Writing Manhood: Hemingway & His Progeny

Reality Rebellion

By doubling down on Trump’s Big Lie that the election was stolen, Republicans are making their base angrier, more radical, and more likely to turn to violence.

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At the Stupid Coup: Mark Danner in the NY Review

Mark Danner discusses his piece ‘Be Ready to Fight’ with fellow journalist and journalism professor David Barstow. Danner describes his experiences at the Capitol on January 6 and the violence he witnessed that day, and he elaborates the difficulties of covering the Trump presidency as a journalist.

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Political Science 179 Lecture and Interview

Mark Danner joins Professor Alan Ross’s Political Science 179 class at the University of California, Berkeley, to give a lecture on the events of January 6 at the U.S. Capitol, President Trump, and the future of American Politics, followed by a Q&A with students.

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‘Be Ready to Fight’

The New York Review of Books

Trumpism is driven by cruelty and domination even as its rhetoric claims grievance and victimization. The attack on the Capitol showed that Donald Trump’s army of millions will not just melt away when he leaves office.

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Scott Burns, The Report, Telluride Interview

The Senate staffer Daniel J. Jones spent six years investigating America’s use of torture during the years after 9/11, finding a web of deceit and corruption. But after a life and death struggle with the CIA, only 525 heavily redacted pages were released.

Jones’s story is told in The Report, starring Festival tributee Adam Driver and written and directed by Scott Z. Burns. Burns spoke with the award-winning journalist Mark Danner.

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On The Election

All American elections tend to be touted as historic, for all American culture tends toward the condition of hype. Flummoxing, then, to be confronted with a struggle for political power in which, for once, all is at stake. We have long since forfeited the words to confront it, rendering superlatives threadbare, impotent. No accident that among so many other things Donald J. Trump is the Candidate of Dead Words, spewing “fantastic” and “amazing” and “huge” in all directions, clogging the airtime broadcasters have lavished upon him with a deadening rhetoric reminiscent of the raving man hunched beside you on the bar stool.

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The Magic of Donald Trump

We are told again and again: his is the most improbable political story in decades, perhaps in history.  And yet that a reality television megastar, as Trump might put it, could outpoll sixteen dimly to barely known politicians, some new faces, many also-rans, seems less than shocking. Did tens of millions ever cast their eyes on the junior senators from Florida or Tennessee or Texas, or the governor of Ohio, not the mention the ex-governors of Arkansas of Florida, or the ex-CEO of Hewlett Packard, before they chanced to mount the stage for a debate with Donald J. Trump last August, a television event that drew the unheard-of viewership of 24 million? Those 24 million tuned in to see trump. Only one man on stage gad a name as famous and by then it was in such disrepute that he had seen fit to replace it with an exclamation point on his campaign posters.&nbsp

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State of Siege: Their Torture, and Ours

Revolutionary times are times of revelation: they uncover and flood with light what has long been darkly buried. Implicit in the above exchange between a kidnapped Philip Michael Santore (Yves Montand) and his masked Tupamaro inquisitor, Hugo (Jacques Weber), in Costa-Gavras’s&nbsp, is the unassailable conviction that politics forms the hidden skeleton of our world. Anyone who can be bothered to dig beneath the surface quickly strikes his shovel against these grim, intractable bones, the ossified determinants of who holds power and who does not. Looming invisibly over the interrogation is Costa-Gavras, supremely aware that he wields in his lens a uniquely effective kind of shovel. Indeed, this to him is what the cinema

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Double Blind

Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, the Al Qaeda terrorist with a $25 million bounty on his head, decided to show to the world videotapes of the planning and execution of his terror attacks, he delivered them to Michael Ware. Ware, a reporter for&nbsp

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Standing Their Ground: A View Inside a Ukrainian Revolution

In November 2013, the Ukrainian government abruptly canceled plans to join the European Union, a shock for citizens who dreamed of escaping Russian domination to become part of the West. Thus began one of the most inspiring revolutions of modern times. Evgeny Afineevsky’s documentary WINTER ON FIRE follows, from week one, the Ukrainian protests known as the Maidan. For three months, the Ukrainian people—800,000 at the demonstration’s heights—took to the streets to protest. The protestors stayed even as government forces turned to violence—on one day, the police killed 50 citizens—remaining until Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was removed from office in February 2014. Mark Danner  spoke to Afineevsky about the movement’s geopolitical implications and the film’s on-the-spot portrayal of revolution, political violence and deep cultural change.

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‘Guantánamo Diary,’ by Mohamedou Ould Slahi

on or about Sept. 11, 2001, American character changed. What Americans had proudly flaunted as “our highest values” were now judged to be luxuries that in a new time of peril the country could ill afford. Justice, and its cardinal principle of innocent until proven guilty, became a risk, its indulgence a weakness. Asked recently about an innocent man who had been tortured to death in an American “black site” in Afghanistan, former Vice President Dick Cheney did not hesitate. “I’m more concerned,” he said, “with bad guys who got out and released than I am with a few that, in fact, were innocent.” In this new era in which all would be sacrificed to protect the country, torture and even murder of the innocent must be counted simply “collateral damage.

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The CIA: The Devastating Indictment

Hugh Eakin: Nearly six years ago, you published the secret report by the International Committee of the Red Cross documenting the CIA’s torture of more than a dozen “high-value” detainees. And now we have the Senate’s extensive investigation of the torture program itself. What are some of the most revealing findings of the Senate report?

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How Robert Gates Got Away With It

Early 2007: American troops are pinned down in the fourth year of a losing war in Iraq and in the fifth of an increasingly desperate one in Afghanistan, crises that still loom over the country and its foreign policy more than half a dozen years later, as Iraq, beset by a jihadist insurgency that sprang from the American invasion, splinters into pieces..

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Cheney: ‘The More Ruthless the Better’

Self-directed, restrained, disciplined, Cheney was concerned not with words but with power and what it brought. In the aftermath of September 11, the silent vice-president, serving a fledgling president who had won half a million fewer votes than his Democratic opponent, who knew little of the workings of government and less of the world, and who had just failed to prevent the most damaging attack on the homeland in the history of the United States…

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He Remade Our World

Almost exactly a decade ago, Vice President Dick Cheney greeted President George W. Bush one morning in the Oval Office with the news that his administration was about to implode. Or not quite: Cheney let the president know that something was deeply wrong, though it would take Bush two more days of increasingly surprising revelations..

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In the Darkness of Dick Cheney

No turning back would be a good slogan for Dick Cheney. His memoirs are remarkable—and he shares this with Rumsfeld—for an almost perfect lack of second-guessing, regret, or even the mildest reconsideration. Decisions are now as they were then. If the Mission Accomplished moment in 2003 seemed at the time to be the height of American power and authority, then so it will remain—unquestioned, unaltered, uninflected by subsequent public events that show it quite clearly to have been nothing of the kind. “If I had to do it over again,” says Cheney, “I’d do it in a minute.”

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Rumsfeld: Why We Live in His Ruins

On a lovely morning in May 2004, as occupied Iraq slipped deeper into a chaos of suicide bombings, improvised explosive attacks, and sectarian warfare, the American commander in Baghdad, Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, together with his superior, General John Abizaid of Central Command, arrived at the White House for an appointment with the president.

