The New York Times asked some contemporary authors to suggest well-known books which could stand abridgement. The mostly unreadable Joyce Carol Oates responded:
I can suggest Ernest Hemingway. Thereâ€™s much too much smoking, drinking, fishing and hunting in Hemingway, and it could all be cut out. If that is cut out about 70 percent of Hemingway would go.
As Ernest Hemingway said about Joseph Conrad and T.S. Eliot respectively: If I believed that sprinkling Ms. Oates ground into a fine powder onto the grave of Ernest Hemingway would cause Mr. Hemingway to arise from the grave, looking irritated, and resume writing, I would depart for Princeton immediately with a meat grinder.
When you said “Joseph Conrad and T.S. Eliot respectively”: wouldn’t it have been, rather, to list Eliot first, as he would be the one sprinkled over Conrad’s grave, and Conrad would then resume writing? The order in which the names are listed when the word “respectively” is applied is molto importante! But maybe Hemingway thought more highly of Eliot than he did of Conrad? No, I just can’t see that! Or am I mistaken in my understanding of the use of the term “respectively” ? (Love your website, by the way!) SB
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