Form 5 Hemingway Parody Winners: Understanding Voice

Jackie Pisani
That fall there was a fight with words. It was fierce, as usual. Students wrote. Like Hemingway.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Ernest Hemingway must be preening around in the afterlife with a very puffed chest. In the late 1970s, seeking to promote Harry's Bar & American Grill in California, the bar owners created a "bad Hemingway" parody contest to capitalize on Hemingway's literary references to "Harry's," an old haunt of his in Venice, Italy. The contest challenges Hemingway aficionados to write their own short story employing Papa's spare, muscular style.

After reading the works of Hemingway, Form 5 students were tasked with creating their own short stories. English teacher Catherine Schieffelin believes that by writing in Hemingway's style one can better understand his literary voice and develop a deeper appreciation of his individual style.

Hemingway had strong opinions on the subject of parody. After E.B. White, the author of Charlotte's Web, spoofed Hemingway's style, he said, ″The parody is the last refuge of the frustrated writer. The greater the work of literature, the easier the parody. The step up from writing parodies is writing on the wall above the urinal.″

The following students were awarded the ultimate writer's instrument - a pencil.

First Place: Alma Clark ("The Short, Short Solo of Fransis Macomber”)
Second Place: Juliana Kulak (“A Sufficiently Cleaned, Mediocrely Lit Starbucks”)
Third Place: Matthew Marottolo ("A Dirty, Dimly-Lit Dog Daycare”), Julia Kanaan ("Untitled"), and Kush Kataria ("Through the Eyes of V Year Olds”). 

Here's a link to "The Short, Short Solo of Fransis Macomber"

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