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Donald Rumsfeld Revealed

It is a striking thought: night after night, the secretary of defense of the world’s most powerful country retires to his bed haunted not by some threatening, well-armed foe but by “a failure of imagining what might happen in the world.”

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Rumsfeld’s War and Its Consequences Now

Trust brings trust, confidence builds on confidence: the young inexperienced president, days before American bombs begin falling on Afghanistan, wants a “creative” plan to invade Iraq, developed “outside the normal channels”; the old veteran defense secretary, in a rare moment of weakness, craves human comfort and understanding. And yet they’d hardly known one another, these two, before George W. Bush chose him for his secretary of defense nine months before.

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Das syrische Dilemma

Originally published in The New York Review of Books, “Syria: Is There a Solution?” was reprinted in the German magazine Lettre International.

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Syria: Is There a Solution?

To many Americans, Iraq now seems little more than a bad dream, best left unmentioned. Still, as the debate in the United States has turned to “the Syria dilemma” next door—and, more recently, to the US’s obligation to “stand up…for the interests of all” by enforcing President Obama’s declared “red line” against the use of chemical weapons there—the shadow of Iraq falls darkly over the landscape.

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In Conversation: Robert Silvers

As the New York Review of Books turns 50, its founding editor speaks with Review contributor Mark Danner about the poetry of Twitter, hiding the Pentagon Papers, and how his journal of ideas emerged from the flood of “little magazines” as possibly the unlikeliest success story in publishing.&nbsp .To & nbsp; New York Timespiece by Janny Scott about Robert Silvers’ legacy — and Danner’s relationship with Silvers — click 

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How, and What, Obama Won

Clamorous and overpowering, campaign images are vivid as dreams and vanish as quickly. Was it real, that huge white aircraft hangar in Columbus, Ohio, the night before the election? I’d raced there from downtown Columbus’s Nationwide Arena, where President Obama, introduced by Bruce Springsteen and Jay-Z, his voice hoarse and his face worn, had addressed fifteen thousand or so enthusiastic, mostly young supporters.

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The Politics of Fear

Amid the clamorous controversies of this election campaign, what strikes one here on the West Bank of the Jordan is the silences. Though the issue of Palestine promises to have a much more vital part in the volatile, populist politics of the Middle East”s new democracies—whose vulnerable governments actually must take some account of what moves ordinary people—here in Ramallah we have heard virtually nothing substantive about it, apart, that is, from Mitt Romney”s repeated charge that President Obama, presumably in extracting from Israel a hard-fought ten-month freeze on settlement building early on in his administration, had “thrown Israel under the bus.”

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Six Powerful Voices: Deep Inside Israel’s Shin Bet

The first duty of Shin Bet, Israel’s feared internal intelligence service, is to be invisible. Its very motto, “Magen VeLo Yera’e,” brands this shadowy organization as the “Defender that shall not be seen.” So it is more than a bit startling to find a documentary film built around interviews with Shin Bet’s surviving directors—not one but all six: Ami Ayalon, Avi Dichter, Yuval Diskin, Carmi Gillon, Yaakov Peri and Avraham Shalom. Persuading these feared professional spooks to sit for on-camera interviews was unprecedented; extracting the details they tell, not only about their shadow war with Palestinian terrorists but their bitter conflicts with Israeli politicians, was historical and, as the story unfolds, increasingly shocking. I sat down with Dror Moreh, director of The Gatekeepers to ask him how he did it.

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The Twilight of Responsibility: Torture and the Higher Deniability

A riddle wrapped in mystery inside an enigma” — Churchill’s comment about Soviet motivations floated into my mind as I read Philip Zelikow’s elegant and powerful analysis of American “Codes of Conduct” during our Twilight War. We as Americans stand today before a terrible and indisputable fact—that, as Mr. Zelikow puts it, “for the first time in American history, leaders of the U.S. government carefully devised ways and means to torment enemy captives.” And though we know an immense amount about how this came to happen—the plot lines of who did what to whom, who wrote the memos and who was “tormented” and how, who was smashed repeatedly against walls, who was crushed into tiny confinement boxes, who was waterboarded and how many times—we know relatively little about how the momentous decision came to be made.

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Now That We’ve Tortured: Image, Guilt, Consequence

Let me begin with what today has been a key word: amnesia. It is a striking word, and it makes a provocative point. When it comes to torture as practiced by the United States during the war on terror, there is certainly amnesia and an ongoing quest on the part of some to encourage and cultivate it.

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The Red Cross Torture Report: What it Means

When it comes to torture, it is not what we did but what we are doing. It is not what happened but what is happening and what will happen.  In our politics, torture is not about whether or not our polity can “let the past be past”—whether or not we can “get beyond it and look forward

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Paradoxes of Torture and Scandal

The first paradox of the torture scandal is that it is not about things we didn’t know but about things we did know and did nothing about. Beginning more than a half-dozen years ago, Bush administration officials broke the law and did repugnant things to detainees under their control. But if you think that the remedy is simple and clear — that all officials who broke the law should be tried and punished — then ask yourself what exactly the political elite of the country has been doing for the last five years. Or what it has not been doing. And why.

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US-Folter: Stimmen von dunklen Orten

Wir glauben, dass Zeit und Wahlen unsere gefallene Welt reinwaschen werden, aber das werden sie nicht.  Seit November scheinen sich George W. Bush und seine Regierung mit zunehmender Geschwindigkeit von uns entfernt zu haben, ein dunkler Komet auf dem Weg zum Ende des Universums.

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US Torture: Voices from the Black Sites

We think time and elections will cleanse our fallen world but they will not. Since November, George W. Bush and his administration have seemed to be rushing away from us at accelerating speed, a dark comet hurtling toward the ends of the universe.

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Mark Danner: Bush Lied About Torture of Prisoners

We move on to a breaking story, the International Committee of the Red Cross concluding in a secret report, yes, it was two years ago that the Bush administration’s treatment of prisoners “constituted torture” in violation of the Geneva Conventions—the findings based on interviews with prisoners once held in the CIA’s secret black sites.

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Tales from Torture’s Dark World

On a bright sunny day two years ago, President George W. Bush strode into the East Room of the White House and informed the world that the United States had created a dark and secret universe to hold and interrogate captured terrorists.

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On Dick Cheney

It made few headlines when Dick Cheney, in the last days of his vice-presidency, dismissed as a caricature the idea that he was “a Darth Vader type-personality”.

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Frozen Scandal

Scandal is our growth industry. Revelation of wrongdoing leads not to definitive investigation, punishment, and expiation but to more scandal.

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Obama & Sweet Potato Pie

ou would think first of all of a village fair: the entire community of Germantown, Northwest Philly, taking itself up on the brightest of bright sunny fall days and moving en masse, clumps of people—groups of young men in the obligatory hoodies and low-riding jeans, moms pushing strollers, dads lugging car seats, and everywhere children, from toddlers on up, being pulled along (“You’ll remember this all your life!”)—almost all of them African-American and all melding together, as they crowded toward the entrance to Vernon Park, into a full running, laughing stream.

