Tag: break-ups

Hemingway, “The Three-Day Blow”

three-day blow hemingway nick adams stories

The first edition cover.

A tedious, pretentious sequel to “The End of Something” cloaked in the three-day blow’s vaguely biblical connotations of a break between past and future, Nick Adams, annoyingly referred to as “Wemedge” by his friend Bill–and by Hemingway’s friends in his actual life–talks literature, booze and Marge with Bill as they talk of getting drunk more than they actually do get drunk. The story ostensibly reflects Nick’s uncertainty about his break-up with Marge, but not without a good dose of misogyny in the mouth of Bill:

“Once a man’s married he’s absolutely bitched,” Bill went on. “He hasn’t got anything more. Nothing. Not a damn thing. He’s done for. You’ve seen the guys that get married.”

Nick said nothing.

“You can tell them,” Bill said. “They get this sort of fat married look. They’re done for.”

“Sure,” said Nick.

Nick doesn’t want to talk about it but keeps talking about it. The dialogue is that clipped Nick-Adams-Stories type, mostly circular, a good pastiche of Hemingway.

Hemingway, “The End of Something” (1925)

At Princess Place (c Notebooks)

At Princess Place (c Notebooks)

Nick is 17. Marjorie is his girlfriend. But “it’s no longer fun.” They’re in a row boat, going for a picnic. They remember the days of the mill, long gone. He’s not hungry. He eats anyway, and tells her it’s no longer fun. She rows off, leaving him. His friend Bill joins him. He doesn’t want to be joined by his friend Bill. It’s the end of something. I’m all broken up inside. I hope the pâté was good, at least.