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A Clean Well Lighted Place by Ernest…

A Clean Well Lighted Place (original 1933; edition 1990)

by Ernest Hemingway (Author)

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1125190,934 (3.92)3
As a Spanish café closes for the night, two waiters and a lonely customer confront the concept of nothingness.
Title:A Clean Well Lighted Place
Authors:Ernest Hemingway (Author)
Info:Creative Education (1990), Edition: Reprint, 30 pages
Collections:Your library

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A Clean Well Lighted Place by Ernest Hemingway (1933)


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Showing 5 of 5
It was all a nothing, and a man was nothing too. ( )
  exhypothesi | Mar 7, 2021 |
Does Hemingway's writing still have power? Can it still move us or does it seem hopelessly stilted and dated? I'd begun to wonder that lately so I picked up this short story and...wow. The rhythm of Hemingway's descriptive language is masterful, his sentences like little incantations, and while the dialog might seem a bit stylized--you can't quite imagine people talking this way--it has a unique spare beauty to it nonetheless, like a stylized church painting. There's so much bound up in this story--aging, loneliness, empathy, despair. It's few pages contain multitudes. ( )
1 vote MichaelBarsa | Dec 17, 2017 |
I've always had a nagging thought that short stories were a cop-out for an author of novels - a bit like a media article compared to a journal article or a monograph for an academic. This particular short story seems to have been popular for its treatment of the Lord's Prayer, but I am spellbound by Hemingway's ability to shake loose a raft of emotions in such a short space. Maybe it is his self-centredness I identify with - I am not sure - but I seem to be able to identify with all of the characters, torn from the feeling of working with the public in a dull job,to being grateful for a job, to being old and not wanting to be in a popular place but to drink one's poison in a "clean well lighted place", then to hopelessness with a sense of resignation, then dignity and contentment all in one. Doing all of that in a short story is nothing short of remarkable, and consequently, I have changed my mind about short stories generally. ( )
1 vote madepercy | Nov 7, 2017 |
This very short story is my first taste of Hemigway.

Lots of dialogue between two waiters, discussing an old man drinking late, takes up most of the tale.

Not a bad read, though nothing thrilling. ( )
  PhilSyphe | May 18, 2017 |
Hemingway was very adept in writing about the human condition. The theme of this short story is of despair and loneliness. Hemingway portrays the "Clean Well-Lighted Place" as a refuge for an elderly man who struggles with his existence. This elderly man is a regular customer of this establishment and drinks into the wee hours of the morning when all the other customers have gone home. The dialogue between the two waiters express their different views on what it is be lonely and to feel like there is nothing meaningful in your life. The elderly man sets the stage for the dialogue.
I liked the way Hemingway used the dialogue of the waiters to give us insight into how the waiters viewed life and it's importance. I think Hemingway has us see the "clean well-lighted place" as a means to express and yet escape the loneliness, if only temporarily. ( )
  linsleo | May 7, 2011 |
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It was late and every one had left the cafe except an old man who sat in the shadow the leaves of the tree made against the electric light.
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As a Spanish café closes for the night, two waiters and a lonely customer confront the concept of nothingness.

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