The Critics and Hemingway, 1924-2014

Shaping an American Literary Icon

Laurence W. Mazzeno

Traces Hemingway's critical fortunes over the ninety years of his prominence, telling us something about what we value in literature and why scholarly reputations rise and fall.
Date Published :
February 2020
Publisher :
Boydell and Brewer
Series :
Literary Criticism in Perspective
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Paperback
ISBN : 9781640140707
Pages : 310
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Available


Hemingway burst on the literary scene in the 1920s with spare, penetrating short stories and brilliant novels. Soon he was held as a standard for modern writers. Meanwhile, he used his celebrity to create a persona like the stoic, macho heroes of his fiction. After a decline during the 1930s and 1940s, he came roaring back with The Old Man and the Sea in 1952. Two years later he received the Nobel Prize.
While his popularity waxed and waned during his lifetime, Hemingway's reputation among scholars remained strong as long as traditional scholarship dominated. New approaches beginning in the 1960s brought a sea change, however, finding grave fault with his work and making him a figure ripe for vilification. Yet during this time scholarship on him continued to appear. His works still sell well, and several are staples on high-school and college syllabi. A new scholarly edition of his letters is drawing prominent attention, and there is a resurgence in scholarly attention to - and approbation for - his work. Tracing Hemingway's critical fortunes tells us something about what we value in literature and why reputations rise and fall as scholars find new ways to examine and interpret creative work.

Laurence W. Mazzeno is President Emeritus of Alvernia University. Among other books, he has written volumes on Austen, Dickens, Tennyson, Updike, and Matthew Arnold for Camden House's Literary Criticism in Perspective series.

About The Author

Laurence Mazzeno retired as president of Alvernia College, Pennsylvania.


Introduction: "The Most Interesting Man in the World"
Spokesperson for the Lost Generation (1924-1932)
Writing on His Own Terms (1932-1952)
The Critics' Darling (1952-1961)
Posthumous Evaluations (1961-1969)
Turbulence (1970-1979)
Calm Before the Storm (1980-1985)
A "Sea Change" in Hemingway Studies (1986-1990)
"Hemingway": Site for Competing Theories (1991-1999)
Old Themes, New Discoveries (2000-2010)
The Undisputed Champ Once More (2011-2014)
Conclusion: The Enduring Master
Major Works by Ernest Hemingway
Works Cited

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