It is an often taken-for-granted assumption about Ernest Hemingway that his famously simple and clear style reflects his mercilessly heteromasculine self-presentation. This essay challenges that prominent reading by examining the cultural connections between literary style and sexuality that that reading both reflects and reproduces. Reading Hemingway's fiction with attention to the sexual dimension that has so often circulated in criticism of him, the essay shows modern Western culture's preoccupation with celebrating heterosexuality in the form of its praise of simplicity and clarity, even as it denigrates homosexuality under the sign of ornament and decoration.

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