Thursday, April 8, 2004

In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway

1923 photograph of Ernest Hemingway, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Ernest Hemingway in 1923. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Published in 1924, In Our Time is a collection of Ernest Hemingway’s early short stories. Hemingway has a sharpness to his prose that is unlike that of any other writer. I enjoyed reading this collection of stories, but I am fonder of Hemingway’s novels.

Each chapter of the collection begins with a short, tumultuous sketch or vignette. Then a longer short story follows. Hemingway explained to Ezra Pound that the vignettes and stories were meant to be read together and that the full set was interconnected.

First edition cover of In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway
First edition cover of In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway, published in New York in 1925, Public domain, via Wikipedia.

This collection introduces the reader to Nick Adams, a character that Hemingway follows through life and returns to in his later stories. Many of the stories and one sketch feature Nick Adams as the main character. It’s also worth noting that "A Very Short Story" contains the seed that germinated into Hemingway’s novel A Farewell to Arms. My favorite of the stories in this collection was "The End of Something." It’s one of the Nick Adams stories, and it rang true to life.

The joy of reading Hemingway is the simplicity of his presentation and the fact that he doesn’t tell you what he means. The meaning is there, but only if you put the pieces together yourself.

Related Review:
The Dangerous Summer by Ernest Hemingway

Purchase and read books by Ernest Hemingway:

In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway Death in the Afternoon by Ernest Hemingway Ernest Hemingway Boxed Set