The Snows of Kilimanjaro

Heading to the Summit of Kilimanjaro

I am currently reading Donald Bouchard’s new book, Hemingway: So Far From Simple (2010, Prometheus Books, NY).

In a review of the Snows of Kilimanjaro Bouchard talks about death and dying and ends with the famous passage from Hemingway:

“And there, ahead, all he could see, as wide as all the world, great, high, and unbelievably white in the sun, was the square of Kilimanjaro. And then he knew that was where he was going.”

I thought about that famous line during my climb to the summit of Kilimanjaro in February 2008. The photo was taken just below the 19,340′ summit. Hemingway’s words were never so true. About the only thing I missed however at high altitude was the “…frozen carcass of a leopard.” That would have made my trip!

On a side note, Hemingway often referred to the Snows of Kilimanjaro as his favorite short story and admitted that he “never wrote so directly about himself as in that story” Bloom’s Major Short Story Writers, pg. 69.


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