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Sunday, July 21, 2013

To Have and Have Not


Hemingway seems very very transparent to me in this novel (actually three shorter and interconnected stories combined). The macho male hero is not his self-portrait but the ideal he aspires to and knows very well in his heart he is not and cannot be. Life is just a downward spiral from the moment you are born. That's basically his theme. Rather than the macho tough man, the whiny and limp novelist he mocks in the later part of the story is probably closer to his self-image and self-identity.

It's obvious he was homosexual. The way he writes about the sexual energy of male characters, compared with the indifference to female characters, is unmistakable. You simply can't hide that. To confirm it he even dropped a few pages' description of a homosexual liaison. It is so cliched --- the most masculine posturing and protestation come from a self-loathing closet homosexual man.

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