The Critics and Hemingway, 1924-2014

The Critics and Hemingway, 1924-2014

Shaping an American Literary Icon

Laurence W. Mazzeno


Camden House



Traces Hemingway's critical fortunes over the ninety years of his prominence, telling us something about what we value in literature and why scholarly reputations rise and fall.

Hemingway burst on the literary scene in the 1920s with spare, penetrating short stories and brilliant novels. Soon he was held as a standard for modern writers. Meanwhile, he used his celebrity to create a persona like the stoic, macho heroes of his fiction. After a decline during the 1930s and 1940s, he came roaring back with The Old Man and the Sea in 1952. Two years later he received the Nobel Prize.
While his popularity waxed and waned during his lifetime, Hemingway's reputation among scholars remained strong as long as traditional scholarship dominated. New approaches beginning in the 1960s brought a sea change, however, finding grave fault with his work and making him a figure ripe for vilification. Yet during this time scholarship on him continued to appear. His works still sell well, and several are staples on high-school and college syllabi. A new scholarly edition of his letters is drawing prominent attention, and there is a resurgence in scholarly attention to-and approbation for-his work. Tracing Hemingway's critical fortunes tells us something about what we value in literature and why reputations rise and fall as scholars find new ways to examine and interpret creative work.

Laurence W. Mazzeno is President Emeritus of Alvernia University. Among other books, he has written volumes on Austen, Dickens, Tennyson, Updike, and Matthew Arnold for Camden House's Literary Criticism in Perspective series.


December 2015
310 pages
9x6 in
Literary Criticism in Perspective
ISBN: 9781571135919
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Camden House
Share on Facebook   Share on Twitter   Pin it   Share by Email

Related Titles

Table of Contents

Introduction: "The Most Interesting Man in the World"
Spokesperson for the Lost Generation (1924-1932)
Writing on His Own Terms (1932-1952)
The Critics' Darling (1952-1961)
Posthumous Evaluations (1961-1969)
Turbulence (1970-1979)
Calm Before the Storm (1980-1985)
A "Sea Change" in Hemingway Studies (1986-1990)
"Hemingway": Site for Competing Theories (1991-1999)
Old Themes, New Discoveries (2000-2010)
The Undisputed Champ Once More (2011-2014)
Conclusion: The Enduring Master
Major Works by Ernest Hemingway
Works Cited


Mazzeno has succeeded in generating an engaging and highly readable-yet also very useful-narrative, for which we can all be grateful. THE HEMINGWAY REVIEW

(A) rigorously researched reference book to be consulted when one wants to learn who said what and when about Hemingway . . . . (T)he strength of the text . . . lies in its cumulative effect. Taking on the task which must have been a very laborious one, carrying the burden of a big amount of material to be considered with enthusiasm, the book certainly deserves a good and easily accessible place on Hemingway library shelves. POLISH JOURNAL OF AMERICAN STUDIES

By critiquing critical assessments, Mazzeno identi?es the predilections and biases shaping (critics') judgments, uncovering the forces that sustain Hemingway's reputation as both a literary and cultural icon. AMERICAN LITERATURE

Author Bio

Laurence Mazzeno retired as president of Alvernia College, Pennsylvania.

Also by Author

Also in Series