Hemingway’s Existential Ending
Hemingway’s Existential Ending
In December 1944, Ernest Hemingway met Jean-Paul Sartre for once in Paris, and in August 1949 he met the existentialist again. “When Sartre appeared for a meal,” it is reported, “the two writers talked like businessmen of royalties” (Meyers 429). But what on earth did they talk about? Were they trying to influence each other’s ideas of writing?
On Hemingway’s part, very few biographers, if ever, trace his ideas to the influence of the Frenchman. For most critics, Hemingway only played apprentice to such Anglo-American writers as Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Ford Madox Ford, James Joyce, T. S. Eliot, and F. Scott Fitzgerald (Elliot 876). It seems that Sartre has not talked his existentialist ideas into Hemingway’s mind.
Hemingway was Sartre’s senior by six years. When they talked “like businessman of royalties,” it might be Sartre, not Hemingway, that was trying to “profit” from the “business.” And we know that before that talk Sartre had become known “for a series of articles on contemporary literature which did much to popularize in France the works of American novelists such as Faulkner, Hemingway, Dos Passos, and Steinback” (Benet 898).
But was Hemingway ever influenced by any other existentialist? The still younger Albert Camus, for instance, who was in Sartre’s circle? Or Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Unamuno, etc., who were at least one or two generations older than Hemingway?
In his Hemingway and the Dead Gods, John Killinger has an extensive discussion of Hemingway in connection with all those existential thinkers. But he does not say Hemingway was ever directly influenced by any existentialist in person or in book. Thus, we may infer that if Hemingway had any existential thought, it might be chiefly, if not completely, the result of his own personal experience.
This understanding is important. For, as we know, the time of Hemingway was a time of “lost generation,” a time when irrational feelings and destructive actions made most conscientious souls escape to “separate peace,” a time, that is, when sensible men were unavoidably nurtured in the existential Void. We, therefore, are not surprised that a writer like Hemingway should have his life and works tinged with the color of existentialism.
But Hemingway is no existentialist, nor is he a philosopher in an academic sense. He is indeed no more a philosopher than Byron is.1 Nevertheless, no one, I presume, can finish reading half of Hemingway’s work without feeling an existential vein in it. In fact, as I shall demonstrate below, many of his chief novels and short stories have ended in an existential manner just as his life has, if we know what an existential ending is.
Existentialism is, of course, a difficult philosophy. Its difficulty stems not only from its numerous originators but also from it various expounders. But all originators and expounders agree on the basic premise that “existence precedes essence.” From this premise different corollaries have been drawn. One book, for instance, takes it to mean “the total relativism of all sensation, experience, and morality.” And the book thus explains:
Most of what we ordinarily consider absolute principles are purely subjective in nature; they have been created synthetically by the human brain, and therefore may be altered or suspended at will. Human nature is one of these principles; Sartre holds that human nature is fixed only in the sense that men have agreed to recognize certain attributes of human nature; this nature may be changed if men merely agree on different attributes, or even if one man courageously acts in contradiction to the principles as ordinarily accepted. Thus Sartrian Existentialism is by nature (a) atheistic, since God is one of the subjective and synthetic concepts which men have contrived for their own convenience; (b) pessimistic, since man cannot hope for any surcease or aid outside himself; and (c) humanistic and progressive, since the possibilities of altering society and human nature for the better are unlimited. (Heiney 394)
Another book reduces all varieties of existentialism to three simple facts: First, the basic attempt of all existentialism has been to establish the separate identity of the individual. Second, every man faces the choice of being a genuine individual or being just part of the crowd. And third, in this world, where a man can thus choose to be himself or to remain anonymous, good and evil become mere qualities of the way of life which the individual chooses (Killinger 6-11).
Although the two books seem to have quite different interpretations, they do agree that existentialism is a philosophy of freedom, one that recognizes man’s active role in establishing his own “essence.” “It’s what one does, and nothing else, that shows the stuff one’s made of,” Inez in Sartre’s No Exit tells Garcin, adding, “You are--your life, and nothing else.” Inez is here Sartre’s mouthpiece, of course.
An existential hero is indeed an individual who actively exercises his personal freedom to construct his authentic self. It is only that he knows only too well he is placed in an absurd world, a world in which no definite meaning or purpose of life can be indubitably affirmed, just as in mathematics an irrational root (surd) can never be expressed by a definite number. Facing the absurd world, the existential hero often feels the threat of nihilism and sees mere Nothingness or Void in everything. Consequently he always lives under the tension of anguish (Heidegger’s das Angst), a state not exactly of anxiety nor of fear, but of agonizing dread about something indefinite and uncanny.
