Last minute discussion questions for "Green Hills of Africa". Sorry guys, I usually get these together in advance, but here are five questions for tonight's discussion.
1. What is the significance of the four divisions of the book: "Pursuit and Conversation", "Pursuit Remembered", "Pursuit and Failure" and "Pursuit as Happiness"?
2. In "Green Hills of Africa", Hemingway sets up two competitions. One is between himself and Karl over trophies and horn size and the other is whether nonfiction writing can compete with fiction writing. Is there a clear winner in either case?
3. Is there a contradiction in Hemingway's ethical stance that he "did not mind killing anything, any animal, if I killed it cleanly" because he "ate the meat and kept the hides and horns" with the fact that he is hunting for sport?
4. A common theme in Hemingway is the interplay between knowledge and ignorance and how one "pays" for knowledge. Some examples are the discussion on revolutions, the meeting of the Masai who treat Hemingway and co. like brothers and the responsibility that comes with knowing how to kill animals such as the wounded sable. How else do those two states play out in the book?
5. In the final chapter, Hemingway criticizes colonialism but are his actions and attitudes really different?
The Moderns began in 2010 as a book club devoted to reading Hemingway and his peers. We've since evolved into a club that chooses books from the Modern Library's list of the 100 best 20th Century English language novels. It's a great list that takes us from Sherwood Anderson to Virginia Woolf and many luminaries in between. Please join us as we discover and reread some of the best works of the modern age.
Every discussion has drawn an interesting group of people from all walks of life and all ages. We choose the books off the list with a poll each month (polls are under the "More" tab). We typically meet the last Sunday of the month at the Ukrainian East Village restaurant.
A note on the restaurant: Everyone orders something whether it's a full dinner or soup or appetizers or just a cup of tea. They have been taking great care of us for years and their service is much appreciated--and the food is good. If you RSVP "yes" but for whatever reason can't attend, please change your RSVP to "no" so we have a better headcount when we tell the restaurant how many seats to set up.