The Art of Tetman Callis

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The great turkey shoot

November 21st, 2012 · 2 Comments

“Killing cleanly and in a way which gives you aesthetic pleasure and pride has always been one of the greatest enjoyments of a part of the human race.  Because the other part, which does not enjoy killing, has always been the more articulate and has furnished most of the good writers we have had a very few statements of the true enjoyment of killing.  One of its greatest pleasures, aside from the purely aesthetic ones, such as wing shooting, and the ones of pride, such as difficult game stalking, where it is the disproportionately increased importance of the fraction of a moment that it takes for the shot that furnishes the emotion, is the feeling of rebellion against death which comes from its administering.  Once you accept the rule of death thou shalt not kill is an easily and a naturally obeyed commandment.  But when a man is still in rebellion against death he has pleasure in taking to himself one of the Godlike attributes; that of giving it.  This is one of the most profound feelings in those men who enjoy killing.  These things are done in pride and pride, of course, is a Christian sin, and a pagan virtue.”  – Ernest Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon

Tags: Ernest Hemingway · Lit & Crit

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Averil Dean // Nov 21, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Well. Hemingway was a man’s man, I suppose. This is as far removed from the way my mind works as it’s possible to be.

  • 2 Tetman Callis // Nov 21, 2012 at 11:45 am

    and those were different times. and he’d already been shot up in the war to end all wars (which didn’t).

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