01/22/2013 03:49 PM
BATON ROUGE – In “The Hemingway Short Story: A Study in Craft for Writers and Readers,”
released this month by LSU Press, Robert Paul Lamb delivers a dazzling analysis of
the craft of this influential writer.
Lamb scrutinizes a selection of Ernest Hemingway’s exemplary stories to illuminate
the author’s methods of construction and to show how craft criticism complements and
enhances cultural literary studies. “The Hemingway Short Story,” the highly anticipated
sequel to Lamb’s critically acclaimed “Art Matters: Hemingway, Craft, and the Creation
of the Modern Short Story,” reconciles the creative writer’s focus on art with the
concerns of cultural critics, establishing the value that craft criticism holds for
Beautifully written in clear and engaging prose, Lamb’s study presents close readings
of representative Hemingway stories such as “Soldier’s Home,” “A Canary for One,”
“God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen” and “Big Two-Hearted River.” Lamb’s examination of
“Indian Camp,” for instance, explores not only its biographical contexts – showing
how details, incidents and characters developed in the writer’s mind and notebook
as he transmuted life into art – but also its original, deleted opening and the final
text of the story, uncovering otherwise unseen aspects of technique and new terrains
of meaning. Lamb proves that a writer is not merely a site upon which cultural forces
contend, but a professional in his or her craft who makes countless conscious decisions
in creating a literary text.
Lamb received his doctorate in the History of American Civilization from Harvard University. He is author of “Art Matters: Hemingway, Craft, and the Creation of the Modern Short Story” and coeditor of “A Companion to American Fiction, 1865–1914.” He was named the 2008 Indiana Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation.
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2013