The Denunciation

DEMH is known for being a great novelist for such books as The Sun Also Rises and For Whom the Bell Tolls, but my favorite works of his to read are the short stories. These short stories, as well as the novellas The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber and The Snows of Kilimanjaro are quicker to read and contain so much meaning with so few words. In EMH’s short stories, the Iceberg Theory is very evident. EMH even has one story entitled “A Very Short Story” about a soldier who falls in love with a nurse after he is injured in the Great War. They plan to marry, but when the soldier returns home, he receives a letter from the nurse telling him she is in love with an officer. This soldier then catches gonorrhea from a brief sexual encounter. Of course, this story is based on his own war time experience with nurse Agnes von Kurowsky. I am not sure about that ending, however.

Agnes_von_Kurowsky_in_Milan

–Agnes von Kurowsky, Courtesy of the Hemingway Foundation, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10781378

One of the short stories I recently revisited was “The Denunciation,” published first in 1938 and then posthumously in 1969, along with a few other Spanish Civil War stories EMH had written but were never included in a previous volume of work. Here is a short re-cap from Bookrags.com:

Edwin Henry, called Enrique in Spanish, goes to his favorite restaurant, Chicote’s. At the restaurant, Edwin meets John, an old friend from Greece who has recently been wounded in an air attack. Also at the restaurant is Luis Delgado. Edwin, who is a loyalist, met Luis many years ago and knows that he is a fascist. Luis is wearing a loyalist uniform, and Edwin believes that he is a fascist spy trying to infiltrate a loyalist stronghold. Edwin tells the waiter that Luis is a fascist. He also gives the waiter the telephone number of the government security office. The waiter calls the number to denounce Luis Delgado. The security forces arrive and arrest Luis. Edwin calls his friend, Pepe, in the government security office, and asks him to tell Luis that he, Edwin, denounced him instead…

You can read “The Denunciation” by clicking HERE.

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–EMH and John Dos Passos

This story shows the complexity of the Spanish Civil War, what life was like in Madrid during that terrible time, and how friendships were compromised or broken due to the side taken. John Dos Passos and EMH, who were very good friends, were never the same after the Spanish Civil War and the loss of one of Dos Passos’ friends that disappeared; a complex event in a complex time in a complex war. Before I read much about EMH and his life, I knew little about the Spanish Civil War and Franco. Now, I have to say I know quite a bit more than just the Saturday Night Live parody of Franco’s death.

For a most complete volume of works of EMH’s, I recommend The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway: The Finca Vigía Edition.

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  10 comments for “The Denunciation

  1. April 5, 2016 at 12:30 PM

    I’m inclined to go on a Hemingway short-story binge come May, after reading your well thought out posts. So pretty, Agnes. Yeah, not sure about the ending either, but the heartbreak was probably real. Thanks for this, Denise.

    • April 5, 2016 at 1:10 PM

      You will love the short stories, Silvia, and will be amazed at some of the modern issues he wrote about . . . Yes, the heartbreak was real. It has been said that he broke up with his wives first so that they could not break up with him as Agnes did. I think a lot of people break off relationships first because they don’t want to be the one dumped. I know some people get dumped and then woo the other back so then they can be the one to dump. Probably subconscious, but some sort of rejection deflection.

      • April 5, 2016 at 1:13 PM

        Yeah, being told it’s over when still in love can be traumatic. Agnes broke his heart, and caused him to write some beautiful literature.

        • April 5, 2016 at 1:28 PM

          She did. And thank you for all your sweet comments.

  2. April 5, 2016 at 8:10 PM

    I didn’t read any Hemingway so I just bought For Whom the Bell Tolls because I didn’t know where to start.
    In my next book buying binge, I’ll totally get a book of his short stories, it sounds more up my alley! Thank you!

    • April 5, 2016 at 8:14 PM

      You’re welcome, Catherine. Thank you for stopping by and reading about EMH!

  3. April 6, 2016 at 3:39 AM

    I’ve actually been looking for some literature on the history of Spain so I’m really glad that you pointed out this particular one from Hemingway. I am putting it on the TBR list, thank you!

    http://thescriptbible.wordpress.com/

    • April 6, 2016 at 4:43 AM

      Thank you for stopping by, Miss Andi!

  4. April 6, 2016 at 4:08 PM

    For so many years, people in old black and white pictures seemed……well, you know; so old. Now as I am older, I can finally see the youth in pictures. Kinda strange!

    Zulu Delta

    • April 6, 2016 at 4:48 PM

      I know what you mean, zd. Doesn’t perspective change as we get older? Just as long as our attitude does not and we still are open minded and try new experiences!

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