Top positive review
Africa, The Archetype of Hunting in King James Cadenced Prose
Reviewed in the United States on November 5, 2020
The sheer poetry of this book, the lyricism, the exuberant joy and enthralling descriptions of the majesty of the African landscape, the evocation of the dreads and thrills of the archetypal story of the Hunt, compensate, it seems to this reader, even overcome, its multiple defects, none of which are excusable, but most of which are explainable in terms of the prejudices and conventions of the time, together with Hemingway’s own insecurities and resulting need to please and over impress. If you can set aside your own feelings pro or con about hunting and read the book as Hemingway’s attempt to render with the precision that only he could do, examine, understand and explain his own fascination and lifelong pursuit and practice of the ancient rites, rituals and rewards of hunting, and to do it in a landscape — and maybe even in the company of their ghosts — where the first humans stalked and pursued their prey, the book begins to echo with eternity, so many passages with an aura of timelessness as if painted on a cave wall and to acquire a depth and value that may be overlooked or underestimated upon first reading. But that’s nearly always the case with Hemingway, with Joyce and Faulkner, the 20th Century’s greatest writers.