"It is almost as though they were fighting for billing on a tombstone" - John Steinbeck Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner are generally recognized as the most influential American novelists of the 20th century. Their careers paralleled one another in significant ways - two of their fledgling poems coincidentally appeared in the same avant-garde little magazine, and their first important books, The Sun Also Rises and Soldier's Pay, were published in 1926; they died a year apart, almost to the day; each won the Nobel Prize. But the trajectories of these two lives and careers were also much different. Somewhat incredibly, given many of their mutual friends (and enemies), they never met. They kept their distance but also a wary eye on one another. This book is not only a valuable addition to literary scholarship, it is also a unique re-creation of an era in American culture and letters, especially of "the charmed circle" of Parisian expatriates. By reprinting the actual words of contemporary writers in excerpts of criticism - the praise, insults, and gossip drawn from journals, diaries, and interviews - this book marks the invention of a new form of literary appreciation and commentary. It is as much biography as critique, a short, happy reference work that sometimes tells more about the commentators than their subjects. Among the writers on the writers, there is Sherwood Anderson, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Conrad Aiken, W. H. Auden, John Dos Passos, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, Wyndham Lewis, Katherine Anne Porter, Allen Tate, Erskine Caldwell, H. L. Mencken, Henry Miller, Thomas Wolfe, Mary McCarthy, Edmund Wilson, Lillian Ross, and many others. Hemingway and Faulkner In Their Time has a chronological drift, and is capped by Faulkner's acid observations on Hemingway and vice versa. The narratives of Rovit and Waldhorn provide the cement that holds this mosaic portrait of the artists - observed and as observers - together.
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