of Hemmingway quotes, pulled from his articles, fiction and letters. Other than noting the source, most have no context. There is, for example, no indication of what was going on when Hemmingway wrote to F. Scott Fitzgerald, “I miss seeing you and haveing [sic] a chance to talk.”

It’s not that this book is useless—there are certainly good quotes here and there. It’s just that it’s nothing more than that. Quotes, organized into categories, without context or story.

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