One characteristic of the absurd which makes most of the anguish is repetition—meaningless repetition, or repetition of insensible “beginning again from zero.”2 It is because the existential hero cannot bear the repetition that he wants to build his new identity by actively doing something extraordinary. He despises, accordingly, the way of all flesh for that repetition, and he cannot even allow himself the repetition, and he cannot even follow himself that the repetition. For repetition is by definition a restraint of freedom, a cutting off of one’s chance to set up his individuality anew.
It follows, therefore, that an existential work often has the absurd repetition exposed for comic ridicule or for serious consideration. Camus’s The Myth of Sisyphus, for instance, has touched on this theme most poignantly. Sisyphus, as we know, was accused of levity towards the gods and of purloining their secrets. He was therefore put in Hades to the task of repeatedly rolling a huge stone up a hill, from whence it always rolled down again. One day Pluto permitted him to return to earth to chastise his unloving wife. When he went home, however, he enjoyed it so much that he refused to go back to the underworld until Mercury was sent to fetch him. Sisyphus is indeed the “absurd hero” par excellence. But he just cannot bear that futile repetition of life.
Now, to return to Hemingway, I emphasize that Hemingway’s work is not so existential as Camus’s or Sartre’s is. However, Hemingway and his heroes, we feel, are often so anguished with their purposelessly repetitious lives that they really react to them time and again quite like absurd heroes. In truth, many of Hemingway’s chief novels and short stories end with a sense of disgust with or even protest against the absurd repetition.
To begin with, The Sun Also Rises, as we know, widely established Hemingway’s reputation for depicting “the lost generation” and the disillusionment that followed World War I. This fact, however, should not make us forget that it is a novel most obviously devoted to the treatment of the repetition theme. We know the title of the novel is adapted from Ecclesiastes, and a passage of this Old Testament book with the words for that title is printed in the novel’s front page. The passage thus goes:
One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; but the earth abideth forever…The sun also ariseth, and then the sun goeth down, and the hasteth to the place where he arose…the wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. …All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
Isn’t this a pointed observation of the repetitious phenomena? If we bear this passage in mind when we read the novel, we shall be able to understand that the novel is not only the story of a set of expatriates in Paris who make a hectic trip over the Pyrenees to Pamplona for the bull-fights. Nor is the life of the “lost generation” depicted merely as a record of the post-war situation. Rather, it is the description, too, of many a generation to come. At least for Hemingway there will be more Bills, Jakes, Mikes, Cohns, Bretts, etc., coming to abide in this absurd world and live similarly absurd lives.
At the end of The Sun Also Rises, we find Jake and Brett in Madrid. As usual, they drink and eat and talk in the bar and in the hotel. Finally they take a taxi ride to see the city. In the taxi, Jake puts his arm around Brett and she rests against him comfortably. Then Brett says, “Oh, Jake, we could have had such a damned good time together.” And Jake answers, “Yes, Isn’t it pretty to think so?”
Here Jake’s answer is ironic. It implies that their life can be “pretty” only in supposition. We as readers know, of course, that their life is as purposeless as the war-wrecked world in which they live; their ride now is as aimless as the drifting generation to which they belong. And we can suppose with justification that later on Brett may do and say pretty much the same thing to the next man coming her way. In fact, not only Jake and Brett but also all the characters in novel may repeat pretty much the same meaningless café-bar-and-street life and claim it “a damned good time together” again and again. This absurd repetition, we may assume, is not beyond the awareness of Jake, who as the novel’s narrator represents at least part of Hemingway’s awareness.
If all characters in The Sun Also Rises, including Jake, are still immersed in their absurd life (thus, no one of them can be called a hero), the hero and the heroine in A Farewell to Arms have at least tried to escape from the war’s repetitious injuries to “separate peace.” In fact, the couple’s heroic escape has raised the novel to a tragic dimension, and created a tragic atmosphere well linked to the novel’s symbolic touches.
Besides the symbolic contrast between the plain and the mountain, a much discussed symbol in A Farewell to Arms is the rain. Malcolm Cowley asserts that in the novel, “the rain becomes a conscious symbol of disaster” (16). And he shows convincingly how the rain recurs in the novel with the disastrous associations. At the end of the novel, for instance, rain is still falling when Catherine dies in childbirth. After Frederick leaves her in the hospital, he says he walks back to the hotel in the rain.
