Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)

Hills Like White Elephants

Today’s choice is taken from my bookshelf’s unfinished section – The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway. The Story I have chosen is Hills Like White Elephants (1927).  As I finished reading it, I was left asking myself …. How can so much be said in so few words?  The prose is so sparse as to almost not be there, the story reads like a snippet in the lives of two people, circling around each other, slowly moving towards a perhaps inevitable end of an affair.  The setting is perfect – a station where passengers change trains at a crossroad in the Spanish hillls.  The hills white and elephantised, represent something unwanted.

What we also get this story is Ernest Hemingway himself – his attitude to women, his relationship with alcohol and perhaps his view on life.

Of course it’s impossible to stop at one Hemingway short story – they’re such short, short stories after all, although it’s probably a mistake to read too many in one go as they need to settle and linger in the mind. So, just for the record but not counting as part of the 365, I also dipped into In Another Country

You can read Hills Like White Elephants here


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