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.

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.