sábado, 17 de octubre de 2015

The Killers - Ernest Hemingway


There was a great TV show once. A brilliant sitcom known as “the show about nothing”. But even though it was perceived as a show about nothing, it was about nearly everything. Well, “The Killers” is a story about almost nothing. Could I say it is about nearly everything? I don't know, but it is certainly not as entertaining as the aforementioned sitcom. It might be interesting for academics wanting to study words and structures and other fun things. From that hilarious perspective, yes, it caught my attention that, besides the “almost nothing happens” issue, that “almost nothing” is told in the simplest way possible. That is quite coherent, I guess. The writing is simple, straightforward. You are given a bunch of characters that lack all development; you have to settle with only knowing their names. Passivity is this short story's trademark. The somewhat lack of action is something that leaves you wondering about possibilities and limitations, being and nothingness. It is rather unsatisfying. Too many “what ifs” frustrate me.

I just read about the Iceberg Theory. I am certainly not a fan of an extreme minimalist style but I think I can take it on small doses. I do not ask for meaningless details, daily minutiae that no one cares about; but I want something that allows me to connect with the characters. Use your words and give me emotions. Give me thoughts, feelings, doubts, melancholy, some joy. I do not seek obvious revelations nor redundant thoughts. I would reread The Alchemist, in that case. But again, give me something more... If Hemingway used this style on an entire novel, I can see why the whole reading experience can be tiresome. Even Rory G. described him as painful. So, reader, Hemingway fan, let me know what novel I should try first.

Back to the short story. Some characters deal with a situation that in any world would be considered as stressful, and yet, nothing happens. They stay still, unable to move because of some strange force. You cannot think of something else rather than they are already surrendered, they feel doomed and think that any action is futile having in mind the inevitability of life. It is probable that you do not see all this. Maybe this is me trying to find something meaningful. Maybe there is. Okay, I am sure there is; I simply cannot see it... that well. I guess.

Hemingway, regarding short stories, I think we can be friends. However, concerning novels... you are that estranged acquaintance I would send a Christmas card to, but I'm not sure if we are ready to meet and sing Christmas carols together across town.
We need time. And more small doses.

* This review was written on April 3, 2015; I just found it today. I don't remember the story. I don't know why I wrote what I wrote but... there it is.

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