Robert E. Gajdusek
Hemingway in His Own Country, an outstanding collection of essays from noted Hemingway scholar Robert Gajdusek, delivers to the reading public and scholarly world a new and much needed rereading of one of Americas greatest writers. Gajdusek attempts to shift attention away from Hemingways adventurous life and toward the intricate and demanding modernist texts he wrote. Hemingway was both a great craftsman and an extremely well-read author. His complex message and highly sophisticated technique have been largely lost on a reading audience overwhelmed by the myth of the man. Hemingway the artist, Gajdusek argues, remains comparatively unknown.
Hemingway in His Own Country traces outside influences on Hemingway during his time in Paris in the early 1920s. Among his close friends and associates at that time were James Joyce, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Ford Madox Ford, and F. Scott Fitzgerald—he was very much a part of the heady movements and intellectual idealism of his era. Joyce, like the other four, even went over Hemingway’s manuscripts with him—a service (we are told) Joyce performed for no one else. Gajdusek contends that this period of Hemingway’s life is too often seen immersed in the excitements of time and place, rather than recognized as the studied creation of the unique and consummate artist.
Gajdusek’s essays, while occasionally pointing out Hemingway’s special intellectual journey, focus primarily on the texts themselves, working to bring to light the fascinating and highly intricate structures and designs that imbed Hemingway’s philosophy and message at unexpected levels. Hemingway likened his prose to an iceberg, in the sense that the majority of his creation rests beneath the surface, where the bulk of his power and meaning are concealed. Gajdusek’s collection aims to help readers part the waters and discover the hidden Hemingway.
“[A] thoughtful example of what imaginative academic criticism can and does produce.” — North Dakota Quarterly
“[Gajdusek] insightfully and incisively strikes to the heart of new critical and biographical perceptions about Hemingway. . . . Gracefully written, meticulously researched, sophisticated yet accessible, this fine volume stands as testimony to the lifelong Hemingway scholarship of its author.” — Choice
“This is a remarkable book, simply for the fact that Gajdusek achieves an original interpretation, a strikingly fresh independence of thought in each of these twenty-six essays. . . This book certainly delivers on its author’s objectives, and is a bold, magnificently realized and varied collection.” — American Studies