A Clean, Well-Lighted Place by Ernest Hemingway
28 years prior to his own death by committing suicide Ernest Hemingway wrote a short story named A Clean, Well-Lighted Place posing as an excerpt from the life of a presumably middle-aged waiter, who has to deal with an elder customer and the reactions to this man from a younger colleague.
Born in Oak Park, Illinois in 1899 Hemingway first attended college before becoming a reporter for a short period of time. He then enlisted with the Red Cross to serve as a paramedic in World War I, as which he visited Italy amongst others. After getting wounded while serving as an infantryman, Hemingway continued working as a reporter for a newspaper in Toronto. In the 1920s he and his first wife moved to Paris, France where he firstly came in contact with Gertrude Stein, an American writer of German descent. Together they formed a group of writers which became the organ for the Lost Generation, a term that Hemingway created for those then young people whose lives were being corrupted by the war. Despite his former war experiences he spent some formative time in Spain during the local civil war as a war correspondent and got involved with the resistance against Generalissimo Franco. He continued this job during World War II in France and Germany, although being a correspondent soon became of minor importance for him, since he formed group of rebel fighters and led them into battle himself. Later on, while living on Cuba, he suffered several injuries on different occasions from which he never fully recovered and which caused deep depressions. After moving to Ketchum, Idaho he could not bear his medical and psychological condition and the loneliness caused by it anymore and committed suicide, like his father did before him, by shooting himself in the head. (MacGowan 91-95)
In A Clean, Well-Lighted Place Hemingway leads the reader to a café, which presumably is in a village in Spain, considering Hemingway’s time spent in Spain...