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June 1971

Ernest Hemingway—A Psychiatric View

Author Affiliations

Stanford, Calif; Hayward, Calif
From the Department of Psychiatry, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, Calif (I. Yalom), and the Department of Foreign Languages, California State College, Hayward (M. Yalom).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1971;24(6):485-494. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1971.01750120001001

Our study of Hemingway is not an attempt to explain the man or his art, but rather to illuminate the underlying forces which shaped the content and structure of his work. This artist in particular warrants study: not only was he a stylistic genius of far-reaching literary influence, but he was both mirror to and architect of the 20th-century American character. Hemingway struggled all his life with severe characterologic problems and, in a severe paranoid depression, committed suicide. This paper considers the major psychodynamic conflicts, apparent in his life style and fiction, which led to that event.

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