In Paris or Paname

Hemingway’s Expatriate Nationalism


Author: Jeffrey Herlihy
Alongside a liberating treatment of the English language, Ernest Hemingway realized some often overlooked innovations in multicultural subject matter. In six of the seven novels published during his lifetime, the protagonist is abroad, bilingual, and bicultural—and these archetypes have significant implications for each character’s sense of identity. In Paris or Paname interprets Hemingway’s overdetermined use of foreignness as a literary device, characterizing how cultural displacement informs plot dynamics. The investigation historicizes the archetypal protagonist’s process of (re)orientation through attention to his intercultural adoptions in language, alcohol consumption, sports, and betrothal rites. Herlihy situates his argument within an apposite research framework from psychological studies on migration, anthropological examinations of cultural ceremony, and literary theory on the poetics of displacement. The analysis offers groundbreaking insights on the distribution of previously overlooked structural patterns (themes, motifs, and symbols) that are present throughout Hemingway’s novelistic corpus, and provides a compelling perspective on the aesthetics of the expatriate/immigrant writing process.

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Part I
Perspectives of Place, Exile, and Identity
The Role of Place in Literature
Ernest Hemingway Abroad: “He Was a Sort of Joke, in Fact”
Part II
Patterns of Foreign Behavior: “You Were an American”
Final Irony: “They Turned on You Often”
“You Must Teach Me Spanish”: The Intercultural Action of Hemingway’s Women
Hemingway’s Epilogue: The Old Man and the Sea