The Tabula Fabulas: Re-Reading Hemingway’s First Narratives

  • Stephen Gilbert Brown
Part of the American Literature Readings in the 21st Century book series (ALTC)


Inquiry in this chapter develops a corrective reading of Hemingway’s first high school narratives, reading against the grain of a critical tradition and the author’s assessment, signifying these stories as “childish stuff” worthy of “the wastebasket.” These Tabula narratives are posited as yet another delayed effect of traumatic wounding rooted in the familiar and the familial. “Manitou” and “Sepi” are read as trauma narratives through the critical lens of trauma theory, with particular emphasis given to the tropes of betrayal, crime, the beast, entrapment, and an animistic world view as a form of narrative repair. These Tabula fabulas are contextualized within a broader “aesthetics of anxiety” that characterizes the literary tradition of the uncanny. Inquiry concludes by elaborating the deep implications of these first narratives for Hemingway’s high modernist art.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Gilbert Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NevadaLas VegasUSA

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