Russell Banks, Ernest Hemingway and Masculinity in America

Travel Blog  •  Jim Benning  •  02.24.12 | 12:33 PM ET

The New York Review of Books explores Russell Banks’ novels and touches on Ernest Hemingway’s legacy in American letters.

When it comes to the anxiety of influence, American women writers seem to have an easy relation to their gentler and more urbane literary ancestresses; but men writing in America have to contend with the shade of Hemingway, and the longstanding tradition of manliness he tried to represent. They may reject that tradition but they can’t ignore it, though Henry James may have been trying to by making himself into an Englishman. Most of the ongoing mining of Ernest Hemingway’s character, sexuality, and personal history arises from our sense that he embodied the paradoxes and conflicts in masculinity as Americans have constructed it. Was he a bully or a baby, brave or cowardly, gay or straight, tough or weak?

That “shade of Hemingway” has colored American travel writing as much as any other genre, of course. The article is available online but only subscribers can read the piece in its entirety.

5 Comments for Russell Banks, Ernest Hemingway and Masculinity in America

John Deniel 02.26.12 | 5:19 AM ET

It’s a great article . We are inspired of it
DHAKA the capital the capital of Bangladesh is Dhaka with its exciting history and rich culture, known the world over as the city of mosques and muslin; it has attracted travelers from far and nearer throughout in all the ages. It has a history dating back to earliest time. But the exact date of its foundation is not known.

John Deniel 02.26.12 | 5:21 AM ET

It’s a great article . We are inspired of it

There’s a family story that on my first trip abroad at the age of ten – to exotic Belgium, no less (I still recall the raw air and the excitement buzzing in my head as I stepped on to the coach outside my junior school one dark morning) – the headmaster wearily and somewhat incredulously informed my mother, as we all tumbled out of the bus on our return, that I hadn’t sat down all week.

Alexandra Wright 03.12.12 | 9:44 PM ET

I loved those books, and I think that the character he has created is perfect for the story and its setting. People should not care so much about the character’s relevance in America today, but how well that man fits in those stories. I think it just plays well perfectly in the books.

Jimmy 03.22.12 | 1:56 AM ET


Im looking for any information I can find about a paragraph Hemingway wrote. I ran into it in The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway, the Finca Vigia Edition. The ISBN is 0-684-84332-3. Its on page 93 ( CHAPTER V ).

It goes as follows:

They shot the six cabinet members at half-past six in the morning against the wall of a hospital. There were pools of water in the courtyard. There were wet dead leaves on the paving of the courtyard. It rained hard. All the shutters of the hospital were nailed shut. One of the ministers was sick with typhoid. Two of the soldiers carried him downstairs and out into the rain. They tried to hold him up against the wall but he sat down in a puddle of water. The other five stood very quietly against the wall. Finally the officer told the soldiers it was no good trying to make him stand up. When they fired the first volley he was sitting down in the water with his head on his knees.

Thank You
Hemingway Fan!!!

mohamed 04.09.12 | 4:50 AM ET

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