“After the armistice they agreed he should go home to get a job so they might be married. Luz would not come home until he had a good job and could come to New York to meet her. It was understood he would not drink, and he did not want to see his friends or anyone in the States. Only to get a job and be married. On the train from Padua to Milan they quarreled about her not being willing to come home at once. When they had to say good-bye, in the station at Milan, they kissed good-bye, but were not finished with the quarrel. He felt sick about saying good-bye like that.”

-Ernest Hemingway, from “In Our Time,” “Chapter VI: A Very Short Story,” p. 66

Notes: Issue of alcoholism implied in passing of conversation (major issue almost entirely glossed over except for one prominent moment); entire story is about fleeting, temporal love affair being placed in a proper perspective; specific dialogue is omitted; the whole story is about as long as and feels like a brief letter summarizing significant events and placing them in context for all that they amount to.

Other Questions: How autobiographical is “In Our Time?”


Leave a Reply