Regarding the rain symbol, John Killinger has a different interpretation. He says:
Several critics have noted the recurrence of rain (or other forms of precipitation) in Hemingway’s fiction, especially in A Farewell to Arms, as a harbinger of disaster. Since it is connected with death, they generally agree that this function is diametrically opposite that of the precipitation symbol in the wasteland world of T. S. Eliot. But I believe that the rain is a symbol of fertility in Hemingway, too, though in a slightly different sense than in Eliot. To Hemingway death means rebirth for the existentialist hero in its presence, and therefore the rain, as an omen of death, at the same time predicts rebirth. (48)
I think that no matter whether it is a symbol of death or birth, the recurrence of rain in the novel is just like the recurrence of disaster (plague, war, etc.) and welfare (love, success, etc.) in the fictional as well as real world. When finally Frederick steps into the rain, he must realize that things always come to nothing and one always has to start again from zero, just as the rain always comes on and leaves off in time.
“A Farewell to Arms” is in fact an ambiguous title. “Arms” can mean “weapon” and this refer to fighting or war. It can also refer to lovers’ arms and thus suggest amorous affection. At the end of the novel, Frederic does bid his farewell to both war and love. Since war is the result of hate, of lack of love, he in truth bids farewell to the roots of all human passions. Thus, he may be said to have stepped into the existential Void. In order to find a purpose in life again, he has to start again from the “pre-essence” state of existence.
Whereas the repetition theme in A Farewell to Arms is strengthened by the rain symbol, the same theme is suggested by the recurrence of snow in For Whom the Bell Tolls. But this later novel is often noted for another theme. Owing to its title, the novel is automatically connected with John Donne’s idea of “No man is an island.” Hence the story of a young American devoted to the Loyalist cause in the Spanish Civil War has become a story of his noble feeling that “any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind.”
Indeed, when the book ends, Robert Jordon is insisting nobly, despite his fatal wound, on remaining with a machine-gun in a spot where he can ambush and mow down the pursuing Rebel column before he is killed. He thinks he is covering the retreat of his friends and doing the last heroic act.
But is that really a heroic deed? Robert Penn Warren has noticed a sort of irony in the novel. He says the irony runs counter to the ostensible surface direction of the story. And he explains:
As surface, we have a conflict between the forces of light and the forces of darkness, freedom versus fascism, etc. Hero and heroine are clearly and completely and romantically aligned on the side of light. We are prepared to see the Fascist atrocities and the general human kindness of the Loyalists. It happens to work out the other way. The scene of horror is the massacre by the Loyalists, not by the Fascist. Again, in the attack on El Sordo’s hill by the Fascists, we are introduced to a young Fascist lieutenant, whose bosom friend is killed in the attack. We are suddenly given this little human glimpse--against the grain of the surface. But this incident, we discover later, is preparation for the very end of the novel. We leave the hero lying wounded, preparing to cover the retreat of his friends. The man who is over the sights of the machine gun as the book ends is the Fascist lieutenant, whom we have been made to know as a man, not as a monster. This general ironical conditioning of the overt story line is reflected also in the attitude of Anselmo, who kills but cannot believe in killing. In other words, the irony here is much more functional, and more complicated, than that of To Have and Have Not; the irony affirms that the human values may transcend the party lines. (52-53)
The idea that life is more important than parties is in effect better suggested in an anecdote which relates how Maria’s father, before his execution at Rebel hands, shouted, “Viva la Republica!” while his wife cried, “Viva my husband who was the Mayor of this village!”
Anyway, if we consider the end of the novel in the light of Hemingway’s concern
about human life and human values, we instantly recognize the absurdity of Robert Jordan’s idealistic decision. We know then his life purpose is actually not so noble as he imagines it to be. He is in truth but another “crazy fellow” involved in the endless, nonsensical process of killing and being killed.
This endless, nonsensical process, I find, is subtly suggested by two touches
at the end of the novel. First, Hemingway writes the following words in italics, indicating they are the hero’s thought: “And if you wait and hold them up even a little while or just get the officer that may make all the difference. One things well done can make--” These are, grammatically speaking, incomplete sentences. Their incompleteness naturally suggests the unending process. Besides, one thing well done can make what? Really make all the difference to the world? We know as well as Hemingway that whatever Jordon may do, war--absurd war--will in fact go on forever all the same.