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2008: The Weight of the Past

anning across the faces of the country”s leaders gathered in the Cabinet Room to confront the “financial crisis” in late September, the camera”s eye moves from the President—looking tired, shrunken, desiccated—to his Treasury secretary and other powerful advisers, and then slowly makes its way down and around the long Cabinet table, trailing over the familiar waxen features of the barons of the Senate and the House, lingering for a moment on the self-consciously resolute face of the white-haired Senator John McCain, and finally reaches the table”s end where it settles at last on the figure of a lean, solitary black man slumped in his seat.

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Sweet Potato Pie in Philly (Web Dispatch)

You would think first of all of a village fair: the entire community of Germantown, Northwest Philly, taking itself up on the brightest of bright sunny fall days and moving en masse, clumps of people—groups of young men in the obligatory hoodies and low-riding jeans, moms pushing strollers, dads lugging car seats, and everywhere children, from toddlers on up, being pulled along (“You’ll remember this all your life!”)—almost all of them African-American and all melding together, as they crowded toward the entrance to Vernon Park, into a full running, laughing stream.

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Tomdispatch

 Tomdispatch Related Content: Mission Unaccomplished: TomDispatch Interviews with American Iconoclasts

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Taking Stock of the Terror War

To contemplate a prewar map of Baghdad — as I do the one before me, with sectarian neighborhoods traced out in blue and red and yellow — is to look back on a lost Baghdad, a Baghdad of our dreams.

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Bush: entre la fe y la bravuconeri­a

Sin duda, uno de los atributos agonizantes de nuestra era posterior al 11-S es la necesidad permanente de reafirmar realidades que han sido demostradas una y otra vez, y negadas con la misma obstinación por quienes ocupan el poder oficiel

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‘The Moment Has Come to Get Rid of Saddam’

Surely one of the agonizing attributes of our post-September 11 age is the unending need to reaffirm realities that have been proved, and proved again, but just as doggedly denied by those in power, forcing us to live trapped between two narratives of present history, the one gaining life and color and vigor as more facts become known, the other growing ever paler, brittler, more desiccated, barely sustained by the life support of official power.

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War, fear, and truth

Perhaps it would have surprised George Orwell, poet laureate of the Cold War, to find himself so much in our thoughts in this second decade of the post-Cold War age.

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Iraq: The War of the Imagination

In the ruined city of Fallujah, its pale tan buildings pulverized by Marine artillery in the two great assaults of this long war (the aborted attack of March 2004 and then the bloody, triumphant al-Fajr (The Dawn) campaign of the following November), behind the lines of giant sandbags and concrete T-walls and barbed wire that surrounded the tiny beleaguered American outpost there, I sat in my body armor and Kevlar helmet and thought of George F. Kennan.

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Bodies Under Stress

In November 2003, barely six months into the Iraq War, Specialist Joseph Darby returned from leave and asked a fellow soldier at Abu Ghraib prison to tell him what had happened while he”d been away.

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Smoking with Carol

When I look back over the many years of conversations with Carol Feldman, I realize that what brought us together, first and foremost, was our vices.

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Glimpsing Fritz Stern

Scanning my memory for especially telling episodes in my friendship with Fritz has brought much pleasure, for my memories are full of laughter and also, of course – this is after all Fritz Stern – much wisdom.

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Taking Stock of the Forever War

Seldom has an image so clearly marked the turning of the world. One of man”s mightiest structures collapses into an immense white blossom of churning, roiling dust, metamorphosing in 14 seconds from hundred-story giant of the earth into towering white plume reaching to heaven.

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Iraq: The Real Election

Just past dawn on January 30, Iraq’s Election Day — the fourth of the US occupation’s “turning points,” after the fall of Baghdad, the capture of Saddam Hussein, and the “handover of sovereignty” — I stood at the muddy gates of Muthana Air Base outside Baghdad watching the sun rise, pink and full, into a white-streaked sky; then, feeling a sudden tremor beneath my feet, I started abruptly: the explosion was loud and, judging by the vibrations, not far off.

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Bush’s Victory: Second Thoughts

“Issues don’t win elections, constituencies do.” As this political chestnut suggests, issues serve politicians mainly as a way for them to consolidate constituencies—and “make a majority,” as Andrew Hacker puts it.

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Torture and Gonzales: An Exchange

Between the publication of my article, “Abu Ghraib: The Hidden Story,” and the receipt of these letters, and mainly thanks to the President’s nomination of Alberto Gonzales to be attorney general and the hearings that followed, we have had a public discussion of the “outrageous memos authored by highly placed administration lawyers” to which Mr. Rivkin refers.

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How Bush Really Won

Driving north from Tampa on Florida’s Route 75 on November 1, as the battle over who would hold political power in America was reaching a climax but the struggle over what that battle meant had yet to begin, I put down the top of my rented green convertible, turned the talk radio voices up to blaring, and commenced reading the roadside.

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We Are All Torturers Now

At least since Watergate, Americans have come to take for granted a certain story line of scandal, in which revelation is followed by investigation, adjudication and expiation.

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Seeing the World: James Chace 1931-2004

“Go to Haiti!” James Chace leaned in close, left hand grasping my upper arm, fixed me with that incomparable stare, raised his right index finger and, like some unlikely fire-and-brimstone New England preacher reincarnated in blazer and khakis, intoned portentously: “Hear me well, young Danner: Go to Haiti!”

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A Doctrine Left Behind

It seemed somehow fitting, and fittingly sad, that Colin Powell saw his resignation accepted as secretary of state on the day marines completed their conquest of Falluja

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The Election and America’s Future

It has been clear for several months that the United States is losing its war in Iraq. What remains to be seen is whether Americans will come to realize this fact before the election or after it.

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On Richard Wollheim, 1923-2003

Sad as I am not to be with you this day I take a bit of solace in thinking that Richard would have granted me a dispensation, once he learned that I had spent the last week among voters in the cities and towns of the great state of Florida – studying, as it were, abnormal mass psychology.

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Abu Ghraib: The Hidden Story

They have long since taken their place in the gallery of branded images, as readily recognizable in much of the world as Marilyn struggling with her billowing dress or Michael dunking his basketball…

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Torture and Truth

Last November in Iraq, I traveled to Fallujah during the early days of what would become known as the “Ramadan Offensive”—when suicide bombers in the space of less than an hour destroyed the Red Cross headquarters and four police stations, and daily attacks by insurgents against US troops doubled, and the American adventure in Iraq entered a bleak tunnel from which it has yet to emerge.

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Campaigns

As the war in Iraq enters its second year, Americans find themselves trapped in an epistemological black hole: the war’s end recedes into an indefinite future while its beginning grows daily more contentious and obscure.

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Delusions in Baghdad: An Exchange

I am glad that Ambassador Horan finds my article “interesting and accurate, as far as it goes.” I must confess that I feel the same way about his letter—up to and including the implication that the writer does not, alas, go quite far enough.

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Delusions in Baghdad

Autumn in Baghdad is cloudy and gray. Trapped in rush-hour traffic one October morning, without warning my car bucked up and back, like a horse whose reins had been brutally pulled.

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Iraq: How Not to Win a War

We see the world through the stories we tell, and until recently the story most Americans told themselves about the war in Iraq was a simple and dramatic narrative of imminent threat, daring triumph, and heroic liberation —a story neatly embodied in images of a dictator’s toppling statue and a president in full flight gear swaggering across a carrier deck.

