The Breaking Point

The Breaking Point

Hemingway, Dos Passos, and the Murder of José Robles

Book - 2005
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Both a biographical portrait and history-in-miniature, "The Breaking Point" explores the time Ernest Hemingway and John Dos Passos shared in the Spanish Civil War, an ideological adventure that brought their literary rivalry to the breaking point.
Publisher: New York : Counterpoint, c2005.
ISBN: 9781582432809
Branch Call Number: 813.52 KOCH
Characteristics: xi, 308 p. ; 22 cm.

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Aug 04, 2016

Most of us are familiar with the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) thanks to two books: George Orwell's memoir "Homage to Catalonia" and Hemingway's novel "For Whom the Bell Tolls." Both men were in Spain during the Civil War and Orwell was actually badly wounded. Little more than a footnote, it was an event the galvanized Communists, socialists, leftists, and anti-fascists in America and Europe and attracted an unusual amount of artists, including Hemingway and friend/rival John Dos Passos. Sadly, Dos Passos, whose monumental "U.S.A." trilogy is one of the masterpieces of 20th century fiction, is little read now, but he was on the vanguard of American writers in the 30s. This book is both a dual portrait of the two very different men, both temperamentally and stylistically, and a snapshot of the war. The third figure mentioned in the subtitle, Jose Robles, was a Spanish friend of Dos Passos who taught at Johns Hopkins and was murdered by the fascists. Will appeal to both those interested in history and literature. For more on the history of the Spanish Civil War, the recent book "Spain in Our Hearts" is excellent.


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