Cover image for Fitzgerald-Wilson-Hemingway : language and experience
Fitzgerald-Wilson-Hemingway : language and experience
Berman, Ronald.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Tuscaloosa : University of Alabama Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
123 pages ; 24 cm
Electronic Access:
Table of contents
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3511.I9 Z55775 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



In this study, Ronald Berman examines the work of the critic/novelist Edmund Wilson and the art of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway as they wrestled with the problems of language, experience, perception and reality in the "age of jazz." By focusing specifically on aesthetics--the ways these writers translated everyday reality into language--Berman challenges and redefines many routinely accepted ideas concerning the legacy of these authors.

Fitzgerald is generally thought of as a romantic, but Berman shows that we need to expand the idea of Romanticism to include its philosophy. Hemingway, widely viewed as a stylist who captured experience by simplifying language, is revealed as consciously demonstrating reality's resistance to language. Between these two renowned writers stands Wilson, who is critically influenced by Alfred North Whitehead, as well as Dewey, James, Santayana, and Freud.

By patiently mapping the correctness of these philosophers, historians, literary critics and writers, Berman aims to open a gateway into the era. This work should be of interest to scholars of American literature, philosophy and aesthetics; to academic libraries; to students of intellectual history; and to general readers interested in Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Wilson.

Author Notes

Ronald Berman is the author of The Great Gatsby and Fitzgerald's World of Ideas , Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and the Twenties , Modernity and Progress , and Translating Modernism: Fitzgerald and Hemingway .

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Readers of Berman's earlier work--notably the outstanding Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and the Twenties (CH, Jul'01)--will be pleased but not surprised by the subtlety and incisiveness of his literary perceptions in this new work. The sophisticated cerebration of Edmund Wilson, the often-oversimplified role of romanticism in F. Scott Fitzgerald, the striking tautness of language (and its limitations) in Hemingway: all find their literary confluence in Berman's intelligent and graceful reading of these three contemporaries. Add to this the influences of such other cultural icons as Mencken, T.S. Eliot, Dewey, James, Freud, and the textual density of Berman's study grows, though remaining accessible to the intelligent reader. Berman (Univ. of California, San Diego) is never better than in his final chapter, "Hemingway's Limits," in which he strikes to the heart of profound new perceptions about the resistance of reality to language in a meticulous, highly original textual analysis of "A Clean Well-lighted Place," a story one would think had been mined out by scores of earlier critics. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. B. H. Leeds Central Connecticut State University