Shut Up, Hemingway

Being a white male straight twentysomething writer makes me automatically awful. I’ve accepted that. But not every white male straight twentysomething writer has. I know this because I still see articles like Open Culture’s “Seven Tips From Ernest Hemingway on How to Write Fiction,” and nobody but a deluded white male straight twentysomething writer is clicking on that. In short: shut up, Hemingway.

Hemingway, your advice is shit and you don’t even follow it yourself: under tip #7, “Be brief,” we see that you wrote “It wasn’t by accident that the Gettysburg address was so short. The laws of prose writing are as immutable as those of flight, of mathematics, of physics.” How about just “those of flight,” you hypocritical fuck? Tip #3: “Never think about the story when you’re not working”? Yeah that makes a lot of sense.  

I know it’s not just you I should be angry at, Hemingway, rather the horrid archivists who cull blog material from letters that the world never needed to see. I’m still half-convinced that the actual Hemingway could now scoff at his own epistles and tell us: “Write however you goddamn want, what do I care, I’m dead.” But on the off-chance he’s every bit as irritating as he seemed—I hope that in hell you get trampled by bulls every day.

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