chapter  5
23 Pages

The Anachronous Hero

Hemingway and Montherlant
ByJohn McCormick

Ernest Hemingway with his Nobel Prize, his biographies official and unofficial, all equally subject to the legend of his glamor, his appetites, his illusions and delusions. Although Hemingway and Henry de Montherlant received in their lifetime a good deal of critical and uncritical discussion, neither has received the quality of attention that far inferior writers in both France and the United States customarily attract. This chapter begins with Hemingway, for although he appears simple and even simple-minded to skeptics, he is in truth more complex and difficult than is Montherlant, who is never accused of simple-mindedness. Because Hemingway's work was uneven in quality, it is first necessary to specify which Hemingway one has in mind. Hemingway and Montherlant not only write of the same subject matter — the transition from youth to manhood, war, bullfighting, sport, and sex — they also share the conviction that the times are out of joint, and that heroes, however anachronous, exist.