UE English Professor Publishes New Book on Ernest Hemingway

Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mark Cirino, assistant professor of English at the University of Evansville, has published a new book, Ernest Hemingway: Thought in Action, from the University of Wisconsin Press.

The book offers a new look at Hemingway, revealing a concern with consciousness similar to his predecessors and contemporaries William Faulkner, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Henry James, and Marcel Proust.

Ernest Hemingway’s groundbreaking prose style and examination of timeless themes made him one of the most important American writers of the twentieth century. Yet in Ernest Hemingway: Thought in Action, Cirino observes, “Literary criticism has accused Hemingway of many things but thinking too deeply is not one of them.”

Although much has been written about the author’s love of action — hunting, fishing, drinking, bullfighting, boxing, travel, and the moveable feast — Cirino looks at Hemingway’s focus on the modern mind and interest in consciousness. Hemingway, Cirino demonstrates, probes the ways his characters’ minds respond when placed in urgent situations or when damaged by past traumas.

In Cirino’s analysis of Hemingway’s work through this lens — including such celebrated classics as A Farewell to ArmsThe Old Man and the Sea, and “Big Two-Hearted River” as well as lesser-known works including Islands in the Stream and “Because I Think Deeper” — an entirely different Hemingway hero emerges: intelligent, introspective, and ruminative.

“Cirino … collapses the distinction between thought and action that has traditionally typecast Hemingway as an anti-intellectual dolt — the ‘he-man’ of American literature,” said Kirk Curnutt, author of Coffee with Hemingway.

Cirino is the coeditor of Ernest Hemingway: Geography of Memory and the general editor of Kent State University Press’s “Reading Hemingway” series. He is also the author of two novels, Name the Baby and Arizona Blues.

Ernest Hemingway: Thought in Action is available from the University of Wisconsin Press

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