The other subtle touch is the last paragraph of the novel. It goes thus:
Lieutenant Berrendo, watching the trail, came riding up, his thin face
serious and grave. His sub-machine gun lay across his saddle in the crook of
his left arm. Robert Jordon lay behind the tree, holding on to himself very carefully and delicately to keep his hands steady. He was waiting until the officer reached the sunlit place where the first trees of the pine forest joined the green slope of the meadow. He could feel his heart beating against the pine needle floor of the forest.
This ending is actually no ending. We can infer from it, of course, that Jordon might really kill Berrando at last. But it is just a logical inference. In an irrational world like Jordon’s, will the inference surely come true? Perhaps we may as well imagine that Jordon would just remain waiting there until he died from his former wound, or he might be found and killed before he had a chance to carry out his plan. Anyway, we know the result of this encounter will not change war into peace. It is at best a mere repetition of the typical, absurd warfare: somebody kills someone.
Still, Robert Jordon can be regarded as an existential hero trying to establish his individual identity by persisting in his idealistic struggle. Yet a better example of persistent struggle is that of Santiago, the old man in The Old Man and the Sea. We know he has gone out to the sea for eighty-four days without catching a single fish before he hooks the biggest marlin ever seen. When finally he catches the fish after a long struggle with it, he has to fight against the sharks that come to slash with raking teeth at the dead marlin. During the course, he does fight like an undefeated hero.
But a more manifest element of existentialism in the novelette is the nihilistic ending. We know Santiago returns at last with nothing but the stripped skeleton of his great catch. If he goes out to the sea again (and we are sure he will), he will in a sense be starting from zero again. The last paragraph of this “long story” goes thus:
Up the road, in his shack, the old man was sleeping again. He was still sleeping on his face and the boy was sitting by him. The old man was dreaming about the lions.
Here the old man is repeating two activities of his wonted life: sleeping and dreaming about the lions. Sleeping is of course a common routine. But dreaming about the lions is something unusual. It symbolically indicates the old man’s longing for great heroic achievement. Hence the story becomes an allegory of the existential hero’s constant, idealistic struggle to set up his identity in the meaningless routines of life.
The nihilistic ending of The Old Man and the Sea can be easily connected with the theme of the “Winner Take Nothing” which is in fact the title of Hemingway’s another book published almost twenty years earlier. In Winner Take Nothing, we have the famous short story “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place.” In the story, nihilism is strongly expressed by the word nada through the old waiter’s meditation on the old man’s preferring to stay in the clean, well-lighted café:
What did he fear? It was not fear or dread. It was a nothing that he knew too well. It was all a nothing and a man was nothing too. It was only that and light was all it needed and a certain cleanness and order. Some lived in it and never felt it but he knew it all was nada y pues nada y nada y pues nada. Our nada who art in nada, nada be thy name thy kingdom nada thy will be nada in nada as it is in nada. Give us this nada our daily nada and nada us our nada as we nada our nadas and nada us not into nada but deliver us from nada; pues nada. Hail nothing full of nothing, nothing is with thee.
This passage obviously suggests that the older waiter (Hemingway’s intellectual ego) represents the type of man who knows perfectly the existential Void in which a few people like the old man (who walks “unsteadily but with dignity”) will keep “a certain cleanness and order” in his lighted corner, while most common people like the younger waiter will just repeat their daily life without any concern about others.
In his discussion of the tale, Steven K. Hoffman agrees with William Barrett that “the nada-shadowed realm of ‘A Clean, Well-Lighted Place’ is no less than a microcosm of the existential universe as defined by Martin Heidegger and the existential philosophers who came before and after him, principally Kierkegaard and Sartre.” And he further suggests that
Obviously, nada is to connote a series of significant absences: the lack of a viable transcendent source of power and authority; a correlative lack of external physical or spiritual sustenance; the total lack of moral justification for action (in the broadest perspective, the essential meaninglessness of any action); and finally, the impossibility of deliverance from the situation. (175)
And he adds that the impact of nada extends beyond its theological implications:
Rather, in the Heideggerian sense (“das Nicht”), it is an umbrella term that subsumes all the irrational, unforeseeable, existential forces that tend to infringe upon the human life, to make a “nothing.” It is the absolute power of chance and circumstance to negate individual free will and the entropic tendency toward ontological disorder that perpetually looms over man’s tenuous personal sense of order. But the most fearsome face of nada, and clear proof of man’s radical contingency, is death--present here in the old man’s wife’s death and his own attempted suicide. Understandably, the old waiter’s emotional response to this composite threat is mixed. It “was not fear or dread,” which would imply a specific object to be feared, but a pervasive uneasiness, an existential anxiety that, according to Heidegger, arises when one becomes fully aware of the precarious status of his very being. (175)
Indeed, the shadow of nada looms behind much of Hemingway’s fiction. Hemingway’s characters are either repeating their meaningless lives unconscious of it or struggling very tragically to defy it. It is only that his heroes have thereby come to different tragic ends for different interpretations.
