The volume of collected short stories and vignettes In Our Time was Ernest Hemingway's first commercial publication. Its appearance in 1925 launched the full-fledged literary career of this century's most famous American fiction writer. And while other later works of Hemingway have eclipsed In Our Time's fame, none of Hemingway's subsequent works would again carry the degree of experimentation found in this distinctly modernist masterwork. Modernism and Tradition in Ernest Hemingway's In Our Time: A Guide for Students and Readers is a well-paced, lucidly written handbook intended to guide university students and teaching faculty towards a better understanding of this complex work. It provides a reading of each story and vignette, while simultaneously stressing the status of In Our Time as a discrete volume. Included are discussions of the book's biographical and historical background, and considerations of Hemingway's prose style, theories of writing, formal achievements, his literary mentors and influences, and the relation between In Our Time and his later works.
Matthew C. Stewart is Associate Professor of Humanities and Rhetoric at Boston University.