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The Battlefield in the American Mind

In Afghanistan, the targets are running out. Such are the frustrations of the powerful; Joseph Conrad, writing of an African “heart of darkness” a century ago, well understood: “Once, I remember, we came upon a man-of-war anchored off the coast.

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Scandal and the Road to Deadlock

Gaze upward, through the gaseous clouds of rhetoric littering the sky from the campaign that would not end—”I will never let you down,” “I will restore honor and dignity to the White House”—and you can spy, casting a shadow on the land like Barthelme’s Dead Father, an enormous pair of lips, belonging not to the Vice President or the Texas governor but to a young woman from Beverly Hills who one fateful day delivered a slice of pizza to the President of the United States.

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The Lost Olympics

Few of our predilections seem more distinctly modern than the compulsion to name “our era” and thereby claim it.

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The Shame of Political TV

Like ill-matched partners in a bad marriage, American politics and American television seem bound inextricably together, unable to escape a relationship that increasingly degrades both partners.

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Kosovo: The Meaning of Victory

Carried forward amid an ocean of cheering refugees in the Stankovic refugee camp, Madeleine Albright could hardly contain her excitement. “We have been victorious,” the secretary of state shouted triumphantly to the roaring crowds, “and Milosevic has lost!”

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Endgame in Kosovo

Across this near-exhausted century, imagery recurs. The knock at the door, the forced march, the mass evacuation – expressions now impossible to hear without their attendant echoes.

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Members of the Club

Six decades ago, in a classroom at Groton, a young man rose slowly to his feet, gazed down at a sheaf of papers in his hand, and began to read.

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Operation Storm

Standing motionless among their hulking war machines like statues in the dark, 200,000 Croat soldiers dropped their cigarettes, then clambered into tanks and trucks and armored personnel carriers and, in a sudden earsplitting eruption of grating gears, pushed forward into Serb-held Krajina.

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Bosnien: Warum Der Westen Zuschaute

Im Juli 1995, während die Menschen in Europa und Amerika Fe- rien machten, wurden in einer kleinen Stadt in Ostbosnien Hunderte von Muslimen mit verbundenen Augen auf Lastwagen und in Busse geladen.

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Bosnia: Breaking the Machine

On May 22, 1995, fifteen months after Bosnian Serbs—bowing to an ultimatum from Western leaders infuriated by the televised carnage of sixty-eight dismembered bodies at Sarajevo’s Markela marketplace—had withdrawn their tanks and cannons and mortars from the mountains and ridges above the city, heavily armed Serb soldiers in camouflage uniforms forced their way into a United Nations “weapons collection point”…

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Bosnia: The Turning Point

Early one February afternoon in 1994, people in Sarajevo shed their heavy coats and hats and poured out into streets and markets, allowing themselves to forget, in the bright warming sun, that from artillery bunkers and snipers’ nests dug into hills and mountains above the city hunters stared down, tracking their prey.

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Marooned In the Cold War

Three years have passed since I stood in a tiny market in Sarajevo, notebook in hand, gazing through a chaos of smoke and running feet at the scores of dead heaped about the blood-slick earth.

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America and the Bosnia Genocide

To the hundreds of millions who first beheld them on their television screens that August day in 1992, the faces staring out from behind barbed wire seemed powerfully familiar.

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Still Living in a Cold War World

Three years have passed since I stood in a marketplace in Sarajevo, notebook in hand, gazing through the chaos of smoke and running feet at the scores of dead heaped upon the earth.

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The US and the Yugoslav Catastrophe

Scarcely two years ago, during the sweltering days of July 1995, any citizen of our civilized land could have pressed a button on a remote control and idly gazed, for an instant or an hour, into the jaws of a contemporary Hell.

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Iran-Contra in the Light of History (discussant)

I think I’d like to begin by asking about Iran-Contra the question the Jesuits like to ask when they see a difficult problem, which is: What is its quiddity? What is its “whatness”? What separates it from everything else – in particular, from other scandals?

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How the Foreign Policy Machine Broke Down

For a half-dozen years, Iran-contra has haunted American political life. The ghost arose anew on Christmas Eve, thanks to President Bush’s pardons, and it is fated to reappear one day soon when Lawrence Walsh, the independent counsel, releases his final report.

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The Truth of El Mozote

Heading up into the mountains of Morazán, in the bright, clear air near the Honduran border, you cross the Torola River, the wooden slats of the one-lane bridge clattering beneath your wheels,  and enter what was the fiercest of El Salvador’s zonas rojas…

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The Fall of the Prophet

Late on a breezy afternoon, Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the elected president of the Republic of Haiti, descended from his limousine on Capitol Hill and, accompanied by his entourage of Haitian aides and American lawyers, made his way slowly into the Capitol to meeting room S-116, where a group of senators and staff assistants awaited him.

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The Prophet

On a sunny Columbus Day afternoon, Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide, president of the Republic of Haiti, walked slowly down the steps of the Georgetown house in which he has made his home for much of the last two years, and faced a restless crowd of reporters and photographers.

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Haiti on the Verge

On a sweltering morning in Port-au-Prince, in July of 1915, a party of gentlemen attired in black morning coats, striped pants, and bowler hats strolled past the wrought-iron gates and around the courtyard of the elegant mansion that housed the French legation and pushed through a side door.

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The Price in Haiti

Americans are so devoted to democracy and so respectful of its central ritual that we tend to confuse the one with the other. Call it the Election Day Myth.

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New Yorker Comment

During the nineteen-eighties,while Iraqis and Iranians killed one another by the hundreds of thousands in a struggle for supremacy in the Persian Gulf, the United States maintained a vigilant neutrality-or so Americans were assured by the governments they elected.

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New Yorker Comment

Less than a year after Americans paraded in the streets to celebrate victory in the Gulf War, the entire conflict, which appeared so cataclysmic at the time, is rapidly receding from view.

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Postcards from History

Rarely has the portal, the moment of passage from ordinary to revolutionary time, been so well captured in a single image: At the wheel of the gray BMW sits the young dictator, well-dressed, prosperous, slightly overweight, his face impassive, his shoulders thrown back; he has spent all but five of his thirty-four years in the Palace, fifteen of them as President-for-Life, having been inaugurated, at his dying father’s insistence, as a mountainously obese, glassy-eyed teenager.

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The New Yorker Comment

With the publication of Oliver North’s memoirs and the start of the Colonel’s nineteen-city tour to promote it, the Iran-Contra affair completed a five-year journey from tragedy to farce and began its inevitable transformation into “product.”

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To Haiti, With Love and Squalor

Driving south in Haiti one day in the spring of 1986, I passed a great 18-wheeled tractor-trailer speeding north, heard a volley of automatic weapons fire, and, craning my neck to look back, witnessed an absurd and amazing tableau…

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Beyond the Mountains (Part III)

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Beyond the Mountains (Part II)

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Beyond the Mountains (Part I)

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Leaving Others to Tell the Tale

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Professing the Past, Debating the Present

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The Struggle For a Democratic Haiti

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What Does Government Owe the Poor?

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Gossiping About Gossip

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AIDS: What Is To Be Done

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Sports: How Dirty A Game

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Will Books Survive?

