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Across The River And Into The Trees door…
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Across The River And Into The Trees (origineel 1950; editie 1996)

door Ernest Hemingway (Auteur)

LedenBesprekingenPopulariteitGemiddelde beoordelingAanhalingen
1,697207,768 (3.21)28
Een bittere liefdesidylle, waarvoor geen uitkomst is, tussen een kolonel in het Amerikaanse leger die in beide wereldoorlogen heeft gevochten en een Venetiaanse jonge contessa.
Titel:Across The River And Into The Trees
Auteurs:Ernest Hemingway (Auteur)
Info:Scribner (1996), Edition: Reprint, 288 pages
Verzamelingen:Jouw bibliotheek


Over de rivier en onder de bomen door Ernest Hemingway (Author) (1950)

  1. 10
    De dood in Venetië door Thomas Mann (GYKM)
  2. 00
    's Levens taptoe door James Jones (GYKM)
    GYKM: Another World War II novel by an American.
  3. 00
    Helden zonder glorie door Norman Mailer (GYKM)
    GYKM: The Naked and the Dead was perhaps the World War II novel Hemingway should've wrote.
  4. 00
    Amerikaan in Parijs door Ernest Hemingway (John_Vaughan)
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1-5 van 20 worden getoond (volgende | toon alle)
When I first picked this up I almost put it straight back down. The main character, Colonel Cantwell, was shooting ducks, and the exquisite description of their flight and freedom, interspersed with their violent descent to earth, was a brutal juxtaposition. But I read on, lured by the setting: Venice. This story has been widely panned for its prose and lack of plot but this is Hemingway at his most honest, reflecting on the inhumanity of war and dealing with his ageing body and failing health.

In Across The River and Into the Trees, the fifty-year-old protagonist tries to come to terms with his past as a soldier in a city that couldn’t be more different than the war zone. The beauty and tranquillity of Venice is reflected in the personality of Renata, the Colonel’s eighteen-year-old girlfriend. The story oozes with the atmosphere of post-war Venice, with the Colonel staying at the Gritti Palace and frequenting the now-famous Harry’s Bar.

I couldn’t help but draw parallels with Hemingway’s real life, and that’s when I started to connect to the story more. Hemingway as an older man was infatuated with a girl of nineteen while staying in Venice. Rather than reading Renata’s character as a fantasy, I saw her as a mirror of Hemingway himself, a way to explore the youth and innocence he felt he had lost. Hemingway first went to war at eighteen, and then spent the rest of his life chasing death, through war or safaris. How do we make up for such loss of youth and idealism – where do we even start? This is a novel full of unspoken questions such as these, winding through the story like the canals that meander through Venice itself.

The Colonel switches between soldier and lover over and over again, telling himself to be better, failing, then trying once more, as he attempts to come to some understanding of the motives and urges he has carried with him all his life. Much of the story is a recount of the vicissitudes of war. Death is everywhere in this book. Killing has been the Colonel’s ‘trade’ and in a way it was Hemingway’s too – it forms the subject of many of his stories. In the end the ducks are shot again, their helpless eyes looking into his. After reading the Colonel's recounts of the horrors of war I saw, with fresh eyes, why such a scene was so brutally rendered. ( )
  Elizabeth_Foster | Dec 24, 2019 |
As a rule, he can do no wrong by me. This is the first thing I've read by him that I've actively disliked. He said a writer should have a good bullshit detector. Seems like he didn't have it plugged in while writing this one. ( )
  arthurfrayn | Sep 14, 2019 |
Reminds me of many things that have followed. Such as Before Sunrise and the Anonymous Venetian. Fluid writing and effortless dialog though most references went over my head. Hemingway writing from heart, experiences, regrets, sorrows, and sadness. ( )
  Alphawoman | Dec 28, 2017 |
I didn't understand any of the situation or the allusions. I didn't sympathize with the characters. I didn't understand the point of the story. Sorry. ( )
1 stem Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
An intriguing little novel with many fine flourishes that unfortunately never manages to come into its own. It tells the story of a 50-year-old American colonel with a dicky heart visiting Venice in the years after World War Two. It recounts his love affair with a young Italian countess named Renata, set against the usual Hemingway backdrop of fine hotels and liquor, hunting (here, duck-shooting) and occasional commentary on war and literature.

What sets it apart from Hemingway's other lesser works is its vulnerability. The emotional driver of the novel is the Colonel's attempts to confront his impending death by poignantly looking back over his past and coming to terms with the inability to recapture lost youth. In this respect, the May/December romance with Renata is not as unbelievable as I had feared. I suppose she still is a bit of a fantasy wish-fulfilment: young and beautiful, with a sharp mind and stinking rich, she is also besotted with this older man and likes nothing better than to listen to his stories about the war. But it works because Hemingway does not deign to explain; he drops us straight into their affair and moves on. He is expecting us to accept it as a literary conceit and makes no apologies for this. The romance is there to serve the story, and it does serve. Furthermore, the Colonel, despite Hemingway's insistent disclaimer at the start of the book that the characters are all completely fictional, is clearly an avatar for the author himself. Like Hemingway, the colonel fought in Italy in the 'first war', was an observer in the Spanish Civil War, married and divorced a female journalist (Gellhorn) and was present at the liberation of Paris in 1944. When the Colonel is repeatedly insistent that he is most certainly not a writer on pages 96-8, it smacks of the author protesting too much.

