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“A writer’s job is to tell the truth,” said Hemingway in 1942. No othe

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“A writer’s job is to tell the truth,” said Hemingway in 1942. No othe  [#permalink]

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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 208, Date : 15-Jul-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


“A writer’s job is to tell the truth,” said Hemingway in 1942. No other writer of our time had so fiercely asserted, so pugnaciously defended or so consistently exemplified the writer’s obligation to speak truly. His standard of truthtelling remained, moreover, so high and so rigorous that he was ordinarily unwilling to admit secondary evidence, whether literary evidence or evidence picked up from other sources than his own experience. “I only know what I have seen,” was a statement which came often to his lips and pen. What he had personally done, or what he knew unforgettably by having gone through one version of it, was what he was interested in telling about. This is not to say that he refused to invent freely. But he always made it a sacrosanct point to invent in terms of what he actually knew from having been there.

The primary intent of his writing, from first to last, was to seize and project for the reader what he often called “the way it was.” This is a characteristically simple phrase for a concept of extraordinary complexity, and Hemingway’s conception of its meaning subtly changed several times in the course of his career—always in the direction of greater complexity. At the core of the concept, however, one can invariably discern the operation of three aesthetic instruments: the sense of place, the sense of fact, and the sense of scene.

The first of these, obviously a strong passion with Hemingway, is the sense of place. “Unless you have geography, background,” he once told George Antheil, “you have nothing.” You have, that is to say, a dramatic vacuum. Few writers have been more place-conscious. Few have so carefully charted out the geographical ground work of their novels while managing to keep background so conspicuously unobtrusive. Few, accordingly, have been able to record more economically and graphically the way it is when you walk through the streets of Paris in search of breakfast at a corner café . . . Or when, at around six o’clock of a Spanish dawn, you watch the bulls running from the corrals at the Puerta Rochapea through the streets of Pamplona towards the bullring.

“When I woke it was the sound of the rocket exploding that announced the release of the bulls from the corrals at the edge of town. Down below the narrow street was empty. All the balconies were crowded with people. Suddenly a crowd came down the street. They were all running, packed close together. They passed along and up the street toward the bullring and behind them came more men running faster, and then some stragglers who were really running. Behind them was a little bare space, and then the bulls, galloping, tossing their heads up and down. It all went out of sight around the corner. One man fell, rolled to the gutter, and lay quiet. But the bulls went right on and did not notice him. They were all running together.”

This landscape is as morning-fresh as a design in India ink on clean white paper. First is the bare white street, seen from above, quiet and empty. Then one sees the first packed clot of runners. Behind these are the thinner ranks of those who move faster because they are closer to the bulls. Then the almost comic stragglers, who are “really running.” Brilliantly behind these shines the “little bare space,” a desperate margin for error. Then the clot of running bulls—closing the design, except of course for the man in the gutter making himself, like the designer’s initials, as inconspicuous as possible.


1. According to the author, Hemingway’s primary purpose in telling a story was

(A) to construct a well-told story that the reader would thoroughly enjoy.
(B) to construct a story that would reflect truths that were not particular to a specific historical period.
(C) to begin from reality but to allow his imagination to roam from “the way it was” to “the way it might have been.”
(D) to report faithfully reality as Hemingway had experienced it.
(E) to go beyond the truth, to “create” reality.



2. From the author’s comments and the example of the bulls (paragraph 4), what was the most likely reason for which Hemingway took care to include details of place?

(A) He felt that geography in some way illuminated other, more important events.
(B) He thought readers generally did not have enough imagination to visualize the scenes for themselves.
(C) He had no other recourse since he was avoiding the use of other literary sources.
(D) He thought that landscapes were more important than characters to convey “the way it was.”
(E) He felt that without background information the readers would be unable to follow the story.



3. One might infer from the passage that Hemingway preferred which one of the following sources for his novels and short stories?

(A) Stories that he had heard from friends or chance acquaintances
(B) Stories that he had read about in newspapers or other secondary sources
(C) Stories that came to him in periods of meditation or in dreams
(D) Stories that he had lived rather than read about
(E) Stories adapted from myths



4. It has been suggested that part of Hemingway’s genius lies in the way in which he removes himself from his stories in order to let readers experience the stories for themselves. Which of the following elements of the passage support this suggestion?

I. The comparison of “the designer’s initials” to the man who fell and lay in the gutter (Text in Red) during the running of the bulls
II. Hemingway’s stated intent to project for the reader “the way it was” (Highlighted)
III. Hemingway’s ability to invent fascinating tales from his own experience

(A) I only
(B) II only
(C) I and II only
(D) I and III only
(E) I, II, and III



5. From the passage, one can assume that which of the following statements would best describe Hemingway’s attitude toward knowledge?

(A) One can learn about life only by living it fully.
(B) A wise person will read widely in order to learn about life.
(C) Knowledge is a powerful tool that should be reserved only for those who know how to use it.
(D) Experience is a poor teacher.
(E) One can never truly “know” anything.



6. The author calls “the way it was” a “characteristically simple phrase for a concept of extraordinary complexity” (Highlighted) because

(A) the phrase reflects Hemingway’s talent for obscuring ordinary events.
(B) the relationship between simplicity and complexity reflected the relationship between the style and content of Hemingway’s writing.
(C) Hemingway became increasingly confused about “the way it was” throughout the course of his career.
(D) Hemingway’s obsession for geographic details progressively overshadowed the dramatic element of his stories.
(E) it typifies how Hemingway understated complex issues.



