I'm doing a comparison paper, and I think there is something in common between Joyce's and Hemingway's short story writing: concise but powerful. Is there any evidence that Hemingway's writing style was influenced by Joyce's?

  • 2
    Almost certainly, I would say, specifically because Hemingway considered the book 'Dubliners' as one of the 16 books any aspiring writer must read. Jul 24, 2020 at 15:51
  • How are you defining influence? A good counterfactual might be to compare Pound's influence on Hemingway as described in A Moveable Feast. Pound 'taught' Hemingway to strip adjectives from his writing. Joyce, on the other hand, seemed to revel in piling them up.
    – DJohnson
    Oct 22, 2022 at 18:30

1 Answer 1


Hemingway knew Joyce personally, as they were both expatriates in Paris at the same time. In 1923, the year Hemingway’s first collection of stories was published, Hemingway claimed that Joyce was “the best writer in the world.” (For that, and gossip about their drinking-buddies relationship, see the blogpost "James Joyce Picked Drunken Fights, Then Hid Behind Ernest Hemingway" on Open Culture, 3 November 2015.)

So yes, Joyce was a big influence on Hemingway, at least in his early years, though Hemingway quickly developed his own style.

  • 1
    Are you saying that the fact that Hemingway considered Joyce “the best writer in the world” is sufficient evidence for the claim that Joyce influenced Hemingway's writing style? That sounds a bit thin, doesn't it?
    – Tsundoku
    Jul 29, 2020 at 14:46
  • 1
    @Tsundoku on the contrary, it would be rather extraordinary for a young journeyman writer to not be influenced by someone he’s read and admires greatly.
    – Kevin Troy
    Jul 31, 2020 at 17:44
  • 1
    There's plenty of academic work about the influence jstor.org/stable/44162854 proquest.com/openview/6f37be6b01443cd49382434498fd5dec/…
    – Stuart F
    Feb 24, 2022 at 16:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.