Did Papa Lose His Touch?
Along with To Have and Have Not, the critics of the ‘50s bashed Hemingway for his sixth novel, Across the River and Into the Trees. It remains one of my favorites, and in the latter part of the twentieth century, the critics did respond to the book more favorably.
The novel published in 1950 by Charles Scribner’s Sons had been previously presented in a serialized version by Cosmopolitan.
This book traces the psychological dilemma faced by yet another Hemingway hero. Following four heart attacks, he must come to grips with his own impending death. Like all Papa’s lead characters, he does so with dignity, and grace under pressure.
Did Hemingway lose his touch in 1950? Certainly not, and he proved it a couple of years later with the release of The Old Man and the Sea.