But far from being a flaw; this pseudo-autobiographical approach is what gives the novel its poignancy. Hemingway was notoriously taut and muscular in his prose, presenting an image of hyper-masculinity to the world (one can even see the disclaimer at the start of the novel as a further defensive measure in this regard). But, through the Colonel, he is confronting death and defeat in a way that he would be reluctant to put his own name to. Consequently, in Across the River and Into the Trees we get a fascinating insight into a great artist at a time in his life when he wasn't at his greatest. At this time, he was dogged by self-doubt over his 'fading' literary powers; otherwise throwaway lines gain considerable meat when seen in this light. "Nobody would give you a penny for your thoughts, he thought. Not this morning. But I've seen them worth a certain amount of money when the chips are down." (pg. 130).

Hemingway was also fascinated by death, or rather, by how one should act when facing death: whether through physical courage in war or big-game hunting (a theme in many of his books) or through suicide (an understated but ever-present theme in his prose, and of course something that would eventually claim his life). Across the River and Into the Trees is all about knowing one's death is fairly imminent – for the Colonel, it is his dodgy heart – and getting one's affairs in order. It is about making peace with this reality and with one's past: for the Colonel, we are given the immediacy of his memories of World War Two, and it is his increasing willingness to relate these stories to Renata that determines the character's growth and acceptance of his fate.

The book does have its flaws; as Hemingway's first novel after the peerless war story For Whom the Bell Tolls and with the added experiences of World War Two to draw on, I would've expected more in-depth observations on those seismic events. Hemingway was right in responding to criticism that nothing 'happens' in the book by pointing out that both the breakthrough in Normandy and the liberation of Paris 'happen', but they don't happen emotionally. The Colonel talks about them, and Renata and the reader listen, but there's little said other than that Leclerc was a jerk and Eisenhower was a politician. Even when discussing the battle of the Hürtgen Forest, amongst the most merciless of the entire war, Hemingway says only that it was like "Passchendaele with tree bursts" (pg. 176). When one considers the emotive depth and evocative scene-setting for comparative examples in the earlier For Whom the Bell Tolls or A Farewell to Arms, Across the River and Into the Trees cannot but seem inferior.

Indeed, it seems that Hemingway is never able to fully exploit the imagery or the themes hinted at throughout the novel. Early on, there is a hint that the Colonel's yearning for his lost past is mirrored by the bombed-out, war-torn Italian towns trying to remember their former glory, but it remains only a hint. Similarly, there is an early Raymond Chandler-esque simile about how travelling to an Italian town was "like going to New York the first time you were ever there in the old days when it was shining, white and beautiful" (pg. 25), a beautiful line which is not given the emphasis or expansion that it so clearly demands. The ingredients are all there, as is the author's talent, but even by Hemingway's 'iceberg' standards we are not seeing enough above the waterline.

All told, however, the pros outweigh the cons and Across the River and Into the Trees deserves a greater reputation than it currently enjoys, or rather endures. There's plenty to chew on, even if the prey is elusive and you have to hunt down your kill. It shows a writer who was famous for building up a certain image of toughness at his most vulnerable and candid. It gives us a protagonist full of self-doubt, who wishes he "could fight it [the war] again... Knowing what I know now..." (pg. 33), an attitude one might apply not just to war but to life. It deserves to stand, if not amongst his best, then certainly first among the respectable second tier of Hemingway's works. ( )
1 stem MikeFutcher | Jun 3, 2016 |
1-5 van 20 worden getoond (volgende | toon alle)
"The most important author living today, the outstanding author since the death of Shakespeare, has brought out a new novel.... After the patronizing travelog ... the colonel has the rendezvous with his girl.... The novel was written as a serial for Cosmopolitan, whose demands and restrictions are I should say, almost precisely those of the movies."
toegevoegd door GYKM | bewerkNew York Times, John O'Hara (Sep 10, 1950)

» Andere auteurs toevoegen (18 mogelijk)

AuteursnaamRolType auteurWerk?Status
Hemingway, ErnestAuteurprimaire auteuralle editiesbevestigd
Cannon, PamelaOmslagontwerperSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Low, WilliamArtiest omslagafbeeldingSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Veegens-Latorf, E.VertalerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
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Wikipedia in het Engels (1)

Een bittere liefdesidylle, waarvoor geen uitkomst is, tussen een kolonel in het Amerikaanse leger die in beide wereldoorlogen heeft gevochten en een Venetiaanse jonge contessa.

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Nagelaten Bibliotheek: Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway heeft een Nagelaten Bibliotheek. Nagelaten Bibliotheken zijn de persoonlijke bibliotheken van beroemde lezers, ingevoerd door LibraryThing leden uit de Nagelaten Bibliotheken groep.

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