Harry in “The Snow of Kilimanjaro,” for instance, is a man “getting bored with dying as with everything else.” When his wife asks him what is a bore, he answers, “Anything you do too bloody long.” He is actually tired of repeating his extravagant life with his rich wife because he knows it is “all a nothing.” When he comes to Kilimanjaro, he is doing something extravagant just like the legendary leopard mentioned in the story’s epigraph. Although it is said that “No one has explained what the leopard was seeking at that altitude,” we know for certain that Harry is seeking an ideal place, a “clean, well-lighted place,” where he can turn himself into a true writer. But the irony is: a mere scratch in the leg has ended his life there--an absurd ending it is!
Another absurd ending is felt by Nick Adam (Hemingway’s young ego) in “The Killers.” For me, the killers are merely symbolic figures. They are anything that will come to take a person’s life at any time. Ole Andreson in this interpretation is a man who “knows what it’s all about.” He knows he can do nothing but wait for death--he knows, indeed, we are all of us waiting for death whatever we do. For young Adam, however, it is absurd to remain inactive all the time: “I can’t stand to think about him waiting in the room and knowing he’s going to get it. It’s too damned awful.”
Unlike Ole Andreson, Francis Macomber does not remain inactive all the time, nor does he know “he’s going to get it.” He is at first a spineless character much despised by his wife. Yet, later in hunting a buffalo, he suddenly finds his courage in the excitement of the chase. In the course of a half-hour (his “short happy life”) he develops his manhood to such an extent that his wife Margot, fearing she will no longer be able to control him, kills him from behind with a gunshot while he is bravely firing at the wounded but charging animal in an underbrush. This ending is ironically absurd. Macomber dies (becomes nothing) right on the point of proving himself to be something.
But the buffalo also dies. In truth Macomber can be identified with the buffalo. Like the buffalo, he has to struggle for life. But the struggle is of no avail in terms of physical life. Corporeal life is but a repetition of death. It is only that the way of struggle can prove one’s “essence” in terms of existentialism.
This truth Hemingway knows only too well. In fact he has a great sympathy for the bull that dies in the bullfight. In his Death in the Afternoon, he says:
The bullfight is not a sport in the Anglo-Saxon sense of the word, that is, it is not an equal contest or an attempt at an equal contest between a bull and a man. Rather it is a tragedy; the death of the bull, which is played, more or less well, by the bull and the man involved and in which there is danger for the man but certain death for the animal.3
If we imagine mankind being the bulls in the ring, then the meaning of the existential ending will become very clear. Like the bulls, human beings are forever put to fight with an unequal opponent (the natural environment). And like the bulls, human beings must die eventually. However, when death is repeated each time, man as well as the bull can prove his guts, the stuff or “essence” he is made of.
It is observed that Hemingway finds a sort of mystical experience, a quasi-metaphysical quality, in pain, violence, and death (Heiney 75). The tragic elements of pain, violence, and death are actually the necessary elements of the existential world. These elements exist like the rules of games or principles of rituals. In Hemingway’s world, people are forever repeating their games or rituals--war, sex, bull fight, hunting, fishing, etc.--the absurd endings of which only breed more cause for pain, violence, and death. An existential hero is one intensely aware of this situation and yet determined to make something out of this repetitious nothing.
In his Against the American Grain, Dwight MacDonald says that Hemingway was “hopelessly sincere”; his life, his writing, his public personalities and his private thoughts were “all of a piece.” And he thinks that it was Hemingway’s own “lack of private interests” that caused him to kill himself “when his professional career had lost its meaning” (76-77). I agree that Hemingway’s life and works are of a piece and that he killed himself when his professional career had lost its meaning. But I am not sure whether he had any private interests or not. I believe, instead, that Hemingway killed himself because he knew his professional career had lost its meaning. And he knew that because, as everybody could see, he was just repeating himself in his later years. And mere repetition, we have suggested, is absurd, is not allowed by an existential hero.
