Ernest Hemingway would have died rather than have syntax. Or semicolons. I use a whole lot of half-assed semicolons; there was one of them just now; that was a semicolon after “semicolons,” and another one after “now.”
And another thing. Ernest Hemingway would have died rather than get old. And he did. He shot himself. A short sentence. Anything rather than a long sentence, a life sentence. Death sentences are short and very, very manly. Life sentences aren’t. They go on and on, all full of syntax and qualifying clauses and confusing references and getting old. And that brings up the real proof of what a mess I have made of being a man.
Ursula K. Le Guin on being a man – the finest, sharpest thing I’ve read in ages
DID YOU NOTICE THAT WHEN SHE WROTE ABOUT ERNEST HEMINGWAY KILLING HIMSELF SHE USED SHORT CHOPPY SENTENCES??? SHE’S SO FUCKING SMART
I like Hemingway AND Le Guin (although Le Guin is my favorite) and I love the way Le Guin writes about other writers.
Also, this quote is slightly incorrect! It should end this way:
"And that brings up the real proof of what a mess I have made of being a man: I am not even young. Just about the time they finally started inventing women, I started getting old. And I went right on doing it. Shamelessly. I have allowed myself to get old and haven’t done one single thing about it, with a gun or anything."
I think it’s important to include that part, because I like when Le Guin talks about ageism (for lack of a better term) and how people see getting old as something shameful and weak, when really its the most natural thing for everyone in the world to do.
Women hear it all the time from men. “You’re overreacting,” we tell them. “Don’t worry about it so much, you’re over-thinking it.” “Don’t be so sensitive.” “Don’t be crazy.” It’s a form of gaslighting — telling women that their feelings are just wrong, that they don’t have the right to feel the way that they do. Minimizing somebody else’s feelings is a way of controlling them. If they no longer trust their own feelings and instincts, they come to rely on someone else to tell them how they’re supposed to feel.