Two Authors–One Literary Spar

Humanities Minutes Podcasts

Two authors–one complicated relationship.

“[Hemingway] has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.”

“Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?”

William Faulkner is known for his experimental, stream-of-consciousness style, and his attention to diction and cadence. His characters are distinctly Southern–former slaves and their descendants, poor or working class whites, and the stubborn remnants of a fading aristocracy. Consequently, his subject matter tends towards the Gothic and grotesque, such as in his short story “A Rose for Emily,” or the novel As I Lay Dying.

Ernest Hemingway’s style, on the other hand, is often described as “masculine” in its minimalism and understated tone. His characters tend towards the stoic–men who have suffered, but soldier on, and women who…well… the critics are still debating Hemingway’s female characters. Not surprisingly, his major themes are love, war, wilderness, and loss, as shown in such works as his short story collection Men Without Women and the novel The Sun Also Rises.

So what did these two very different writers actually think of one another?


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