In his later years, Hemingway repeated not only his former themes and subject matter, but also his former style. In actuality, his “simple style”--with simple words in simple sentences connected with coordinate conjunctions--is a style with intrinsically intensive repetitions. To write a lifetime in such a style is really absurd. Hemingway must have been aware of this absurdity of his. In order to get rid of this absurdity, to establish his new identity, he naturally had to break through his old self. But how to break through? How to build himself anew? Alas, after immersing himself so much in the “games” or “rituals” of pain, violence, and death in the real world as well as in his own fictional world, he could only find a way out--committing suicide!
It is pointed out that Hemingway has great respect for the lion as an animal that meets death with dignity (remember the old man in The Old Man and the Sea is always dreaming of lions), while he has only contempt for the hyena because it dies eating its own intestines with relish (Killinger 76-77). Hence, it is also pointed out that Hemingway does not approve of any cowardly suicide and has thus alluded with shame to his father’s suicide in For Whom the Bell Tolls.4 Why, then, should Hemingway kill himself? Isn’t it a cowardly act, too?
In The Myth of Sisyphus, Camus observes: “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.” Jeffrey Meyers says that Hemingway once told Janet Flanner that “liberty could be as important in the act of dying as in the act of living.” Meyers also reports that Hemingway agreed with Nietzsche’s belief: “Die at the right time” (558). And about Hemingway’s suicide he concludes: “ It had elements of self-pity and revenge, but was not inspired by desperation and derangement. It was a careful and courageous act” (559).
Mayers is right, of course. But I must add: Hemingway’s suicide is still an absurd repetition of his father’s. He is himself an existential hero with an existential ending. I say “ending” instead of “end” because there is no end to the “essence” of “existence” for an existentialist. In order to “ex-sist,” to stand out as true daseins, as authentic human beings, all existential heroes, including Frederic, Jordon, Santiago, Harry, Macomber, and a host of other Hemingway characters as well as Hemingway himself, must struggle constantly and choose all the time not only the proper way to live but the proper way to die. For, they know, to die is not the end of all, but the ending of something at most. To die is, rather, to live in another way; ending is just a new beginning.
Dwight MacDonald deems it a foolish statement to call Hemingway “essentially a philosophical writer,” and thinks he is less a philosopher than Byron.
In Camus’s: La Peste (The Plague,1947), Tarrou is his existentialist spokesman. Throughout the novel Tarrou argues for “beginning again from zero,” i.e., the ethic that in a time of catastrophe each individual must recommence his life from the point where he stands instead of brooding over “what might have been.” See Heiney, p.400.
This is the beginning of this work’s Chapter 2.
In the novel, Jordon’s father had shot himself with a gun, which Jordon took later to the lake above Red Lodge and threw down into eight hundred feet of water.
Benet, William Rose, ed. The Reader’s Encyclopedia. 2nd edition. New York: Harper & Row, 1965.
Bloom, Harold, ed. Ernest Hemingway: Modern Critical Views. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1985.
Brooks, Cleanth, et al., eds. An Approach to Literature. 4th edition. New York: Meredith Publishing Co., 1964.
Cowley, Malcolm. “Introduction” to The Portable Hemingway. New York: The Viking Press, 1944.
Elliot, Emory et al., eds. Columbia Literary History of The United States. New York: Columbia UP, 1988.
Heiney, Donald W. Essentials of Contemporary Literature. Great Neck, NY: Barron’s Educational Series, Inc., 1954.
Hoffmann, Steven K. “ ‘Nada’ and the Clean, Well-Lighted Place: The Unity of Hemingway’s Short Fiction.” Essays in Literature 6, No. 1 (Spring 1979); rpt. in Bloom, 174-7.
Killinger, John. Hemingway and The Dead Gods: A Study in Existentialism. Lexington: U of Kentucky P, 1960.
MacDonald, Dwight. “Ernest Hemingway,” rpt. in Brooks, 533-5.
Meyers, Jeffrey. Hemingway: A Biography. New York: Harper & Row, 1995.
Warren, Robert Penn. “Earnest Hemingway,” rpt. in Bloom, 50-55.