Literary Classics

En avoir ou pas by Ernest Hemingway

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By Ernest Hemingway

«Comme il se tenait là, avec los angeles mitraillette dans sa major gauche, jetant un regard circulaire avant de refermer le panneau à l'aide du crochet terminant son bras droit, le Cubain qui était allongé à bâbord et qui avait reçu trois balles dans l'épaule se mit sur son séant, visa soigneusement et lui envoya une balle dans le ventre.» Harry Morgan, un Américain installé à Cuba, gagne sa vie en organisant des croisières de pêche pour les touristes. Lorsqu’on lui suggest de transporter des hommes et des marchandises clandestines, sa vie bascule dans le crime. Ce roman a été adapté au cinéma par Howard Hawks dans Le Port de l’angoisse et par Michael Curtiz dans Trafic en haute mer.

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This air of realism was heightened by a promotional stunt Irving pulled off with the help of Henry Brevoort and James Kirke Paulding. In the weeks prior to publication, he published a report in the New York Evening Post that an elderly gentleman by the name of Knickerbocker had wandered off from his lodgings without paying his rent, leaving behind only a collection of papers in manuscript. In a subsequent issue, a letter to the editor reported that a gentleman matching Knickerbocker舗s description had been seen in the Hudson River Valley, walking north toward Albany.

Thus accoutred, he gravely walked into the room, with his ivory-headed ebony cane in one hand, and gently swaying his three-cornered beaver with the other.

374). This hoax was remarkably successful, so much so that for a time Irving舗s narrator gained greater notoriety than the author himself. The historical accuracy of his narrative of New York舗s history as the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam made his mock-heroic epic more than a Swiftean satire. It provided the newly formed nation with a basis for history that was free of associations with British colonial rule. 舡 America舗s need to declare its cultural independence from Britain intensified in the decade following the War of 1812.

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