I’ve known for a long time that Ernest Hemingway has a series of short stories revolving around the character of Nicholas Adams. Up until now, I had not read any. Last night, I read A Way You’ll Never Be. I don’t know whether these series are all a part of a larger story or not. I don’t know whether there is any chronological order to the stories. Any Hemingway buffs out there can feel free to share any information with me.
I say I haven’t read any until now, but the story in my previous post, In Another Country, may have been a Nicholas Adams story. The American soldier may have been Nicholas Adams, but he wasn’t named in that story. In A Way You’ll Never Be, Nicholas Adams appears to be an American soldier in the war in Italy who goes ahead of his platoon saying that Americans are coming. Throughout the story, though, the question exists about whether Nicholas is really American or whether he is Italian.
Nicholas displays episodes of mental and emotional breakdowns and isn’t always aware of reality. At one point, he rambles on about the differences between grasshoppers and locusts. It seems that back home, he used one or the other for fishing bait. The apparent psychological problems made me question whether Nicholas really had a mission to tell Italians that the Americans were coming. Was that in his head or a part of reality? Hemingway’s writing again poses many questions beyond the surface of the action.
The final line of the story, ” ‘I don’t want to lose the way to Fornaci’ “, emphasizes Nicholas’ disorientation both mentally and physically. The inherent scars from In Another Country make their way to the specific person of Nicholas Adams in A Way You’ll Never Be.
This is the book on my shelf that I’m getting these stories from. I think this story was about 13 pages, a little longer than the previous one. Thirteen more pages toward my 2012 project.