T Nation

Six Word Story

Hemingway wrote a six word story. His was “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” It’s quite powerful. But, what do you think the story is about? Someone I know thinks that the baby shoes are a metaphor for lost innocence and a bad childhood. I’m not quite sure that hemingway meant it that way. I would just like to know some other people’s viewpoints. IMO, it’s about someone selling their deceased baby’s unworn shoes.

I think this is overly simplistic, but it could be a commentary on abortion… though I’m not sure it was such a hot-button topic then.

Knowing Hemingway it probably actually has nothing to do with anything we’ll ever comprehend.

They probably bought the shoes for baby on sale, then realized that the shoes weren’t the right size.

baby was born but died

or

baby was born half man half horse as beastiality was quite common in those days

[quote]LiveFromThe781 wrote:
baby was born but died

or

baby was born half man half horse as beastiality was quite common in those days[/quote]

Which half is which? Still might need shoes.

Hemmingway being known for war novels is probably a statement about children or pregnant mothers being killed during war.

If not that Hemmingway is too dynamic of a weriter for anyone that isn’t himself to tell.

Miscarriage? That was my first reaction. I’m sure the root of how you answer that has its basis in your psychology and how you view the world.

One could interpret it another way like, oh it turned out to be a girl instead of a boy so they needed different color shoes (blue/pink). Maybe how a little kid would view the statement etc.

[quote]zephead4747 wrote:

If not that Hemmingway is too dynamic of a weriter for anyone that isn’t himself to tell.[/quote]

Brilliant!

Warning: Magnum XL fits too tight

[quote]Bicep_craze wrote:
Warning: Magnum XL fits too tight

[/quote]

Too mesmerized by avatar to read comment.

[quote]animalmj wrote:
zephead4747 wrote:

If not that Hemmingway is too dynamic of a weriter for anyone that isn’t himself to tell.

Brilliant![/quote]

Hear hear!

So Picasso scrawls some marks on a cafe napkin, and some loony art fans call it a masterpiece.

So Hemingway posts a bill, or places an ad, or tapes a sign in his window with those six words, and some loony admirers call it a story.

Nice.

I just figured they’ve never been worn because they’re baby shoes and really, a baby doesn’t need shoes.

[quote]masonator wrote:
LiveFromThe781 wrote:
baby was born but died

or

baby was born half man half horse as beastiality was quite common in those days

Which half is which? Still might need shoes.[/quote]

a merman perhaps?

[quote]altimus wrote:
animalmj wrote:
zephead4747 wrote:

If not that Hemmingway is too dynamic of a weriter for anyone that isn’t himself to tell.

Brilliant!

Hear hear![/quote]

cut some slack I got two hours of sleep the previous night. Can’t be bothered to proof read when I’m that tired.

[quote]LiveFromThe781 wrote:
masonator wrote:
LiveFromThe781 wrote:
baby was born but died

or

baby was born half man half horse as beastiality was quite common in those days

Which half is which? Still might need shoes.

a merman perhaps?

[/quote]

Good point. merMAN pop, merMAN!

Hemingway actually wrote that story in response to a bet for $20.

He won the money.

[quote]Brant_Drake wrote:
Hemingway actually wrote that story in response to a bet for $20.

He won the money.[/quote]

He also named a woman Brett in The sun also rises.

teh fux?

Thread: poor attempt at thinking online.

[quote]SSC wrote:
I think this is overly simplistic, but it could be a commentary on abortion… though I’m not sure it was such a hot-button topic then.
[/quote]

It wasn’t. They were smarter back then.

[quote]
Knowing Hemingway it probably actually has nothing to do with anything we’ll ever comprehend.[/quote]

That’s the point- it frames out the very basic point of the “plot” and lets the reader fill in every detail of the story. That’s why it’s genius.