Robert's Reviews > For Whom the Bell Tolls

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
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's review
Jan 10, 09

bookshelves: literature
Read in January, 2009

I picked up "For Whom The Bell Tolls" after I read George Orwell's "Homage to Catalonia" (which see). In "Homage" the best part is the struggle in Barcelona between the PUOD, the anarchists, and the communists, so I wanted to see how this plays out in Hemmingway's story.

I can hardly stand the bad pseudo-spanish syntax. I think of Dorothy Parker's famous review, "At this point, Tonstant Weader fhwowed up".* And the "thee" and "thou"s and "little rabbit". And the long pointless stories. Did this guy not have an editor? I thought concision was part of this style. So I cut to the end - yes, the hero dies, saccharine scene with Maria. I'm sure there's genius on display here, but someone will have to explain it to me.

At any rate, the reason I wanted to go through FWTBT is to see his take on the politics of the war, as he was a participant and less committed than GO. There is a little bit - he has a dialog with a Russian journalist/ political officer,and there is an allusion to the Barcelona fighting. But it definitely wasn't worth the pain to get to it.

*(I looked up the Dorothy Parker quote. See )

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