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  • 野崎 孝
    英文学研究
    1959年 36 巻 1 号 93-108
    発行日: 1959/10/30
    公開日: 2017/04/10
    ジャーナル フリー
    In Death in the Afternoon Ernest Hemingway states that his literary objective is "to get the real thing, the sequence of motion and fact which made the emotion and which would be as valid in a year or in ten years, or, with luck and if you stated it purely enough, always." This would mean a poetic, or even symbolic prose aiming at a "fourth or fifth dimension," though Hemingway himself says "it is much more difficult than poetry." In such prose the important thing would be not explanatory intellect but an acute sensibility, not logical reasoning but an intuitive insight. Early aware of his own sensibility, early in boyhood having become convinced of the essential meaninglessness of life, Hemingway later experienced, during the war, a continuation of this clear vision of the unsatisfactory nature of existence. This negative vision of life, annulling all old values, he, with unsurpassed clarity, projected into his earlier stories and novels. Yet, strong points are often weak points turned inside out. After the young Americans ceased following the sophisticated ideal, and rather took part in the social reconstruction of the 1930's, Hemingway found his negative vision of the world entirely outside the new confines of American society. One of the reasons, certainly, was that Hemingway entirely lacked a social perspective. He detested "thinking to know" and relied solely upon sensibility-which was reflected in his failure to project an affirmative vision. His attitude is clearly revealed in his short address to the Second National Congress of American Writers, wherein he plainly stated his hatred of fascism. Yet one cannot help but find this hatred-as he expressed it-slightly childish; one cannot help doubting that he had any true understanding of its essential qualities. Upon looking back on A Farewell to Arms-often cited as his "masterpiece"-one cannot help but realise that it is a battlefield novel and not a war novel in any real sense of the word: and the reason is that Hemingway could not comprehend the enormously complicated activities of a whole society embattled-and this is one of the limitations under which all literature of sensibility must necessarily operate.
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