"Hemingway's Genders" by Nancy R.              Comley

Hemingway's Genders Rereading the Hemingway Text Nancy R. Comley, Robert Scholes

Publication date:
21 Feb 1996
Yale University Press
168 pages: 210 x 140mm

Ernest Hemingway has long been regarded as a fiercely heterosexual writer who advocated and embodied an exaggerated masculinity. This witty and intelligent book, the first to focus exclusively on gender in Hemingway's writing, presents a new view of the author, demonstrating that issues of gender and sexuality are more complex and subtle in his work than has ever been imagined.

Nancy R. Comley and Robert Scholes reread the Hemingway Text—his published and unpublished writing and what is known about his life—and show that gender was one of his conscious preoccupations. They explore the anguish and uncertainty beneath the blunt facade of Papa Hemingway; they examine a range of Hemingway's fictional women in such works as The Sun Also Rises and For Whom the Bell Tolls and suggest that his best representations of women take on attributes of gender commonly viewed as male; they discuss how lesbianism, sex changes, and miscegenation appear in Hemingway's early and late writing; and they analyze examples of homosexual desire among boys and men in Hemingway's stories of bullfighters and soldiers. Offering new readings of familiar and previously unknown Hemingway texts, this book will change the way this author is read and evaluated.

Nancy R. Comley is associate professor of English and director of composition at Queens College, City University of New York. She is coauthor (with Robert Scholes) of a number of introductory texts, including The Practice of Writing and Text Book. Robert Scholes, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Humanities at Brown University, is the author of four other books published by Yale University Press: Protocols of Reading, Semiotics and Interpretation, Structuralism in Literature, and Textual Power.

"This is the best analysis of Hemingway's exploration of gender issues I have read. Intelligent, balanced, and beautifully written, it extends the frontier of Hemingway studies."?Michael S. Reynolds, author of Hemingway: The Paris Years and Hemingway: The Paris Years: A Writer's Life and The Young Hemingway

"Succinct and jargon-free. . . . richly rewarding. . . . [Comley and Scholes] force one to see new subtleties in stories read dozens of times before. . . . fascinating."?Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times

"[Hemingway's Genders] is a valuable introduction to this topic, and would prove interesting to readers who have more than a cursory interest in Hemingway. Scholars interested in literary cultural studies in general might also find the study valuable as a model for scholarship that goes beyond the obvious, yet does so easily, without resorting to unnecessarily complicated definitions or jargon."?D. Quentin Miller, Studies in the Novel

"This intelligent study of the complex issue of gender in Hemingway's works is a fine addition to Hemingway scholarship and a pleasure to read. . . . This volume carries the analysis to a new level of sophistication."?Choice

"Comley and Scholes offer readings that are provocative and illuminating, and as one could expect from so proficient a theorist as Scholes, the authors' general statements make their account one of the finest brief introductions to the poststructuralist project."?David Van Leer, Times Literary Supplement

"Handsomely produced, [the] book makes an important and gracefully written addition to the literature of Hemingway and gender."?Leonard J. Leff, American Literature

"Provocative and illuminating. . . . One of the finest brief introductions to the poststructural project."?David Van Leer, The Times Literary Supplement

"An important and gracefully written addition to the literature of Hemingway and gender."?Leonard J. Leff, American Literature

"Future critics may in turn use this book as a map to move beyond assumptions that have confined attitudes toward Hemingway for too long."?Robert Combs, American Studies International