From Hemingway to Here

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
― Ernest Hemingway

On why writing papers in English Lit class is detrimental to writing: Unless you are headed for academia or law school, argumentative papers have no place in the life of the writer. I hesitate to pour it out, to bleed, because I am afraid. I think I am Hemingway incarnate. I could give examples of why I think it may be so, but I am afraid to go forward, and like Hemingway, I know you’ll be criticizing the narration and place, suspect, my case of first person voice. Is it me or is it fiction from which I write? I am ready to open A Moveable Feast and find the quotes, the proof. A college professor once told me that my paper didn’t prove my argument. I never did like the word, ‘argument’. I said, “I’m creative and use my segues to make my connections, and I use my quotes within my statements.” Her response: “I don’t do creative. You declare your thesis statement and build from there. What’s your argument?”

I didn’t say out loud… Any idiot can follow a structure of 1. declare your stance (‘declare yourself the best writer,’ from “Midnight in Paris”), 2. rise, like a phoenix, above it and looking down, gather it into a forceful wind, strong enough to knock down your opponent, 3. second paragraph: point, quote, expansion, 4. point, quote, expansion, 5. point, quote, expansion, 6. conclusion.

OK, so why Hemingway? Such a bad rap regarding misogyny, yet, also so true: “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”

Regardless, though, I acknowledge the hiatus from which I emerge ~~~~ such a long time. Why? Because I’ve been reading Hemingway…what’s your excuse?!

And….. having multiple house guests from Hawaii and England (OK, that was May), focusing on my daughter’s graduation from Fordham, Bronx, focusing on my own graduation from Camden Rutgers, my wedding in July, a trip to Spain (no bull fights), trips to Florida and Pittsburgh and, in September, the start of middle school (my day job)…

And with a trip to Hawaii coming at the end of the week, I am yet ever ready to end this hiatus created by not just timelessness and fear, but because “Courage is grace under pressure.”

Thank you, Merilyn.


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Writing by Marnie Mitchell-Lister

DoubleU = W


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