Hemingway In Africa, The Last Safari

Hemingway In Africa, The Last Safari

Ondaatje, Christopher

2003

Reviews

from http://www.ondaatje.com/

"The Snows of Kilimanjaro" is one of the world's celebrated short stories. But Hemingway's long literary love affair with Africa, lasting nearly four decades, has never been properly investigated by critics and scholars. Hemingway in Africa fills this significant gap. By following in the footsteps of Hemingway's two African safaris, Christopher Ondaatje, an expert on East African exploration, reveals the roots of Hemingway's fascination with Africa. His book is a charming mixture of perceptive analysis of Hemingway's writings and personal insights into the mind of a complex and driven personality whom Ondaatje both admires and deplores.

Andrew Robinson, Literary Editor

The Times Higher Education Supplement

The sun-dried carcass of a leopard on the summit of Kilimanjaro seems a strange source of inspiration for a writer. [This] new book on Hemingway retraces his steps through his beloved East Africa and reveals as much about the man as about the artist's quest for immortality...

Royal Society of Arts Journal

London, England

Christopher Ondaatje successfully combines his own explorer's enthusiasm and his love of literature to create a compelling study of Hemingway's fascination with Africa and the writing he based on his experiences. We see east Africa with its immensity, its beauty, and its big game and safaris afresh through two pairs of eyes, and we learn something about both men.

Sir Ron Cooke

President Royal Geographical Society

Despite the persistence of Hemingway mania, there has until now been relatively little discussion of his love for Africa and his African books. Nor have most critics used the writer's Africa experience as fully as they might to point out that one of Hemingway's fundamental aesthetic principles was that fiction must be based on actual experience.

Hemingway's two short stories from the 1930's, The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber and The Snows of Kilimanjaro are rightly judged to be among his best work, but his non-fiction book Green Hills of Africa remains underrated, and the posthumously published True at First Light is often dismissed as the ramblings of an ageing man only capable of flashes of his former brilliance.

Now Sir Christopher Ondaatje, the author of the best selling Sindh Revisited and Journey to the Source of the Nile has produced new material and an intriguing insight into the important African phase of Hemingway's life.

Africa was an obsession for Hemingway all his life and Ondaatje, through several personal journeys into the both physical and literary aspects of Hemingway's safaris, has produced a startling and controversial documentary of the man and myth. With new information on the alarming fact behind the fiction, his inspirations, his women, and the disastrous conclusion to his last safari, this book goes a long way to solving the mystery of why Hemingway sought to link artistic pursuit with immortality and why Africa seems particularly to have allowed for an exploration of the theme. Against the backdrop of this astonishing land with its absurd beauty the natural world gained for Hemingway a terrifying force.

Book ID 806

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