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What Are the Consequences of Vietnam?

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Should the CIA Fight Secret Wars?

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 It is difficult to point to a more foundational American writer than Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway embodied a kind of balls-to-the-wall masculine energy that dominated American modernist fiction for decades of war and conflict. For more than fifty years the ideal of manhood in American media and culture was as Hemingway described it: taciturn, bellicose, neurotic and given to the heroic killing of people and animals. In this class we will explore the major works of this essential American writer and seek to understand, with unflinching candor, what makes his work go on living, as dream or as nightmare, for readers and writers. For answers, we will look to the work of Hemingway’s epigones, from Dashiell Hammett to James Salter to Chester Himes, from Joan Didion to Raymond Carver to Lorrie Moore, from Denis Johnson to Cormac McCarthy.  

Syllabus

Writing Manhood Hemingway & His Progeny English 166, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 11 to 1230 Mark Danner mark@markdanner.com    It is difficult to point to a more foundational American writer than Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway embodied a kind of balls-to-the-wall masculine energy that dominated American modernist fiction for decades of war and conflict. For more than fifty years the ideal of manhood in American media and culture was as Hemingway described it: taciturn, bellicose, neurotic and given to the heroic killing of people and animals. In this class we will explore the major works of this essential American writer and seek to understand, with unflinching candor, what makes his work go on living, as dream or as nightmare, for readers and writers. For answers, we will look to the work of Hemingway’s epigones, from Dashiell Hammett to James Salter to Chester Himes, from Joan Didion to Raymond Carver to Lorrie Moore, from Denis Johnson to Cormac McCarthy.     Warning Some books in this course contain words – including racial and ethnic slurs — that are offensive. We will be discussing this issue in class but please be prepared for this in your reading.   Course Reader Ryan Lackey is our course reader. He will be having office hours on Thursdays and Fridays and can be reached at rlackey@berkeley.edu   Class Requirements This class will be a mixture of lectures and discussion, backed up by a large amount of reading, and some writing. The most important requirements are that students   *Attend all class sessions *Keep up with reading and writing assignments *Participate in discussions *Offer a class presentation, in collaboration with one or two colleagues *Complete one six-page midterm paper and one ten-page final paper   A student’s record of attendance and participation in class discussion, together with the quality of his or her writing, will determine the success of our class and contribute the better part of the grade.   Schedule Note that all classes will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11 am via Zoom.   Reading Our primary reading will draw on a series of novels and memoirs by Hemingway and other writers. They are listed below under Required Texts. I strongly urge you to obtain these books in your own copies and in the edition specified either from local bookstores or from online suppliers, so that you will be able to highlight and annotate them and so that during discussions we will all be “on the same page.” Favorite Passages Always come to class with a favorite passage of a paragraph or two drawn from that session’s assigned reading. Be prepared to read the passage out loud and say a few words about why you chose it. Writing and Final Exam There will be two papers required in this class, a short creative paper or story of 5-6 pages and a longer analytic paper of 8-10 pages. The short paper is due March 22, the final paper is due May 3. To bolster the clarity and vigor of your prose, I strongly suggest studying two works: George Orwell’s essay, “Politics and the English Language,” which can be readily found on the web, and Strunk and White’s little manual, The Elements of Style.   Class Presentation Every student will be required to put on a class presentation in collaboration with one or two other students. The presentations should last ten to fifteen minutes and take up some subject ancillary to the class, having to do with Hemingway, his era, masculinity, writers he’d influenced or all of those. Use of images and video is strongly encouraged.   Office Hours I will want to meet individually with each of you at least once during the semester. I will be holding office hours Friday mornings. We will begin to schedule these a few weeks into the semester. You are welcome to come talk to me about the class, the reading or anything else of interest. Note that our course reader, Ryan Lackey, will also be available to meet with students on Thursdays and Fridays. Grading Students will be graded on their preparedness and their participation in class, the strength of their presentations and the quality of their written work, roughly as follows.   Attendance            25 percent Participation          25 percent Writing                  25 percent Presentation           25 percent     Required Texts   Raymond Carver, Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? (Vintage, 2010 [1976])   Joan Didion, Play It as It Lays (Farrar Straus, 2005 [1970])   Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon (Vintage, 1992 [1930])   Ernest Hemingway, In Our Time (Scribner, 1995 [1925])   Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises (Scribner, 2016 [1926])   Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms (Scribner, 2014 [1929])   Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls (Scribner, 2019 [1940])   Ernest Hemingway, The Complete Short Stories (Scribner, 1998)   Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and The Sea (Scribner, 1995 [1962])   Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition (Scribner, 2010 [1964])   Ernest Hemingway, The Garden of Eden (Scribner, 1995 [1986])   Chester Himes, If He Hollers, Let Him Go (Thunders Mouth, 2002 [1947])   Denis Johnson, Train Dreams: A Novella (Picador, 2012)   Cormac McCarthy, The Road (Vintage, 2006)   Lorrie Moore, Birds of America: Stories (Vintage, 2010)   James Salter, The Hunters: A Novel (Vintage, 1999 [1956])     Films   A Farewell to Arms (1932)   The Maltese Falcon (1941)   For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943)   To Have and Have Not (1944)   The Killers (1946)   Hemingway: A Film by Ken Burns (2021)             Syllabus   January 19 – Introduction to Course. Hemingway’s words. Where He Came From. Modernism. On the Evolution of Masculinity. Reading Novels. On the plan of the course. Writing assignments.   January 21 – Ernest Hemingway, In Our Time (Scribner, 1995 [1925])     January 26 – Ernest Hemingway, In Our Time (Scribner, 1995 [1925])   January 28 – Ernest Hemingway, In Our Time (Scribner, 1995 [1925]) and these additional stories from The Complete Short Stories (Scribner, 1998):   “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” “Up in Michigan” “The Undefeated” “In Another Country” “The Killers” “Now I Lay Me” “A Clean Well Lighted Place” “A Way You’ll Never Be” “A Natural History of the Dead” “Fathers and Sons”     February 2 — Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition (Scribner, 2010 [1964])   February 4 — Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition (Scribner, 2010 [1964])     February 9 — Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises (Scribner, 2016 [1926])   February 11 — Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises (Scribner, 2016 [1926])     February 16 — Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms (Scribner, 2014 [1929])   February 18 — Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms (Scribner, 2014 [1929])     February 23 – Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon (Vintage, 1992 [1930])   Recommended: Diane Johnson, Dashiell Hammett: Man of Mystery (2014) https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781611457841     February 25 — Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon (Vintage, 1992 [1930])   Recommended: Raymond Chandler, “The Simple Art of Murder” (1950) http://www.en.utexas.edu/Classes/Bremen/e316k/316kprivate/scans/chandlerart.html                  Recommended: Claudia Roth Pierpont, “Tough Guy: The Mystery of Dashiell Hammett,” The New Yorker, Feb. 4, 2002. