Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Sunday, May 29, 2011

"Cat in the Rain" by Ernest Hemingway

"A Cat in the Rain" by Ernest Hemingway (1925, 4 pages)

Stories About Cats Day, Part II

Today seems to be a day for reading stories  revolving around cats.    Earlier today I posted on Edgar Allan Poe's "The Black Cat", a story I really liked.    I last read a work by Hemingway (1899 to 1961-USA) about a year ago when I read and posted on "Hills Like Elephants" and "A Clean, Well Light Place.    (There is some background information on Hemingway in my prior post.)     I would say I am sort of ambivalent in my attitude toward Hemingway.     In part he seems a bit of a poseur.    The women in his work seem to exist only as they relate to a dominate man who they try to please.   Some times I like his minimalistic prose and at times I find it tiresome, almost boring.      As a personal note unrelated to the quality of his work I find some of the subject matter of his work-hunting and fishing trips-distasteful.     At times I also think Hemingway is a very powerful story teller who creates a  world in  a few lines.   Historically he is important and many people love him.  

"A Cat in the Rain" is set in Italy.    There are only two real characters in the story, an American couple on a vacation.    I think the fact that the couple are Americans is somehow meant to suggest that the man is a bit of a brute.   We sense the woman is not getting the love she feels she needs and is entitled to from the man.    She spots a cat outside in the rain and she starts saying she wishes she could have the cat for a pet.    She clearly knows the man does not want this and is simply trying to force his attention onto her.     I did enjoy  the ending when the woman's bluff is called and we see her absurdity.    I will say I am glad I read this story.  It took me only a few minutes.    I think I need to read more Hemingway.

Mel u


Unknown said...

This is a good story, one of his better ones. I think he gets picked on unfairly these days. It's almost trendy to say you don't like Hemingway and that he didn't really understand women. He writes in a deceptively simple style. The real story is never the one on the surface. The reader has to make an effort to find it.

Mel u said...

J. B. James-you make good points-we should not reject a writer just as because he is temporarily out of favor-

Kelli Nørgaard said...

One of my favorite Hemingway short fact my blog on Wednesday is talking about it! :-)


Kelli Nørgaard said...

One of my FAVE Hemingway stories... and in fact, my blog on Wednesday is about it as well!