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The Devil and Ernest Hemingway

Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:07 am
by ROU Killing Time
Ernest sat with Beelzebub in his favorite haunt, drinking into the evening and discussing story formation at is essence.

What could be trimmed away as unnecessary and still leave a complete piece?

Lucifer maintained 1000 words would be required while Ernest steadfastly argued that 100 words would be expansive.

He could do it himself in only six words.

"If I prove it, you pay the bartab, otherwise?" he glanced knowingly downward.

He scrawled out a sentence and passed it to Satan who frowned as a tear welled at the corner of his infernal eye.

"For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Used."

*******
Author's note:
In a similiar discussion with a real person, Ernest Hemingway did in fact proffer this solution to the "Shortest Possible Story." and later cited it as the finest piece of writing he had ever created.

Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:21 pm
by strawman
I understand. Sometimes it was hard to get my kids to wear shoes too.

Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:42 pm
by ROU Killing Time
strawman wrote:I understand. Sometimes it was hard to get my kids to wear shoes too.
Therein lies the beauty of those six words which filled in an entire story in your head by triggering a cascade of meaning and events as they relate to your particular life experience.

Posted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 1:29 am
by strawman
I was hoping to influence the thread in that direction, by dangling my post as bait in front of the strange DC lifeforms.
Okay, some babies prefer bare feet. What else?

Posted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:38 am
by Mr. Tweedy
The baby was born with fewer feet than anticipated.

Posted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 8:35 am
by Phenopath
They were the wrong colour!!!

Posted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:42 am
by ROU Killing Time
Completely unrelated to the shoes, the tear in Lucifer's eye clearly was the result of his contemplation of the size of the bartab. (Not that I have any more inside information than any of the rest of you, that's just my gut instinct...)