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2002/02/11/tough-guy     March 2 — Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls (Scribner, 2019 [1940])   March 4 — Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls (Scribner, 2019 [1940])     March 9 – James Salter, The Hunters: A Novel (Vintage, 1999 [1956])   March 11– James Salter, The Hunters: A Novel (Vintage, 1999 [1956])     March 16 — Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and The Sea (Scribner, 1995 [1962])   March 18 — Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and The Sea (Scribner, 1995 [1962])   March 22 – Midterm Paper Due (6-8 pages, double-spaced, with title, pagination and name)     March 23 – Spring Vacation (No Class)   March 25 – Spring Vacation (No Class)     March 30 — Ernest Hemingway, The Garden of Eden (Scribner, 1995 [1986])   April 1 — Ernest Hemingway, The Garden of Eden (Scribner, 1995 [1986])     April 6 – Chester Himes, If He Hollers, Let Him Go (Thunders Mouth, 2002 [1947])   April 8 — Chester Himes, If He Hollers, Let Him Go (Thunders Mouth, 2002 [1947])     April 13 — Joan Didion, Play It as It Lays (Farrar Straus, 2005 [1970])                         Recommended: Joan Didion, “Last Words” (1998) https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1998/11/09/last-words-6   April 15 — Joan Didion, Play It as It Lays (Farrar Straus, 2005 [1970])     April 20 — Raymond Carver, Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? (Vintage, 2010 [1976])   April 22 — Lorrie Moore, Birds of America: Stories (Vintage, 2010)     April 27 — Cormac McCarthy, The Road (Vintage, 2006)   April 29 — Denis Johnson, Train Dreams: A Novella (Picador, 2012)   May 3 – Final Paper Due (8-10 pages, double-spaced, with title, pagination and name)       Annotated Syllabus Notes by Riley Schorr   January 19, 2021 In Our Time
  1. “A Very Short Story”
  2. “The searchlights came out”
  3.          Indicative of the wartime setting.
  4. Describing Luz as “cool and fresh”
  5.          Indicates a passage of time; He’s saying they made love.
  6.          It is also mentioned that Luz stayed on night duty in order to have sex with the the main character and everyone around them knew about the affair.
  7. Hemingway’s father called this piece “filth”
  8.          The mention of gonorrhea at the end of the text; big clash of societal practices/manners.
  9. This is mentioned at the end of the text where a character’s epiphany is usually located.
  10. Love as conditional
  11.          Her love comes with conditions and confinements (wants him to get a job, etc.) while he gives her his love freely.
  12.          Shows a feeling of betrayal
  13. The story is semi-autobiographical as Hemingway himself had an affair with a nurse in Milan named Agnes.
  14. He always felt women would inevitably betray him.
January 21, 2021 In Our Time
  1. Title from the Book of Common Prayer
  2. “Oh Lord give us peace in our time”
  3.          This allusion is a marking of wartime.
  4. The Lost Generation
  5. Term coined by Gertrude Stein
  6. Generation of the “fin de siecle”
  7.          “End of the century”
  8.          Hemingway is in this generation (born in 1899 and died in 1961)
  9. WWI: 1914-1918
  10.          Caused unprecedented carnage and death (20 million dead along with 20 million casualties).
  11.          Wiped out an entire generation of men in countries such as Germany and Italy.
iii.         Hemingway desperately wanted to fight in the war, but had to wait until he was 18. Served as a volunteer ambulance driver.
  1.          The desperation from this war gave way to Modernism
  2. Shift from hopefulness to hopelessness.
  3. Documentary Clip
  4. Hemingway ended up in the hospital after a blast injured him, leaving him with a severe concussion and leg injury from shrapnel.
  5.          During his stay here he fell in love with a nurse named Agnes and they formed a romantic relationship.
  6. She eventually  broke it off and the effect of this heartbreak is seen in Hemingway’s short story “A Very Short Story”
  7.          After returning home, Hemingway suffered from PTSD (could not sleep in the dark and had a difficult time sleeping alone).
  8. He also went on to tell his war stories and embellished on them quite heavily.
  January 26, 2021
  1. Aftermath of Agnes
  2. Hemingway never responded to her letter and in order to numb the pain of her rejection he began drinking heavily.
  3.          Meets Hadley Richardson at a party and quickly decides to marry her.
  4. Paris
  5. Told to go to Paris by Sherwood Anderson
  6.          Wrote him multiple letter of recommendation
  7. Hemingway arrives as a young newly married man, and rents a place with his wife for 18 dollars a month.
  8. Vignettes
  9. Relationship with the stories
  10.          Kind of shows the direction/inspiration for the story that is about to be told.
  11.          Sets a tone
iii.         Shows a contrast between past and present
  1. Suppression of emotions
  2.          A masculine distancing from vulnerability
  3. Dishonest in a way
  4. “Soldier’s Home”
  5. A feeling of not being able to relate or talk to anyone about the war and his feelings; shows the alienation Hemingway felt upon returning home.
  6. Question of how do you even begin to speak about the experiences from WWI
  7. “Indian Camp”
  8. Uncle George:
  9.          Hands out cigars, helps hold the woman down, and ends up being bitten by her.
  10. Theory: perhaps George is the father of the child? (kind of theorized by the way he hands out cigars amongst other little details; not proven, but a cool theory to think over)
January 28, 2021
  1. “Big Two-Hearted river”
  2. Goes into nature to heal himself
  3. Kingfisher symbol
  4.          Multiple mentions of this in other works. (Hemingway would have understood its importance and meaning)
  5.          Hopkins “As Kingfishers Catch Fire”
  6. Each mortal being has one thing in common: they all die. This is a discussion about mortality and immortality.
  7. Before the war and after
  8.          Vastly different worlds, both in actuality and in Nick’s own experience.
  9. Says they never saw one of their friends (Hopkins) again, most likely meaning he died.
  10.          Keeps mentioning how long ago the war was
  11. Almost an entirely different lifetime, and for Nick it truly was.
  12. Cans
  13.          Opening up/vulnerability
  14.          Maybe a reminder of wartime – preserved foods.
  15. “The fishing would be tragic”
  16.          River that sort of leads into a swamp
  17. Healing from trauma is messy
  18. Hemingway implies he will eventually go down the stream, just not today.
  19. Cedar is often a symbol for death
  20. “Up in Michigan”
  21. Told from a woman’s perspective
  22.          A sexual assault occurs and the story was once thought to be unpublishable.
  23.          Pursuing her is compared to “the hunt” and “the chase”
  24. At first there is a lot of autonomy from here, especially when she mentions being the one to take him up to bed. However this quickly changes as things seem to shift into his point of view.
February 2, 2021 Discussion of short stories
  1. Breakout room discussion
  2. The voices of women in many Hemingway stories can be seen as nagging and a burden for people to listen to.
  3. Hemingway seems to equate romance and lust to a sense of ownership
  4. “Short and Happy Life…”
  5.          She’s too pretty and he has too much money
  6. This is a power struggle between them.
  7. She is portrayed as more masculine than he is, which makes her not want to be with him anymore (after he runs away from the lion).
