Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hemingway's True At First Light - The Fourth Allotment

Knocked out the next chunk of this interminable book. Mary finally shoots her lion but not without some controversy over who shot first and where. But the description of the hunt and the shooting is right up there with the best of Hemingway and he's clearly in his element here. But Mary believe Hemingway shot first and it's not really her lion and on and on and on. Hemingway goes to town for supplies and intermingles with colorful locals, then attends a dance at which he participates on one of the drums. I had to laugh at that image but you gotta hand it to the ol' Nobel Prize winner for immersing himself in the local culture. Without the threat of the Mau Maus and the goal of shooting Mary's lion, the tension begins to ease off. Again, I think Hemingway was just writing this thing to see where it took him and if he ever really considered publishing it, he would have made drastic cuts. Too bad his heirs didn't do the same.

Oh, and by the way, in case your curious, the Hemingway's enjoy eating some of the killed lion. Tastes like veal.

I'm up to page 200 on this, with only a little over 100 pages to go. I've got another book to finish before returning to my next 50 page allotment but I may just knuckle down and make a sprint for the finish line just to get this over with. The brief flashes of the old Hemingway hardly make up for the long stretches in between.

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