Hemingway: Up in Michigan Perspectives

Hemingway: Up in Michigan Perspectives

Hemingway: Up in Michigan Perspectives

Hemingway: Up in Michigan Perspectives


In October 1991, the Michigan Hemingway Society convened in Petoskey, Michigan, to pay tribute to the famous writer. Hemingway: Up in Michigan Perspectives is a selection of the insightful scholarship and research presented at the conference.
The collection begins with essays that examine the Michigan of Hemingway's youth, and its so-called "savage" and "civilized" aspects as portrayed in the Nick Adams stories. Next, a lively dialog about what happened as Hemingway moved away from Michigan-in his life and his work-takes place between Michael Reynolds and Linda Wagner-Martin as they discuss the unfinished, unpublished novel "Jimmy Breen." The collection also includes discussions of Hemingway and the wider world, bringing new perspectives to his novels The Sun Also Rises; A Farewell to Arms; For Whom the Bell Tolls; Across the River and Into the Trees; and his short stories The Short Happy Life of Francis McComber, and Today is Friday.


I cannot write beautifully, but I can write with great accuracy...and the accuracy makes a sort of beauty.... I know how to make country so that you, when you wish, can walk into it....

-- Ernest Hemingway to Bernard Berenson, 20-22 March 1953.

EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE the students of Hemingway gather to walk into the country that he experienced and then made again in his fiction: in Traverse City, in Madrid and Pamplona, in northern Italy, and in Schruns, Austria. As I begin to write this introduction some of us are in Pamplona again, but I am in Michigan, thinking of Michigan; for in October of 1991 we scholars gathered in Petoskey, Michigan to pay tribute to but, more, to work to understand that sometimes exasperating man and great American writer, and to understand what his work said of his time -- and of our own. Admittedly, we tend to gather in pleasant places, and Petoskey is a pleasant place. We do not, however, go just for the pleasantness or for the good company, though one organizing a conference of Hemingway scholars would be well advised to look to the quality of the hotel rooms and the restaurants.

A little more than a year ago, Joe Waldmeir and I were in the basement bar of Petoskey's Perry Hotel, organizing. It was unusually hot outside for northern Michigan, over ninety, but the bar was cool and pleasantly dim.

"Do you think it'll be big enough, Joe?"

"Oh, sure, Fred. It's a good place. The dining room upstairs is nice, too."

Hemingway scholars, Hemingway dialogue. We did not quite call the bar well lighted, but we did notice that it was clean, and after a drink we . . .

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