University Writing Program Professor Joe Fruscione's new book, Faulkner and Hemingway: Biography of a Literary Rivalry. out this spring from Ohio State Press
Prof. Fruscione's new book "examines how Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961) and William Faulkner (1897–1962) vied for literary supremacy with competing-yet-complementary sensibilities. At times, each voiced a shared literary and professional respect; at others, each thought himself the superior craftsman and spoke of the other accordingly. Their rivalry was rich, nuanced, and vexed, embodying various attitudes—one-upmanship, respect, criticism, and praise. Their intertextual contest—what we might call their Modernist dialectic—was manifested textually through their fiction, nonfiction, letters, Nobel Prize Addresses, and spoken remarks.
Their intertextual relationship was highly significant for both men: it was unusual for the reclusive Faulkner to engage so directly and so often with a contemporary, and for the hyper-competitive Hemingway to admit respect for—and possible inferiority to—a rival writer. Their joint awareness spawned an influential, allusive, and sparring intertext in which each had a psycho-competitive hold on the other. This examination—part analytical study, part literary biography—illustrates how their artistic paths and performed masculinities clashed frequently, as the authors measured themselves against each other and engendered a mutual psychological influence."
Prof. Fruscione will be speaking at the Library of Congress on March 16 at noon. A Q&A and book signing will follow his talk.