The Rhetoric and Ethics of Lyric Narrative: Hemingway’s A Clean, Well-Lighted Place
Rhetorical approach focusing on the story as a lyric narrative that invites the audience to respond to and engage with its ethical dimensions. Revisits the much-debated controversy about the dialogue between the two waiters, arguing that resolution of the issue lies in examining the second half of the story. Supports Scribner’s 1965 textual emendation that has the older waiter introducing the concept of nada into the story. Concludes that the “rhetorical dynamics of the lyric narrative hybrid conveys the double-edged communication that everything is nada but we can and should live with that knowledge in a way that keeps despair at bay.” Significantly revised version published as “Interlacings of Narrative and Lyric: Ernest Hemingway’s ‘A Clean Well-Lighted Place’ and Sandra Cisneros’s ‘Woman Hollering Creek’” in Experiencing Fiction: Judgments, Progressions, and the Rhetorical Theory of Narrative, 151-77. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2007.