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In Our Time (1925)

by Ernest Hemingway

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,945283,924 (3.7)63
THIS COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES AND VIGNETTES MARKED ERNEST HEMINGWAY'S AMERICAN DEBUT AND MADE HIM FAMOUS When In Our Time was published in 1925, it was praised by Ford Madox Ford, John Dos Passos, and F. Scott Fitzgerald for its simple and precise use of language to convey a wide range of complex emotions, and it earned Hemingway a place beside Sherwood Anderson and Gertrude Stein among the most promising American writers of that period. In Our Time contains several early Hemingway classics, including the famous Nick Adams stories "Indian Camp," "The Doctor and the Doctor's Wife," "The Three Day Blow," and "The Battler," and introduces readers to the hallmarks of the Hemingway style: a lean, tough prose -- enlivened by an car for the colloquial and an eye for the realistic that suggests, through the simplest of statements, a sense of moral value and a clarity of heart. Now recognized as one of the most original short story collections in twentieth-century literature, In Our Time provides a key to Hemingway's later works.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
In truth, I've already read In Our Time twice before. The first was back in 2013 when I read The Snows of Kilimanjaro, which grouped all the stories of In Our Time with two of Hemingway's best stories, 'The Snows of Kilimanjaro' and 'Up in Michigan'. The second time was in 2018, when I read The First-Forty Nine Stories, which contained those of In Our Time and plenty more besides. But as a long-time fan of Hemingway's writing, I wanted to have read every title, so I picked up In Our Time for the first time with great familiarity.

The good thing is that you grow more appreciative of Hemingway's short stories the more you read them. When I read that Snows of Kilimanjaro collection back in 2013, I was fairly new to Hemingway and much preferred his novels. His style was difficult to crack in short doses, where as a reader you lack the weight of a novel to break through your ignorance, and I remember describing 'Big Two-Hearted River' as "dull". By 2018, I had cracked it, and The First Forty-Nine Stories was like a revelation to me. The exquisiteness of many of the pieces became evident.

In Our Time, Hemingway's first major work, does not contain the best of his short stories. Those came later, as he honed his craft, and some of those in In Our Time can seem folksy and redundant. Some, like 'The Battler' and 'Cross-Country Snow', remain unmemorable to me even after reading them for a third iteration. But others like 'Indian Camp' and 'Soldier's Home', are stellar, and nowhere is my earlier point about growing appreciative of Hemingway's writing more apparent than in 'Big Two-Hearted River'. Having first thought this dull, an undynamic story of a young man on a fishing trip, casting for trout and brewing coffee, I've come to recognise it as a prime example of Hemingway's style. Hemingway wrote that he was "trying to do the country like Cézanne" did in his paintings, and when you read the story you do get that same rich, restful feeling you get from contemplating a fine landscape painting. As a collection, In Our Time isn't the most consistent example of the quality in Hemingway's writing, but it has plenty of moments that show excellent craft and the writer's fledgling genius. ( )
  MikeFutcher | Dec 10, 2021 |
short fiction (classic literature, 1910s?). Short stories (including some very early flash fiction) and some connected stories (recurring characters/themes). Without the background context, some of this goes over your head, but just from the stories you can make sense of, you get that this is a great writer. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
ספר הסיפורים הקצרים הראשון של המינגווי. האיש כותב כמו מלאך ( )
  amoskovacs | Jul 1, 2021 |
Free In Our Time
Review of the AmazonClassics Kindle eBook edition (2021) of the Boni & Liveright original "In Our Time" (1925)

The Hemingway industry shows no signs of slowing down, even as we approach the centenary of his first published works. His forever publisher Scribner will issue yet another repackaging of short stories The Hemingway Stories: As Featured in the Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick on PBS (expected March 2, 2021) to coincide with a new 6-hour documentary on PBS (expected April 5, 2021). The projected 16 volume / 20 year project of the Complete Letters of Ernest Hemingway is only up to The Letters of Ernest Hemingway: Volume 5, 1932-1934 as of 2020. The Ernest Hemingway Library Edition of reissues expanded with early drafts and deletions is perhaps only a third of its way to completion. A seemingly infinite number of biographies continue to be written with The Man Who Wasn't There: A Life of Ernest Hemingway (2020) and Ernesto: The Untold Story of Hemingway in Revolutionary Cuba (2019) being the most recent.

AmazonClassics have gotten in on the act by issuing a Kindle only reissue of the 1925 Boni & Liveright edition of the "In Our Time" vignettes and short stories. They call it the "New York edition" to distinguish it from the original 1924 Paris chapbook edition in our time (lower-case letter title) which contained only the original 18 vignettes. This first American edition added 14 short stories, expanded 2 original vignettes into short stories and used the 16 remaining vignettes as inter-chapters. When Scribner took over Hemingway's publishing it added an additional short story "On the Quai at Smyrna" for the 1930 American edition In Our Time.

Hemingway's early short stories are among my favourites of his writing. Any collection with Indian Camp, The Battler, Soldier's Home, Cat in the Rain, Out of Season and Big Two-Hearted River will rate an easy 5-stars from me. In Our Time also acts as somewhat of a novel-in-short-stories as 7 of the 14 have the Hemingway proxy character of Nick Adams as their explicit protagonist and several of the others would seem to have Hemingway/Adams as an anonymous or renamed character. The overall arc takes Nick from the immortality of childhood in the face of death seen in Indian Camp through to the chastened world-weary Adams returned from the horrors of World War I and seeking revitalization while fishing in the Big Two-Hearted River.
“Is dying hard, Daddy?”
“No, I think it’s pretty easy, Nick. It all depends.”
They were seated in the boat, Nick in the stern, his father rowing. The sun was coming up over the hills. A bass jumped, making a circle in the water. Nick trailed his hand in the water. It felt warm in the sharp chill of the morning.
In the early morning on the lake sitting in the stern of the boat with his father rowing, he felt quite sure that he would never die.

