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Opening Arguments

Foxy Hemingway

He fished. Then he wrote about fishing. It is a good read. A fine read. Not a hard read:

In a letter to Gertrude Stein, Hemingway described "Big Two-Hearted River" as a story in which "nothing happens." Nick Adams walks out of Seney, makes camp, and goes fishing. Beneath this mundane surface, however, swims a potent personal drama.

Something bothers Nick. The text doesn't say what. As an author, Hemingway routinely withheld what would seem to be key information; his stories are often exercises in decipherment. A close reading of "Big Two-Hearted River" reveals that Nick's trek into the backwoods of Michigan is about much more than hooking trout.

But it wasnt the Two-Hearted. It was the Fox. He changed it. He had a reason.