Monday, 16 May 2011
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemmingway
Perhaps upon further reflection my rating will go up but as it stands, this novel was severely disappointing. Hemmingway's detached and laconic style only served to evoke my indifference towards the flat characters of this dull and overlong story. There was no need for 332 pages and the novel would have greatly benefited from a better editing job. There were way too many repetitive scenes of the protagonist sleeping, eating, drinking or having pointless conversations with people.
Hemmingway's portrayal of females especially Catherine to be laughably egregious. Was he being intentionally misogynistic or does he just fail at writing convincing female characters who are overly submissive to the point of parody? It baffles me that this novel is held in such high-esteem since to me it came across as insipid and utterly forgettable. Or maybe I didn't fully comprehend Hemmingway's intentions and the subtext went over my head. Either way, I know what elements of literature appeal to me and this novel left me numb. I'm not going to give up on Papa Hemmingway just yet but consider me unimpressed for the time being. Nonetheless, in the past I have enjoyed a few of his short stories so there is still hope!
Read from April 22 to 23, 2011