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Books & Films
Here we present the most exciting books and films. Save space in your travel bag. These books (and films) should be a part of you backpack.

Hunting lions and dreaming about conquering high mountains in the wild Africa, and how to become a real man

2004-01-05
Comments on two exciting novels of Ernest Hemingway
Have you ever wondered about hunting lions? And have you plans for climbing the Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Before you make up your mind, think twice. It is also a good idea to read Ernest Hemingway's novels "The short happy life of Francis Macomber", and "The snows of Kilimanjaro" before you start the big venture. It can give you new arenas, new experiences and a new life, but not without great challenges!

Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) was an adventurer, womaniser and an incredible author. In several of his short stories, Ernest Hemingway uses one or more animals as symbols. Animals are the expressions of strong desires of the main persons in the stories. It often explains the hidden motives and thoughts that force them.

Ernest Hemingway's novels "The short happy life of Francis Macomber", and "The snows of Kilimanjaro", are both good examples of such analogy, and the novels have also other parallels.

Photo: Cover from The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway.

The snows of Kilimanjaro In "The Snows of Kilimanjaro (in Tanzania)," Hemingway uses two kinds of animals to symbolise both the type of person Harry wishes he is and the type of person he has actually become. The leopard is only mentioned from the text written on the gravestone in the beginning of the story, but its presence is extremely important to the rest of the story. Here the reader is told the legend of the leopard carcass found at one top of Kilimanjaro. What was the leopard doing there? The leopard, as it seems, was seeking the summit, known as Ngaje, Ngaje (the House of God), according to a legend of the Masais. A leopard gives the reader associations of grace, speed, strength, courage and dignity.

In this story, the leopard symbolises all of these qualities. The hyena is a symbol of qualities that are present in Harry. It is representative of the scavenger-like qualities of Harry's personality and his spiritual death, which has occurred long before his physical one.

The reader finds, through his confusing visions that the qualities of the leopard are ones with that Harry could never be associated with. Where are his guts? Harry has never been able to use his talent apparently because has been too afraid to try. Will he ever reached the top of Kilimanjaro (the highest peak in Africa and nearly 6000 meter high), and become a real man? Or is he going to waste that opportunity too?

As the author Hemingway, the main person Harry is a writer too. Is it possible that Hemingway puts much of his own personality and desires in this character? Actual is Hemingway's "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" a story about a man and his dying, his relationship to his wife, and his memories a life filled with troubles. You find similar elements in his novel about Francis Macomber.

The short happy life of Francis Macomber This is a horror story about the rise and fall of a man. Like a invisible ghost a lion makes his life miserable. In addition his wife doesen`t make it easier for him.

Photo: A lion is hiding and preparing an attack.

An Somalian idiom says that a brave man frightens tree times by a lion; first time when he sees the traces, first time he hear its roar, and first time he stand face to face with it. An Somalian idiom says that a brave man frightens tree times by a lion; first time when he sees the traces, first time he hear its roar, and first time he stand face to face with it.

The title of the story indicates that Francis is not really alive until he becomes a man. In opposite to him the lion is described as strong and brave. Does he really succeed to kill the lion that follows him over everywhere? And do he manage to kill anything at all? His wife does everything to humiliate him, and repeatedly ask him in the front of the guide Wilson, if he has killed something.

Their marriage isn't good at all. She continuously compares her husband Francis with the tough guide Wilson. As soon as possible Francis has to get rid of the lion once for all. Hemingway's lively telling about Francis` finale encounters with that lion, is an incident you don't forget for a while. To become a real man in his wife's opinion, he has to kill that lion once and for all!!! If it where you who was challenged that way, what would you think about that?

New collection of novels

If you like to read about Francis` efforts you will find it in a new collection with novels of Hemingway. A new extended edition of the complete short stories. In this ultimate collection of Ernest Hemingway's short stories, readers will find the author's stories as "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," The short happy life of Francis Macomber", "Cat in the Rain", "Big Two Hearted River", "The Killers", "Hills Like White Elephants," and "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place", most interesting. It is also included seven new tales published for the first time in this collection. For Hemingway fans "The Complete Short Stories"- book is a must!

Ernest Hemingway is probably most known for his short stories. This collection, The Short Stories, originally published in 1938, is definitive. Among these forty-nine short stories are Hemingway's earliest efforts, written when he was a young foreign correspondent in Paris. Ernest Hemingway's vision to courage and inspire still lives. This Nobel Prize winner is considered by many to be the greatest, most influential American writer of all time. Most of the meaning in Hemingway's stories can be read between the lines.

The author's use of animal symbolism makes the characters in his novels very colourful, and gives the readers a better understanding of the their behaviour. So in this ways he manages to tell his story with full of life. After reading his novels you will dream about high mountains, lions, leopards and other fascinating animals. Surprises will hit you!

Stein Morten Lund, 6 July 2000
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