FOR THE SHORTEST MONTH OF THE YEAR we chose a somewhat long-ass book: For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway — published in 1940, stacking up to around 500 pages, depending on your book copy. (My version has a 480 page count. Divide that by 28 days for an average 17.14 pages daily. Super easy, my friend.)
A brief background summary on Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls:
Praised and criticized for its realistic depictions of wartime brutality, For Whom the Bell Tolls received a 1941 Pulitzer Prize nomination from an almost unanimously eager Pulitzer Board. Yet, Hemingway was ultimately denied the prize due to backstage lobbying by the President of Columbia University Nicholas Murray Butler, the ex officio head of the Pulitzer Board and an aggressively pro-war, anti-civil …fool!
Why For Whom the Bell Tolls?
Admittedly, the decision arbitrarily began with: “Let’s choose a famous modernist novel, perhaps with a romantic bent to acknowledge Valentine’s Day.” And, initially, this uncontested thought process lead to Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
However, under deep consideration pressured by severe doubt and worry, the Vulgarian Book Club Committee rerouted to a much more action-packed modern novelist: Ernest Hemingway. And this quickly delivered us to For Whom the Bell Tolls, a novel filled with a handsome protagonist (dashing!), a wartime setting (exciting!), communist-vs-fascist intrigue (relevant!), and a romantic bent.
On a more serious note, if John Donne’s “No Man is an Island” holds true —
— then Hemingway’s exploration into love and loyalty, courage and sacrifice, ideology and death via For Whom the Bell Tolls carries as much inspiration and impact today as it did during the World Wars.
And that seems at least worth the read.
How to Join the Vulgarian Book Club
You can participate in the Vulgarian Book Club in a number of ways, such as:
- Posting your thoughts, opinions, questions, haikus, etc. in the Aviary.
- Sharing your video book review / analysis to the Aviary.
- (Upload the video to a separate host — e.g., YouTube, Facebook, etc. — then post the link in the Aviary.)
- Submitting a written review to email@example.com to be published on this website.
- (Include your name, a short bio, and a link to where we can find your work.)
- (Minimum length requirement: 500 words.)
- (Also, doesn’t need to be a quote-unquote “review”; informal essays are fine.)
- Joining our Patreon exclusive Discord channel (The Aviary 2.0) for more direct chits and chats with the American Vulgaria editor and other fellow Discord members. (Patreon link here.)
As our Patreon community grows, we’ll begin splicing segments of your discussion contributions — posts, videos, reviews, etc. — into the mind-blowing, monthly Vulgarian Book Club wrap-up videos (unless advised otherwise).
Until then, stay tuned for more A.V. goodies and mmm.. yummies.
Order the Book
* * *
DISCLAIMER: While we are primarily funded by our Patreon subscribers, we also receive slight funding through Amazon’s affiliate program, which, for us, takes the form of “click to order” book links — e.g., the book link directly above. The idea: to provide a convenient book order link for the Vulgarian Book Club readers who wish to further support American Vulgaria.