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Hemingway on Love

by Robert W. Lewis

Hemingway on Love Synopsis

Love was a central theme of Ernest Hemingway's major works. And although his passages on sexual love and on romantic love may be widely remembered and frequently quoted, says Robert W. Lewis in this scholarly and detailed consideration, Hemingway's later work revealed his ultimate belief that brotherly love was the supreme love of mankind. Eros, Hemingway concluded, was a neutral value, neither good nor bad in itself, but yet capable of complementing agape in giving man pleasure. By examining the forms and essences of the various kinds of love, Hemingway worked out an explanation and tentative solution to the troubles of the human condition. The tradition of romantic love that had prevailed in Western literature had challenged sexual love and brotherly love and had been confused with them since the Middle Ages. Hemingway's early work was destructive of romantic love, says Lewis; the work of his middle career was crucial in his exploration for the supreme love and the means to whatever peace and happiness man may achieve. By the time he wrote The Old Man and the Sea, his ethic was formulated and he could write conclusively of the trial and lesson of love in Western civilization in a way that reflected his discovery that true love must be a reciprocal blend of eros and agape between man and woman, man and man, and man and his world.

Book Information

ISBN: 9780292737297
Publication date: 1st June 1965
Author: Robert W. Lewis
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 266 pages
Categories: Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers,

About Robert W. Lewis

Robert W. Lewis, Jr., is Professor of English and Editor of North Dakota Quarterly at the University of North Dakota. He has served as President of the Hemingway Society and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Hemingway Foundation.

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