In Our Time

Ernest Hemingway

ISBN: 9780020518105

Release: 01/1924

In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway

In Our Time is the title of Ernest Hemingway's first collection of short stories, published in 1925 by Boni & Liveright, New York, and of a collection of vignettes published in 1924 in France titled in our time. Its title is derived from the English Book of Common Prayer, "Give peace in our time, O Lord". The collection's publication history was complex. It began with six prose vignettes published by Ezra Pound in the 1923 edition of The Little Review, to which Hemingway added twelve vignettes and had published in Paris in 1924 as the in our time edition (with a lower-case title). He wrote fourteen short stories for the 1925 edition, including "Indian Camp" and "Big Two-Hearted River", two of his best-known Nick Adams stories. He composed "On the Quai at Smyrna" for the 1930 edition. The stories's themes – of alienation, loss, grief, separation – continue the work Hemingway began with the vignettes, which include descriptions of acts of war, bullfighting and current events. The collection is known for its spare language and oblique depiction of emotion, through a style known as Hemingway's "theory of omission" (iceberg theory). According to his biographer Michael Reynolds, among Hemingway's canon, "none is more confusing ... for its several parts – biographical, literary, editorial, and bibliographical – contain so many contradictions that any analysis will be flawed."


The stories contain themes Hemingway was to revisit over the course of his career. He wrote about initiation rites, early love, marriage problems, disappointment in family life and the importance of male comradeship. he collection conjures a world of violence and war, suffering, executions; it is a world stripped of romance, where even "the hero of the bullfight chapter pukes". Hemingway's early-20th century is a time "out of season", where war, death, and tangled, unfulfilling relationships reign. Alienation in the modern world is particularly evident in "Out of Season", which bears similarities to Eliot's The Waste Land. Eliot's Waste Land motif exists throughout much of Hemingway's early fiction, but is most notable in this collection, The Sun Also Rises (1926), and A Farewell to Arms (1929). He borrowed Eliot's device of using imagery to evoke feeling. Benson attributes similarities between Hemingway and Eliot to Pound, who edited both.


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