Excellent essay on Hemingway

by Steven M. Lane and Robert D. Lane

Note: This post is part of The Hemingway Collection, an archive of essays, images, and hyperlinks to interesting articles about the great American author.

Once we knew that literature was about life and criticism was about fiction–and everything was simple. Now we know that fiction is about other fiction, is criticism in fact, or metaphor. And we know that criticism is about the impossibility of anything being about life, really, or even about fiction, or finally about anything. Criticism has taken the very idea of “aboutness” away from us. It has taught us that language is tautological, if it is not nonsense, and to the extent that it is about anything it is about itself. – Robert Scholes

Go here!

1960 – 1962 – the Cuban missile crisis.

Picture from1953

I joined the USMC in 1953 (I know, I am an old man now!) and in 1960 ( the Cuban missile crisis) I was in the Reserves and subject to recall. I was attending college then and was not anxious to go back in the Corps. But, the Soviet Union was building a launch site for a nuclear weapon in Cuba and the USA was nervous along with its UK war partners. I remember President Kennedy’s speech warning the Soviets that he would take action.

We just watched the movie “The Courier” on Netflix. It tells the story of a salesman recruited to help a man in the Soviet Union get information to the Pentagon. It is a good movie, fact based as much as possible (apparently the man was a great spreader of falsehoods) with some good actors: “The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Greville Wynne, a British businessman who was recruited by the Secret Intelligence Service to deliver messages to secret agent Oleg Penkovsky (played by Merab Ninidze) in the 1960s.”

“Wynne is approached by a spy from MI6 and a spy from the CIA and asked to pose as a business partner of Oleg Penkovsky in order to gain intelligence relating to Soviet missiles being transported to Cuba. In the end, both Wynne and Penkovsky are caught and Penkovsky admits betraying his country while insisting Wynne as a courier knows nothing of the intelligence passed on, which supports Wynne’s claim of no wrongdoings. Wynne makes sure Penkovsky knows his sacrifice is worth it. Penkovsky is executed and buried in an unmarked grave. Wynne is eventually released in a prisoner exchange for a Russian spy Konon Molody.” – from wikipedia

It is a good film with interesting people and a great plot. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Greville Wynne it is a great story, true to the case as much as possible, and worth the time to watch.

Watch it. Let me know what you think!