A Life Without Consequences
By (author) James R. Mellow
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Hemingway by James R. Mellow
Book DescriptionIn this brilliant, elegantly written biography, award-winning author James R. Mellow offers a thorough reassessment of a man who was both a literary giant and an icon for his age. The final volume in Mellow's "Lost Generation" trilogy, Hemingway: A Life Without Consequences is also a homage to Paris in the 1920s and a tribute to the writers and artists who set the indelible standards for the modern age.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780201626209
(229mm x 152mm x 46mm)
Imprint: Da Capo Press Inc
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 31-Aug-1993
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author James R. Mellow
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US Kirkus Review » By now, any Hemingway biography is built as much upon the scaffolding of its predecessors as upon the writer's life itself. Hemingway's own story, in fact, must be more familiar generally than the stories of his works. A differentiating idea or two is necessary - and Mellow (Invented Lives, 1984, etc.) has them. Portraying Hemingway neither as the man of action nor as the complete boor that other biographies have (and that sometimes have seen themselves pitted in competition with Papa), Mellow's Hemingway is a man superbly equipped for literature by having the greatest understanding of style; and a man haunted by what human ambiguities aesthetic style suggests - Mellow finds Hemingway's relationships with men, his homophobia, his failed marriages, as hardly accidental. Along this double fork, Mellow proves himself one of the more respectfully keen analysts of why Hemingway was so good a writer in his earliest works: There is fine lit-crit here in addition to all the dates and facts ("At his best, Hemingway is a poet of convergences, providing moments of sudden reality, of some deflected vision - an epiphany, perhaps - not altogether recognized or understood, that is nevertheless transfixed in narrative"). Mellow understands writing enough to know that its demands can make any person both more and less than he is; his book lacks a moralistic rancor that others, faced with Hemingway's bad character, have not been able to forfeit. But this is perhaps also because he finds so convincing the suspicion that Hemingway's manliness was the moat desperate of his fictions: There is, in the way Mellow places his biography's structural emphases, a certain lenient pity for a man who might have clone and been better had he come out of the closet. It's a tactful, unpushy thesis but unmistakable, and makes Mellow's book different from its fellows. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - James R. Mellow
James R. Mellow won the National Book Award for his biography of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hemingway: A Life Without Consequences completes the trilogy that includes Charmed Circle: Gertrude Stein & Company, and Invented Lives: F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. In his thirty-six year career as a writer, art critic, and biographer, Mellow has written for The New York Times, Architectural Digest, The Washington Post, Gourmet, and Arts magazine, among other publications, He lives in Clinton, Connecticut.
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