Source: Nova GMAT
Difficulty Level: 650

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New post 16 Jul 2019, 09:45
+1 Kudos to posts containing answer explanation of all questions
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New post 16 Jul 2019, 21:19
CAN ANYONE EXPLAIN WHY THE ANSWER OF 2 IS A NOT E AND THE CONFUSION BETWEEN THE OPTIONS B AND E IN 6.
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New post 17 Jul 2019, 11:33
Official Explanation


2. From the author’s comments and the example of the bulls (paragraph 4), what was the most likely reason for which Hemingway took care to include details of place?

Difficulty Level: 700

Explanation

This is an extension question. In lines 24–25, Hemingway effectively equates geography with background, and says that without them “you have nothing.” In line 25, the author refers to the “geographical groundwork” of Hemingway’s novels. Both of these statements imply that details of place set the stage for other, more important events. Hence the answer is (A).

Don’t try to draw a distinction between “geography,” “background,” and “landscape.” The author uses them interchangeably when referring to details of place. Such latitude with labels is often mimicked by the Question-Writers. Choice (D) is a close second-best. The author indicates that geography, background, and landscape are quite important to Hemingway. In fact, “first” in the opening to paragraph 3 almost indicates that details of place are the most important aspect of his writing. Looking closely, however, we see that the passage gives no indication of Hemingway’s perspective on characters. So no comparison can be made.

Answer: A


6. The author calls “the way it was” a “characteristically simple phrase for a concept of extraordinary complexity” (Highlighted) because

Difficulty Level: 700

Explanation

This is an extension question. The answer is (B). There is a great parallel here. Phrase (in the passage) corresponds to style (in the answer choice), and concept corresponds to content.

Answer: B


Hope it helps

PALLAVI2018mba wrote:
CAN ANYONE EXPLAIN WHY THE ANSWER OF 2 IS A NOT E AND THE CONFUSION BETWEEN THE OPTIONS B AND E IN 6.

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New post 19 Jul 2019, 21:56
[lease give an explanation to question 1
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New post 19 Jul 2019, 22:02
please give explanation for 4th question
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New post 20 Jul 2019, 10:07
Official Explanation


1. According to the author, Hemingway’s primary purpose in telling a story was

Difficulty Level: 550

Explanation

This is a description question.

(A) is false. The enjoyment of the reader was incidental to Hemingway’s primary purpose—truth-telling.

(B) is false, though very tempting. The first half of this item “to construct a story that would reflect truths” looks very good. The second half, however, spoils it by adding the qualifier “not particular to a specific historical period.” Reviewing the passage reveals no indication that Hemingway is trying to create any kind of “general truth.” In fact, one can argue that Hemingway’s emphasis on developing a strong “sense of place” (lines 23–26), and his belief that when trying to tell the truth “I only know what I have seen” (line 7) support the inference that Hemingway sees truth as subjective, not objective.

(C) is also false. The passage gives no indication that Hemingway was interested in the way things “might have been.”

(D) is true. This is clearly the author’s interpretation of Hemingway’s purpose. Look at the first few sentences of both the first and the second paragraphs. Notice that this question item emphasizes subjective truth, or the truth “as Hemingway had experienced it.” Strategy: In this question, you have two choices—(B) and (D)—which at first glance seem very close. Let’s assume you don’t understand exactly why a “close second” is wrong. When confronted with this situation, it’s a good idea to take a few seconds and try to get into the Question-Writer’s mindset. What are you missing that the Question-Writer thinks is an important point in this passage? In this case, the Question Writer is focusing on the subtle point that Hemingway sees his perspective as “subjective,” that certain things, true in some places or to some people, may not be true in other places or to other people. In other words, there is no “objective reality.”If you have trouble with later questions on the same passage, you may want to go back, analyze the passage, and determine the real difference between the earlier “close pair.” The Question-Writer may be testing the same question from a different angle, in which case time is well spent pondering the issue.

Answer: D


Hope it helps

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[lease give an explanation to question 1

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New post 20 Jul 2019, 10:11
Official Explanation


4. It has been suggested that part of Hemingway’s genius lies in the way in which he removes himself from his stories in order to let readers experience the stories for themselves. Which of the following elements of the passage support this suggestion?

Difficulty Level: 750

Explanation

This is an extension question.
Statement I is true. The last line of the passage states that the designer’s initials (i.e., the writer’s presence) are made as inconspicuous as possible.

Statement II is also true. Readers cannot see “the way it was” if they are looking through another medium (the author). Hemingway appears to say, in effect: “I’m striving to report exactly what happened (and not my opinions about it). The readers must draw their own conclusions.”

Statement III is false. In fact, a good case could be made that writing only from personal experience would tend to increase, not decrease, the presence of the writer in his writings.

The answer is (C).


Hope it helps

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please give explanation for 4th question

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New post 21 Jul 2019, 08:21
Please explain question 5
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New post 22 Jul 2019, 00:31
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Official Explanation


5. From the passage, one can assume that which of the following statements would best describe Hemingway’s attitude toward knowledge?

Difficulty Level: 600

Explanation

This is an application question; we are asked to put ourselves in Hemingway’s mind. From Hemingway’s statement “I only know what I have seen” and from the author’s assertion that Hemingway refused to honor secondary sources, we can infer that he believed one can “know” only through experience. Hence the answer is (A).


Hope it Helps

Midhilesh489 wrote:
Please explain question 5

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Re: “A writer’s job is to tell the truth,” said Hemingway in 1942. No othe   [#permalink] 22 Jul 2019, 00:31
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