Date of Award

1-1-2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

English

First Advisor

Clark Davis

Keywords

aesthetics, Big Two-Hearted River, bullshit, Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea, The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber

Abstract

Author: Nathan R. L. Eilers

Title: HEMINGWAY AND BULLSHIT

Advisor: Clark Davis

Degree Date: November 2008

ABSTRACT

This paper uses Harry Frankfurt's definition of bullshit as a lens to re-examine Ernest Hemingway's aesthetic of factual details and omission. Frankfurt argues that bullshit consists of speech made with indifference to its veracity, and one who makes a habit of bullshitting may lose touch with reality. By studying three works across the author's career, "Big Two-Hearted River," "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber," and The Old Man and the Sea, one sees that Hemingway's prose style evolves and eventually contradicts his artistic statements. Given the fact that he promotes his aesthetic while discarding it, his theory becomes bullshit. Because normative critical interpretation of the author rests largely on his aesthetic theory, it too is inaccurate. Though Hemingway misrepresents how he writes, the success of his work regardless of aesthetics demonstrates that his writing is more complex than many think and deserves a more thorough re-evaluation.

Provenance

Recieved from ProQuest

Rights holder

Nathan Eiers

File size

71 p.

File format

application/pdf

Language

en

Discipline

Modern literature, American literature, British and Irish literature

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