  8. Her masculinity is shown to be a negative thing and a dangerous thing.
February 4, 2021 A Moveable Feast
  1. Paris
  2. Ties a lot together; center of the writing world at this time
  3. Very cheap to live in, especially for Americans
  4.          The place to be
  5. Hemingway exaggerated how poor they were
  6. The Lost Generation
  7. PTSD, WWI, Modernism, etc.
  8.          Comes out through art
  9. The War
  10.          Ended civilization as they knew it; fought with modern industry; Economic insecurity: Germany struggled, Russian revolution.
  11.          Many adopted a “get it while you can” kind of mentality of living life to the fullest.
  12. Hemingway’s relation to work
  13. Determines someone’s value based on how well they get work done and how productive they are.
  14.          Disdain for people who don’t get work done (shown in his comments on how Zelda tries to prevent F. Scott Fitzgerald from getting his work done)
February 9, 2021 The Sun Also Rises
  1. Why begin with Robert?
  2. The role he plays
  3.          A sort of flip
  4. Exposed a bit of anti semitism that Hemingway was later very embarrassed by.
  5. Jake’s impotence
  6. Love that cannot be consummated
  7. Infertility
  8. Forces him to be more observant
  9. Shown when he picks up Georgette the prostitute
  10.          A way for Hemingway to show readers this important detail without just telling them
  11. A feeling of emptiness from the text
  12. A lot of sadness masked with alcohol and socialization
  13. A feeling of what could’ve been
  14. The Latin Quarter
  15. During this time there were a lot of Americans in Paris.
  16.          Drinking; era of prohibition in the states
  17.          Many were better off financially
February 11, 2021 The Sun Also Rises
  1. The Title:
  2. The initial title was either “Fiesta,” and then “The Lost Generation.”
  3. Pg 22. “She was sitting up now…I’m paying for it all now’”
  4. She’s broken so many men’s hearts now she sees her situation with Jake as her karma.
  5. Is this love real?
  6.          Idealized in part (can’t be consummated)
  7.          Harder to believe her love for him
iii.         sentimentalized
  1. Jake represents stability for Brett
  2. He is always available to rescue her and she always knows she can turn to him.
  3. Jake offers her passion as well
  4.          He has a disbelief in the legitimacy of her love.
  5. Pg. 189 “After lunch I went up to my room…”
  6. A sort of ritual cleansing
  7. Return to nature (hero often does this alone or with another man).
  February 16, 2021 A Farewell to Arms
  1. Hemingway and Hadley
  2. Cheats on her, she asks for a divorce
  3. He marries Pauline and converts to Catholicism
  4.          Says he was never truly married to Hadley and calls Pauline his first wife.
  5. Prevalence of Suicide
  6. Hemingway says his father was a coward and an embarrassment for taking his own life and that his mother heavily contributed.
  7. Later on…
  8. Very famous
  9.          Becomes a household name and his name becomes nearly synonymous with “amazing writer.”
  10.          Established as an icon.
  11. Italian front/Hemingway’s story
  12. Henry is passing out food in the trenches just like Hemingway did himself.
  13.          Hemingway ended up with a huge piece of shrapnel in his leg along with bullets.
  14. Dragged a man to safety, regarded as a hero though he insists he is not one
  15. Meets Agnes in Milan
  16.          Falls in love with her
  17. Ends in heartbreak, as we know.
*title of the novel: comes from George Peelle poem that celebrates the retirement of a famous knight*
  1. Symbols
  2. Rain: impending doom and despair
  3.          Ex; when Catherine goes into labor and it begins to rain.
  4. Nature/Seasons
  5.          Feeling of slow and natural progression of time through the novel.
  6. Masculinity
  7. A man knows how to do things such as hunt, fish, etc.
  8.          They then teach these skills to others
  9.          Hemingway was taught by his father, and so on and so forth.
  February 18, 2021 A Farewell to Arms
  1. Pg. 113 & 115: “After dinner we walked…very hard on piano keys” & “You couldn’t get to Scotland…There’s no way to be married except by church and state”
  2. Expansion of the plot in “A Very Short Story”
  3. Beautiful imagery of her hair in this scene
  4. Rain is once again a symbol of impending doom and death
  5. What is the character of the relationship?
  6. Perhaps it is an idealized sort of love, always affected by the war and all of the trauma that came along with it.
  7. Fantasy
  8. Escape; everything about it is completely rushed: they don’t know where they’re going and they can’t seem to be apart from one another.
  9. Why is the relationship doomed?
  10. Too much rule breaking; reflection of Hemingway’s own life experiences.
  11. His real life relationship didn’t work so why should this one? It would have felt disingenuous.
  12. While Henry didn’t have his heart broken by Catherine, the universe still didn’t allow them to end up together
  13.          Tainted by the war; they can’t just walk away from it.
  February 25, 2021 The Maltese Falcon
  1. Femme Fatale
  2. Brigid: uses her femininity to gain things
  3.          Men who fall for her tend to meet a bad end
  4. Indicative of this archetype
  5. Spade
  6. Trying to navigate his way through an amoral world.
  7. When he first speaks to the police: refuses to mention Brigid.
  8. Amoral himself
  9. How does love fit in? What does it say about the idea of masculinity?
  10. Love is a weakness, a “personal failing”
  11. Some anti-romantic lines
  12. Love in a vulnerability; Brigid provides a fantasy version of love.
  13. Brigid’s power over people is through her sexuality
  14.          This is why Cairo scares her so much, she has no hold over him
  15. Spade can’t stand Iva because she romanticizes their affair far too much
  16.          Example: she thinks Spade killed her husband so they can be together.
  17. Love in the Story
  18. Brigid lying all the time: Spade sort of admires this about her because he himself is an amoral character. He lies just like she does.
  19. A sort of camaraderie in this.
  March 2, 2021 For Whom the Bell Tolls
  1. Published in 1940
  2. Events in the novel take place in 1937
  3. Based off of real life happenings, although the book is fiction (war in Spain against fascism).
  4. Hemingway went to Spain in order to report on the war; he was the highest paid reporter at the time.
  5.          While there he met Martha Gellhorn who would later become his third wife.
  6. This war was also intensely brutal
  7. Leftists from everywhere around the world travelled to fight in this war and show support in stopping fascism.
  8. During his time, Hemingway covered up much of the abuses from the Soviets as he felt it would hurt the left’s cause.
  9. George Orwell was one of the few who didn’t
  10. Hemingway was not exactly a leftist writer either, he felt there was just good and bad writing.
  11. Message of the title
  12. Excerpt from John Donne’s writing
  13.          Message: call to action. The bell tolls for you. Take action.
  March 4, 2021 For Whom the Bell Tolls
  1. Hemingway heroes
  2. Robert Jordan: brave and manly even in the face of defeat
  3.          Think Casablanca
  4.          Antifascist hero character
  5. Love in the novel
  6. Like new love, sensual and fiery but not entirely realistic
  7.          “The girl stooped as she…which rose again as her hand passed” (24).
  8.          Love at first sight, the thunderbolt
  9. Maria’s love allows him to live a full life during this very short time.
  10. This is a type of love that is not sustainable outside of their extreme/traumatic circumstances
  11. Their relationship:
  12.          Is it love or lust? Why Robert?
  13.          Maria was assaulted and Robert represents someone who is from the outside, someone who does not know her past
  14. Maria as a character:
  15.          Very static and not very complex
  16.          Hemingway sort of wrote a man’s fantasy of who this woman is (seen in how she sleeps with Robert and is magically healed from her trauma)
