The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway: Finca Vigía by Ernest Hemingway
“The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof, shit detector. This is the writer’s radar and all great writers have had it.” ~ Ernest Hemingway (The Paris Review Interview 1958).
The short story form has long been considered a literary art form that creatively expresses and explains the human condition. Some noteworthy past and present authors of the short story form include James Joyce, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, Edgar Allan Poe, Gertrude Stein, Alice Munro, and Ernest Hemingway. All of whom have inspired many with their renowned works and revolutionised the way contemporary short story writers engage in the creative process of their own works. In Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, he cleverly evokes the lively and vibrant atmosphere of Paris after the First World War and the youthful attitude, unrestricted talent, and rebellious enthusiasm that Hemingway himself embodied. Hemingway’s distinct talent for writing incredible prose is remarkable and has inspired the way many short story writers approach style, prose, character, and other literary techniques. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in “for his mastery of the art of narrative, most recently demonstrated in The Old Man and the Sea, and for the influence that he has exerted on contemporary style”.
The Complete Short Stories Collection: Finca Vigía is a posthumous collection of short fiction written by Ernest Hemingway (1899 –1961). The collection consists of “The First Forty-Nine” published short stories, fourteen originally published in books or magazines, and seven previously unpublished fictions. The forward was written by his sons John, Patrick, and Gregory Hemingway. The collection includes works such as ‘The Snows on Kilimanjaro’, ‘A Clean, Well-Lighted Place’, ‘Old Man at the Bridge’, ‘Men Without Women’, and ‘The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber’.
Much of Hemingway’s work fits into the genre of Drama and War fiction. He avoided the use of adjectives where possible adding clarity to the prose. His use of direct style, concise narrative, and literary techniques are apparent throughout all of his works, however the following section from “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” is a good example.
“He had never quarrelled much with this woman, while with the women that he loved he had quarrelled so much they had finally, always, with the corrosion of the quarrelling, killed what they had together. He had loved too much, demanded too much, and he wore it all out.”
Contemporary readers of Hemingway’s work would be those who have an appreciation of the classical short story form, students and scholars of literature and creative writing, or writers who wish to broaden their skills and techniques. Fans of Hemingway’s work would read the collection not only for sentimental purposes such as a wistful affection for the past and its literary stars, but to gain an appreciation and understanding of the importance of clarity in prose, well defined memorable characters, and elegant but direct style.
The Complete Short Stories Collection: Finca Vigía by Hemingway is a valuable educational and historical resource for contemporary writers and other industry professionals. By reading and analysing his literary works we can learn much about stylistic simplicity in prose, developing effective psychology in characters, and how to effectively convey meaning in narrative.