Monday, September 21, 2015

A Sequence of Fact and Motion

Here's a Hemingway passage that I think bears upon my discussion of fact and nuance in sociology, journalism and literature.

I was trying to write then and I found the greatest difficulty, aside from knowing truly what you really felt, rather than what your were supposed to feel, and had been taught to feel, was to put down what really happened in action; what the actual things were which produced the emotion that you experienced. In writing for a newspaper you told what happened aided by the element of timeliness which gives a certain emotion to any account of something that has happened on that day; but the real thing, the sequence of motion and fact which made the emotion and which would be as valid in a year or in ten years or, with luck and if your stated it purely enough, always, was beyond me and I was working very hard to try to get it. (Ernest Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon, 1932, p. 10)

I've written about it before in this post.

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