It was very late and everyone had left the cafe except an old man who sat in the shadows the leaves of the tree made against the electric light. In the day time the
street was dusty, but at night the dew settled the dust and the old man liked to sit late because he was deaf and now at night it was quiet and he felt the difference.The two waiters inside the cafe knew that the old man was a little drunk, and while he was a good client they knew that if he became too drunk he would leave without paying, so they kept watch on him.
The opening lines of “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” by American writer Ernest Hemingway (1899 – 1961), from his collection of stories Winner Takes Nothing (1933). It’s still my favourite short story of his. I’m a big fan of Hemingway and have quoted him on the blog before, on a post about my favourite short story writers and on The Old Man and the Sea.
I love the passage. I’ve never read it before. Thank you for sharing.
You’ll love the story. It’s so concise and yet deep and thought-provoking. It’s not long. You can read it here https://www.wlps.org/view/2546.pdf
So much in so little! Beauty!! Thanks for sharing it with us 🙂
He had incredible talent. My dissertation was on him and Fitzgerald. This story isn’t long, only a few pages. And yet he packs so much in.
Yes 🙌 the most important the language is so “clear” and the meaning is so “deep”…
Indeed. One of my favourite writers.
This sounds like my friend, Hilton. He always came back the next day to pay his bill though. Hahahaha!
Sounds a bit of a character 🙂