And Now Some Words from a Mr. Hemingway…

I hate Ernest Hemingway.  Well…at least his writing.  I never had the opportunity to actually meet him.

I hate Ernest Hemingway’s writing.

There, I said it.  It’s almost like saying “Fuck” in church, especially if you’re an English Major educated in America post 1960, like me, for example.  Hemingway has been canonized by academia as the model of a great American writer.

I dissent.  Hemingway’s sparse, Spartan style is akin, to me at least, to reading a novel serialized by a newspaper reporter.  A little too lean for my taste, but this is an argument for another post.

Here’s a quote from the author I found tonight (I believe it’s from A Farewell to Arms) that struck a deep, deep chord in me.

“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.  But those that will not break, it kills.  It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially.  If you are none of these, you can be sure it will kill you, too, but there will be no special hurry.”

If the world breaks you, as I have learned, you have to pick up the pieces and glue them back together.  And you have to hope that you will be the better for it.  The stronger for it.  I believe, I have to believe that if it does, and if you do, then you will be.

This quote has a profound meaning for me, all the more so because it comes from a writer I don’t necessarily like.  I and most everyone I know have had life throw something at them hard enough to break them.  Most, like me, tried to prevent that thing from breaking them.

I learned the hard way it’s better to let it happen, to let life happen to you.  When it’s out to break you, let it.  When it’s out to make you, let it. On the other side of both, I strongly believe, there’s a better life…a better you.  I know that continues to be the truth for me.

And because this midnight philosophical bent may be making you roll your eyes, here is a picture of a stoat.


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About John F.D. Taff

John F.D. Taff is a writer, published author, raconteur and wrangler of angry stoats. He has more than 80 short stories and 7 novels published. He lives in the great, unspoiled vastness of the Midwest. He has a tremendous wife named Debbie, three pugs, Sadie, Tovah and Muriel, and three great kids--Harry, Sam and Molly. View all posts by John F.D. Taff

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