Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Two Sentence Tuesday

Ernest Hemingway remains a strong source of inspiration for me and one of his greatest short stories, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, begins with these four lines:

Kilimanjaro is a snow-covered mountain 19,710 feet high, and is said to be the highest mountain in Africa. Its western summit is called the "Ngaje Njai," the House of God. Close to the western summit there is the dried and frozen carcass of a leopard. No one has explained what the leopard was seeking at that altitude.
*

I've written several flash fiction pieces in the style of Hemingway's Nick Adams stories. This semi-autobiographical series follows the life of a man named Henry. Two Lines:

I placed my finger in the snow that had collected on the edge of the tree stand and ran my hand along the side watching the flurries drop to the ground. I waited in silence with my father.
The story is called "The Tree Stand" and can be read in its entirety here. And the engaging ladies at Women of Mystery can supply you with more TwoFers here.

19 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

That is a great Hemingway story. His short stories were definitely an influence on my work, although I've never written anything that could quite be considered in the Hemingway mode.

Diane said...

The Tree Stand was beautifully written. More Henry, please.

Leah J. Utas said...

I was right there in the snow with your two sentences, David.
I have yet to read Hemingway. Another one for the growing to read pile.

David Cranmer said...

Charles, I don't really care about fishing, hunting, or bull fighting but I've read Ernesto's stories concerning these topics countless times because he's extraordinary in his prose. A legend that lives up to the title genius.

Diane, Much thanks but Henry has to wait. A-9 and I are knee deep in Hard Bite.

Leah, The Old Man and the Sea and A Moveable Feast are the two best places to begin.

Clare2e said...

It's funny that we both have snowy pieces to share, now that it's July. In fact, my two are part of a holiday story I was writing. By the real snowfall, perhaps you'll have more Henry? At any rate, good luck with the full-length flesh out of Hard Bite.

Scott Parker said...

I'm off to read your story now, but your twofer has me intrigued. And it's a dad-son story, ones that always get me.

As for Hemingway, I've read more novels than short stories. However, the arrangement of "In Our Time" with the vignettes, is a great collections. Stacy Keach reads the entire ouvre of Hemingway short stories in a series of audiobooks. I've listened to a few. Fabulous.

David Cranmer said...

Thanks Clare. And I’m not sure why I jumped back to this winter piece, except maybe, my dad’s b-day is coming up soon.

Scott, I hope you like it. I was thinking of updating the Henry series at some point because my writing is improving but it may be hard to recapture the innocence, so I best leave well enough alone.

I would enjoy the Keach recordings. He played Hemingway a few years back but I never got a chance to watch it.

Barbara Martin said...

I need to get back to reading Hemmingway for his way with words.

Yes, more Henry stories whenever your ready, David.

I stuck a few sentences in the comment section at womenofmystery.

David Cranmer said...

Barbara, I will click over and check them out...

Cloudia said...

Opening sentences "come to me" then the post, or column unfolds like an exciting ride!

Good choices, today, pal ;-)

Aloha-
Comfort Spiral

ca nadeau said...

Can a brutha git a little Truman Capote love up in here?

David Cranmer said...

Cloudia, I'm not sure I would describe The Tree Stand as an exciting ride but I enjoy your enthusiasm. Cheers!

ca nadeau, Ah, Truman Capote. I'm a big fan. I read his short story collection last year and the movie with Philip Seymour Hoffman has been viewed thrice. Capote was the other big celebrity writer of the 20th century who could match Papa. Shame he cut out early.

Anonymous said...

There is something about fathers and sons that always gets me. Written well, young man. Tim.

David Cranmer said...

Thanks Tim.

ca nadeau said...

DC,

I know. I reently read his short story collection and was blown away by how he was able to take moments and suspend them in time until they became snapshots. He was a genius.

Travis Erwin said...

You heard the latest on Hemingway. there is a book coming out that claims he was a very minor spy for the KGB.

David Cranmer said...

ca nadeau, That he was.

Travis, Yeah I saw that on Bill Crider's blog and thought why now after all these years? And of course, it's because the writer got a publishing deal based on this malarkey.

Barrie said...

I am a huge Hemingway fan. Have you ever been to his house in Key West?

David Cranmer said...

Barrie, I haven't but it is on my list. Do they give away cats?