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 Ernest Hemingway Message Boards : General Questions
Subject Topic: Biblical references from EH?? Post ReplyPost New Topic
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cd_vino
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Posted: 29 October 2006 at 8:46pm | IP Logged Quote cd_vino

I have begun to notice with frequent occurence the willingness of people to attribute some of EHs work to direct biblical reference or at least by implication due to similarity in themes. For example The Light Of The World is quoted by one internet correspondent as referring directly to the New Testament quote by JC of "I am the light of the world". There are others but I have not constructed a list.

A simple question then:

Is there any evidence that EH did in fact draw inspiration from the bible, or use parables as the underlying theme for some of his stories?

I have never seen any evidence of this but others seem to be able to draw the conclusion quite well.

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Peter Krynicki
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Posted: 30 October 2006 at 11:29am | IP Logged Quote Peter Krynicki

The most obvious example is the Old Man and the Sea with the ols man carrying his mast, cross-like up the hill and the feeling he has as if nails were pounded through his palms, and the repeated use of the number three calling up the trinity.

I need to think about this more but generally authors would use a parable as a basis for a work because the parable indicated that good would be rewarded with good and evil with evil. The post-war sentiment was that this was not generally true and that evil might indeed prevail. The immediate post war period had this sentiment but the Spanish Civil War re-inforced it. So the use of a parable or something fro the Bible would have been used more in irony rather than to re-inforce the plot or actions within the work.

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cd_vino
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Posted: 01 November 2006 at 4:53am | IP Logged Quote cd_vino

Thanks Peter

I think your analogy about using irony to great affect makes sense. EH never struck me as being super religious and his work always has a sense of melancholy to me which does not reflect a person using the bible as a direct source of inspiration. Still I suppose without him being here to explain what he was trying to convey people will always draw conclusions or parallels with other sources of work including the bible.

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Peter Krynicki
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Posted: 01 November 2006 at 12:01pm | IP Logged Quote Peter Krynicki

Is the religosity of Hemingway, the author, the question or is the question of whether Hemingway was slick enough to understand the impact of a religeous reference.

Jake and Bill spy the Cathedral of Chartres (I wish I had my copy of the book here) on the way from Paris to Spain. This puts them, at least for a time, on one of the four pilgrim routes to worship Saint Santiago. The description of why people went on this trip is also a summary of what Jake and maybe Brett are either looking for or have lost (Vanity of vanities)

"Everyone, then, must worship Santiago in all places, he who comes to the aid of those who receive him in all places without delay.... Now we are going to talk about the Route of the Pilgrims.

The pilgrim route is a very good thing, but it is narrow. For the road which leads man to life is narrow; on the other hand, the road which leads to death is wide and spacious. The pilgrim route is for the good people: the lack of vices, the mortification of the body, the increase of virtues, pardon for sins, pentitence for the penitent, the road of the just, love of the saints, faith in the resurrection and the reward for the blessèd, distancing from Hell, protection of the Heavens. It takes one away from succulent foods, makes voracious obesity disappear, restrains voluptuousness, contains the appetites of the flesh which attack the fortress of the soul, purifies the spirit, invites man to the contemplative life, humbles the haughty, raises up the humble, loves poverty. It hates the censure of the man dominated by avarice. It loves, on the other hand, the person who gives to the poor. It rewards the austere who do good works; and, on the other hand, it does not snatch the miserly and sinful from the talons of sin."

Whether or not Hemingway believed this doesn't have to enter into the discussion of the relationship of this to the novel. It is there.

Pjk

 

 

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hijo
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Posted: 02 November 2006 at 5:38pm | IP Logged Quote hijo

Santiago = Saint Iago.

There are two routes through northern Spain, near the Pyrenees and slightly farther South.

Paul Hammerstein seems to have quite a handle (in my opinion) on the biblical relationship between Hemingway's stories and symbols.

Best,
hijo
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cd_vino
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Posted: 03 November 2006 at 5:50am | IP Logged Quote cd_vino

The beauty of Hemingway and his mentors is understanding what they imply as much as what they say. Ciao
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