  March 9, 2021 For Whom the Bell Tolls
  1. Robert Jordan
  2. Anti-heroic and anti-romantic
  3.          Throughout his experience with love, he’s able to redefine it
  4. Move beyond preconceived notions of love
  5. His female counterpart designed as “weak” to serve as a foil to him
  6.          Makes him seem all that much stronger
  7.          Is this due to Heminway’s lack of understanding his own trauma?
  8. This is why it can be difficult to analyze Maria with a modern lens
  9. Another notable point is Hemingway’s treatment of death
  March 11, 2021 The Hunters
  1. Salter
  2. Born in 1925 in New York
  3. James Salter was a pen name that eventually became his legal name
  4. He and his father were both professional military men
  5.          Both attended West Point
  6.          The Hunters is largely autobiographical
  7. Roman e’clef
  8. “A novel with a key”
  9.          Characters who have real life counterparts
  10. Salter hero versus Hemingway hero
  11. Joins them: sensitivity to nature, etc
  12. Differences: Salter describes things with more clear emotion
  March 18, 2021 The Old Man and the Sea
  1. Made him even more famous
  2. By this time, he was in his early 50s and many had pronounced him to be a “dead writer.”
  3. The character Santiago:
  4.          Thought to be based off of a real life counterpart in Hemingway’s life (captain of his boat).
  5. Conflict
  6. Between Santiago and fate/failure
  7.          Luck and the lack of it
  8. The number 40
  9.          Exile; biblical reference (Jesus in the desert, Noah’s ark, etc.)
  10. Imagery/Symbols/Themes
  11. Nailing his hands; 40 days
  12.          Gives the story a religious kind of figure.
  13. Manhood
  14.          Being able to bear what the world places on you
  15. What do you do?
  16.          Do you go drink brandy to escape or actively fight against the fish?
  17. Dignity of the fish
  18.          Young and powerful, compared to the old man
  19.          Sort of demands respect
  20. Similar to the hunting portrayed in other short stories
iii.         Projection onto the fish sort of like the projection onto the whale in Moby Dick.
  1. Differs because here there is an identification between the two of them.
  March 30, 2021 The Garden of Eden/ The Old Man and the Sea
  1. Posthumous Work
  2. Only a third of the original manuscript that Hemingway left
  3. Sold millions of copies and won both the Pulitzer and Nobel prizes
  4. Mary Welsh Hemingway
  5. His fourth wife
  6. Sounds like a turbulent relationship
  7. “I will show him what a man can do and what a man endures…”
  8. Religion of manhood
  9.          Constantly having to prove himself
  10. Imagery of the Lions on the Beach
  11. Heavenly/ sign of coming death?
  12. Other interpretation(s)
  13.          Lions gave him strength; why he didn’t surrender to death
  14. Characterization of his hands
  15. “How do you feel, hand?”
  16.          External, almost as if it does not belong to him
  17.          Hands are described to be like claws; goes along with other animalistic comparisons of himself.
  April 1, 2021 The Garden of Eden
  1. Main Elements
  2. Catherine: one of his most fleshed out female characters.
  3.          In a power struggle with David, a male character who is very passive (demonstrates Hemingway’s feelings on passive men).
  4. Sexual Play
  5.          Roleplay is discussed and explored; apparently a real life occurrence for Hemingway.
  6.          Sexual roles are reversed here
  7. The Garden of Eden itself…where is it found?
  8.          Scene where they are swimming alone together
  9. This idea of being on vacation in limbo
  10. Marita
  11.          Catherine wants to explore by sleeping with Marita
  12. A way of fulfilling herself in the way David is able to
  13. Hunger to go against conventional norms and explore creativity
April 6, 2021 The Garden of Eden
  1. Catherine
  2. “Metaphorically genders herself male”
  3.          Her the destroyer, him the creative
  4. Group Discussion
  5. Gender switching; work is pushed in a new direction
  6.          More emotional and introspective as opposed to action based/external.
  7. Authority
  8.          Searching for autonomy/authority over her own life
  9. Hemingway and his own misogyny
  10.          Contributed largely to his depiction of women in his work/poor perception of them.
  April 8, 2021 If He Hollers…
  1. Chester Himes
  2. Published stories from prison
  3. Moved to LA eventually
  4.          Held 23 jobs in about 3 years’ time
  5. Faced awful experiences with racism
  6.          Due to these experiences, became “bitter and saturated with hate”
  7. Novel begins with a man having “racialized dreams” and waking up in fear
  8. Alice
  9. Romantic figure
  10. Considered to be white passing, and this plays a role in their relationship
  April 13, 2021 If He Hollers…
  1. Los Angeles
  2. Lots of racism
  3.          Japanese people were being forced into internment camps, many Black families were moving into these newly vacant spaces
  4.          Zoot suit riots
  5. Chester Himes reported on this; thought all people of the Black community should know about these events.
  6. Question of Masculinity
  7. Whether he can truly be a man under the conditions or not.
  8.          Does being a man require fighting against these systems
  9. His relationship with Alice
  10. In private moments they can sometimes forget about hardships, however the problems surrounding race cannot be escaped
  11.          Very much a part of their relationship
  12. Seen when they first meet.
  April 17, 2021 Play It As It Lays  Joan Didion
  1. Connection to Hemingway
  2. She was heavily influenced by his work
  3.          Would copy out sentences from his work in order to learn about his particular sentence structure.
  4. Fun fact: earned a Bachelor’s in English from UC Berkeley in 1956
Also wrote The White Album April 20, 2021   Play It As It Lays.   Joan Didion Imagery of California highways as empty, leading nowhere. Stoicism Inherent to Hemingway’s masculinity (a man is someone who can stand things) Breakout room discussion “You look like hell, Mariah. This isn’t any excuse to fall apart.” Woman to woman criticism Talking about divorce In order to be taken seriously, women adopt traditionally masculine qualities. In the end, did she really “stand it”? Question because she does end up being institutionalized. April 22, 2021 Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?   Raymond Carver Born 1938, died in 1988 Interesting life From a working class family; father worked in a sawmill Very different from the previous authors we’ve covered in the class (Hemingway from an upper middle class background, etc.). Incredibly influential 70s and 80s Movement for minimalism (Buford called this “dirty realism”) At age 19, married his 16 year old girlfriend; she had two children shortly after. He and his wife both worked and he went to college. Much of this is seen represented in his literature. Had his last drink in 1977, alcoholic for much of his life. Lived 11 years with his second wife April 27, 2021 Train Dreams. Dennis Johnson/The Road presentation There was a lot of class discussion about Dennis Johnson here as well as the final paper. Presentation on The Road/ Cormac McCarthy This was not his birthname, changed later in this life. Wrote No Country For Old MenThe Road, amongst other influential works and screenplays. Fellow writers love and respect him, holding him as a major influence in their own careers Ralph Ellison, Rachel Kushner Themes: Violence And that mankind is predisposed to do the wrong thing. April 29, 2021 The Road.  Cormac McCarthy Lots of God imagery/evocation Symbolic ? the messiah “You have to carry the fire” Before the man dies Suggestion of moral order; not to eat people even though the man and the boy are starving. Secular or non secular? Talks about God, but not of any particular religious structure Secular religion in a way Based on charity (ideas of sacrifice and that charity is not painless) Last paragraphs A new beginning, a cyclical nature of life on Earth. Not negative or positive, kind of neutral.