- excerpt from Indian Camp
Trivia and Link
I read In Our Time (1925) in its AmazonClassics edition which is available free for Amazon Prime members through Amazon Kindle https://www.amazon.com/b?node=18660703011 (link is to Amazon USA, although I used Amazon Canada). ( )
  alanteder | Jan 23, 2021 |
The Ur-Hemingway Vignettes
Review of the Modernist Versions Project / University of Victoria facsimile eBook edition (2015) of the 1924 chapbook original

In my initial Library Thing years and my Hemingway enthusiasm I added the original 1924 chapbook edition of in our time to the database as it was missing. Since then I have to regularly monitor that it doesn't get merged with the later 1925 or 1930 book of short stories In Our Time where the original 18 vignettes became 16 inter-chapters and 2 were expanded into longer short story versions. Call me an obsessive, but I can't see how 18 short paragraphs on 32 pages can be considered the same book as another with 14 (15 as of 1930) short stories on about 160 to 200 pages in various editions.

Hemingway's short vignettes were based around themes that recurred throughout his life. These were people or animals in extreme situations, often at the point of death. The passages are drawn from wars (World War I and the Greco-Turkish War) and their aftermaths or matadors, horses and bulls in the bullfighting ring. Often they are based on previous newspaper articles that he wrote, some of which are collected in anthologies such as By-Line: Selected Articles and Dispatches of Four Decades (1967). Others were expanded into short stories such as the The Nick Adams Stories (1966) {Hemingway's proxy Nick makes his first appearances in the vignettes] or novels such as The Sun Also Rises (1926) and A Farewell to Arms (1929).

The vignettes are an experimental laboratory for what later was called the Iceberg Theory, where the contexts and backgrounds for stories were omitted and were left to the reader's imagination. Using chapter 4 as an example:
WE were in a garden at Mons. Young Buckley came in with his patrol from across the river. The first German I saw climbed up over the garden wall. We waited till he got one leg over and then potted him. He had so much equipment on and looked awfully surprised and fell down into the garden. Then three more came over further down the wall. We shot them. They all came just like that. - chapter 4 of in our time
This is shortest of the vignettes, so also the easiest to copy. 1924 readers would probably easily imagine this as being from the Battle of Mons in World War I, but a century later that is a more difficult jump for most. It is left unexplained who Buckley was or why the Germans would keep coming over the wall despite the obvious easy shooting, as if of targets, by the British forces. The reader has to imagine all of that for themselves.
Hemingway is, then, a far more difficult author than the simplicity of his prose suggests. This is, in many respects, the greatest challenge and the greatest reward for reading Hemingway: he is both extremely easy and extremely difficult. The contrast lies between his clear and simple prose versus his unstated or implicit concerns. This leads many readers to assume they have “understood” Hemingway by simply reading him when we must first recognize how he trains us to be more careful and more critical readers ers. In this respect, Hemingway is a pedagogical writer insofar as he teaches his readers a new form of attention, a new form of sensitivity to language. - from the Introduction by James Gifford, editor for the 2015 edition.

Trivia and Link
The 46 page Modernist Versions Project edition of in our time is freely available (as of early December 2020) at the University of Victoria website here in pdf format. In addition to the original 32 page text, it includes an Introduction, Textual Notes and End Notes by edition James Gifford. ( )
  alanteder | Dec 4, 2020 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ernest Hemingwayprimary authorall editionscalculated
Edlund, BirgitTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edlund, MårtenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eggink, ClaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jonsson, ThorstenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keach, StacyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Li, CherlynneCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lytle, John A.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
A Girl in Chicago: Tell us about the French women, Hank. What are they like?

Bill Smith: How old are the French women, Hank?
Dedication
To Hadley Richardson Hemingway
to robert mcalmon and william bird publishers of the city of paris and to captain edward dorman-smith m.c., of his majesty’s fifth fusiliers this book is respectfully dedicated.
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The strange thing was, he said, how they screamed every night at midnight.
Everybody was drunk.
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Disambiguation notice
This edition of "in our time" (lower case) is for copies of the 1924 original edition of 170 copies or the 1977 facsimile edition of 1,700 copies or other facsimiles containing only the original 18 vignettes on 32 pages. This edition should not be combined with the later 1925 or 1930 editions where the 18 vignettes became the 16 inter-chapters to the longer short stories of "In Our Time" (upper case) and vignette Chapter 10 became "A Very Short Story" and vignette Chapter 11 became "The Revolutionist".
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THIS COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES AND VIGNETTES MARKED ERNEST HEMINGWAY'S AMERICAN DEBUT AND MADE HIM FAMOUS When In Our Time was published in 1925, it was praised by Ford Madox Ford, John Dos Passos, and F. Scott Fitzgerald for its simple and precise use of language to convey a wide range of complex emotions, and it earned Hemingway a place beside Sherwood Anderson and Gertrude Stein among the most promising American writers of that period. In Our Time contains several early Hemingway classics, including the famous Nick Adams stories "Indian Camp," "The Doctor and the Doctor's Wife," "The Three Day Blow," and "The Battler," and introduces readers to the hallmarks of the Hemingway style: a lean, tough prose -- enlivened by an car for the colloquial and an eye for the realistic that suggests, through the simplest of statements, a sense of moral value and a clarity of heart. Now recognized as one of the most original short story collections in twentieth-century literature, In Our Time provides a key to Hemingway's later works.

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