Sunday, April 7, 2013

Writing about something without mentioning it

There is an Ernest Hemingway story, BIG TWO-HEARTED RIVER, that (when you read it age seventeen) looks like it is about a guy going fishing, and then (when you read thirty-four years later) reveals itself as a guy working through post-traumatic stress syndrome. It unlocks the universe. If you are a fiction writer, I mean.

Who knows. I'm slow. It might not take you three and a half decades to get the point. But once you do, you will want to read and reread this.

Interested? The short story is linked below.

http://producer.csi.edu/cdraney/2010/278/resources/hemingway-two-hearted-river.pdf

You will also want to Google "Hemingway iceberg theory." That will lead you to a wealth of discussions about how to write about something without mentioning it, which is what Hemingway does here.