English 24

Freshman Seminar: Rethinking Hemingway

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
3 Fall 2008 Snyder, Katie
W 2-3 125 Dwinelle

Other Readings and Media

Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises (Scribners)


The past two decades have seen a dramatic reassessment of Ernest Hemingway. Departing from earlier critical traditions that first celebrated him as a macho sportsman, then vilified him as a misogynist, a homophobe, and a racist, the current critical reassessment reveals a Hemingway whose work and life was shaped by his obsession with and ambivalence toward gender norms and sexual aberrations. We will participate in this critical rethinking by attending to the centrality of issues of identity-especially gender and sexual identity, but also racial, ethnic, and class identity-to the man and his fiction. We will read one, or at most two, of Hemingway's most famous novels (probably The Sun Also Rises, and possibly one other to be determined by class vote), slowly and carefully mapping the intersections among gender and sexual concerns, narrative strategies, characterization, and plotting. The leisurely pace of our reading will allow us to inhabit the text in a way that the more hectic pace of most 4-unit classes generally does not permit. We will supplement our reading of the fiction with literary critical articles and historical and biographical essays. Assigned work will include oral presentations of selected passages and short written responses to the readings, and will culminate with in-class readings of our own attempts at writing Hemingway parodies.

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