For Whom The Bells Tolls ( Ernest Hemingway )

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For Whom The Bells Tolls ( Ernest Hemingway ) is a novel published in 1940.

For Whom the Bell Tolls tells the story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to a republican guerrilla unit during the Spanish Civil War. As a dynamiter, he is assigned to blow up a bridge during an attack on the city of Segovia.

The novel is regarded as one of Hemingway’s best works, along with The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, and The Old Man and the Sea.

Book cover art print.

(…)  In 1921, he became a Toronto Star reporter in Paris. There he published his first books, called “Three Stories and Ten Poems” (1923), and “In Our Time” (1924). In Paris he met Gertrude Stein, who introduced him to the circle that she called the “Lost Generation”. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thornton Wilder, Sherwood Anderson and Ezra Pound were stimulating Hemingway’s talent.

At that time he wrote “The Sun Also Rises” (1926), “A Farewell to Arms” (1929), and a dazzling collection of Forty-Nine stories. Hemingway also regarded the Russian writers Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Ivan Turgenev and Anton Chekhov as important influences, and met Pablo Picasso and other artists through Gertrude Stein. “A Moveable Feast” (1964) is his classic memoir of Paris after WWI.

Hemingway participated in the Spanish Civil War and took part in the D-Day landings during the invasion of France during World War II, in which he not only reported the action but took part in it. In one instance he threw three hand grenades into a bunker, killing several SS officers. He was decorated with the Bronze Star for his action. His military experiences were emulated in “For Whom the Bell Tolls” (1940) and in several other stories. He settled near Havana, Cuba, where he wrote his best known work, “The Old Man and the Sea” (1953), for which he won a Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize in Literature. This was adapted as the film The Old Man and the Sea (1958), for which Spencer Tracy was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Actor, and Dimitri Tiomkin received an Oscar for Best Musical Score.

War wounds, two plane crashes, four marriages and several affairs took their toll on Hemingway’s hereditary predispositions and contributed to his declining health. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and insomnia in his later years. His mental condition was exacerbated by chronic alcoholism, diabetes and liver failure. After an unsuccessful treatment with electro-convulsive therapy, he suffered severe amnesia and his physical condition worsened. The memory loss obstructed his writing and everyday life. He committed suicide in 1961. Posthumous publications revealed a considerable body of his hidden writings, that was edited by his fourth wife, Mary, and also by his son Patrick Hemingway.

Source: imdb.com

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