Ol' Matty makes both his great return and his official debut as he rises from the dead to kill some manjaros and transform Ernest Hemingway's classic short story "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" into its sandwich form, with all the hard-hitting flavour of four novels in one and the burnt out souls at their centre. I had to try so hard to convince him not to burn every ingredient. So. Hard.
In the first official episode of Delicious Word Sandwich, which critics have acclaimed as "Wait, what is it?" and "Get out of my office", Ol' Matty is resurrected by his Librarian Overlords so that they may recover their treasured literary works from his corpse, which had been lost when Ol' Matty climbed Mount Kilimanjaro hoping to ask the snow leopard, as described (dead) in Hemingway's 1936 story, what exactly it was looking for. Apparently, Ol' Matty insisted, the final thoughts are "inscribed on the brain, the delicious, delicious brain". The guy eats books and only sometimes turns them into sandwiches, so I don't know what I expected.
Through painstaking analysis and an astounding and worryingly encyclopedic mind filled with the history of Hemingway and his stories, Ol' Matty breaks down the titan of Ernest's short-story work into bread (Background), meat/meat-substitute (Story), cheese (Characters), sauce (Themes) and seasoning (final thoughts/feelings), because he clearly has never heard of vegetables.
For his first full-fledged analysis, Ol' Matty thought it best to begin with a short-story, hoping to keep it short and sweet. Short and Sweet, that's what he said.
In 1936, "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" was published in Esquire Magazine, and is considered the most artistically triumphant of all of Hemingway's works, many ranking it alongside his acclaimed novels such as "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and "The Old Man and the Sea". This short-story tells the tale of a writer on his death-bed, reflecting on his life and who he has become, plagued more by his rotting regret than the gangrene in his leg. As he waits impatiently for the disappointing sensation of death, he talks with his wife, Helen, whose wealth he blames for corrupting his talent and worth, and passes in and out of consciousness into reverie of story's left untold, some better left as such, the women he's known and the talent he's wasted. In the end, it's a tale of one realising both the purity and the corruption that exists within a soul, among other things. Also, Ol' Matty experimented far too much trying to replicate the taste of gangrene.
Love stories? Love hearing about the tales of old with Ol' Matty but want to know them yourself? Want to join the Book Club Sandwich but don't have the time or desire to sit down and read? Well, you nit, check out Audible, where you can drive to your destination and faraway lands all at once. P.S. Audible, please sponsor me.
"The Snows of Kilimanjaro and other stories" read by Stacey Keach (AKA Detective Mike Hammer) is available on Audible
A film adaptation starring Gregory Peck and directed by Henry King was made in 1952. It does not mirror the story's ending and does about as well as one would expect a film based on a short-story to do. Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner turn in good performances.
Until next time, my Quixotes! Tuesday week Ol' Matty and his new best friend, the demon Breaderick, shall return with a metamorphosis and analysis of Sylvia Plath's "The Bell Jar".
Ol' Matty doesn't have a literature degree, but he does read a lot:
If you want to read more about the best novels of 2018 as according to the New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/2018-in-review/the-best-books-of-2018
For more about V.S. Naipaul, a writer who seized his talent all the way: https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/vs-naipaul-dead-died-author-death-house-mr-biswas-nobel-prize-literature-booker-a8488011.html
For more terrible sex scenes in literature (Seriously, Murakami's amazing but his sex-scenes stop his stories dead): https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/bad-sex-fiction-awards-haruki-murakami-killing-commendatore-james-frey-katerina-shortlist-winner-a8664786.html