April 24, 2012

John Irving doesn’t like Hemingway. Might Hemingway return the compliment?


This post over at The Atlantic pointed us to John Irving’s interview, below, promoting his new book, In One Person. In it Irving talks about the writers he loves, and those he doesn’t. And so we learn that the author of The World According to Garp and The Third Hand does not care for the short sentences and story-telling concision of Ernest Hemingway, “I thought, I surely don’t want to become a writer to write sentences as simplistic and short as this guy does … If you want to be an ad writer and write ad copy, OK, short sentences are appealing. But it seemed to me to be a dictum and dulling.”

Irving often cites his love for Dickens, Melville and other writers of the long sentence, so it comes as no shock that he’s not so keen on Papa’s abbreviated style:

Valerie Merians is the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House.