In Hemingway's Fetishism, Carl Eby demonstrates in painstaking detail and with stunning new archival evidence how fetishism was crucial to the construction and negotiation of identity and gender in both Hemingway's life and his fiction. Critics have long acknowledged Hemingway's lifelong erotic obsession with hair, but this book is the first to explain in a theoretically coherent manner why Hemingway was a fetishist and why we should care. Without reducing Hemingway's art to his psychosexuality, Eby demonstrates that when the fetish appears in Hemingway's fiction, it always does so with a retinue of attendant fantasies, themes, and symbols that are among the most prominent and important in Hemingway's work.
"Eby stands out as a particularly fine writer who has brought unfamiliar Hemingway materials together in creative conjunctions to illuminate the classic works. His critical savvy and sense of humor are very refreshing.
"Interest in Hemingway's psychosexuality and in the formation and transgression of gender identities as depicted in his fiction are central to Hemingway biography and criticism right now. I am personally extremely skeptical about the value of the psychoanalytic method. So, I approach Eby's book as a 'resisting reader,' and what I like best about it is his sensitivity to my resistance and his own ability to look self-critically at his method. His introduction, an 'apologia' for his method in which he reviews, with great good humor I might add, the charges commonly brought against psychoanalytic interpretations both of authors' lives and their literary output, is especially excellent. Eby's willingness to address my concerns before they arise, or as they arise, and to show that he has thought carefully about the limits of his approach, and accepts no theory without questioning, I found very persuasive." -- Susan F. Beegel, Editor, The Hemingway Review
"Eby peels back layer upon layer of Hemingway's work, methodically analyzing the manifest and latent content of each layer, much as if he were an archaeologist scouring the sedimentary deposits to locate that bedrock foundation upon which the 'idiosyncrasy' rests, thereby reconstructing a much more substantial understanding of Hemingway than has been previously discovered." -- Gerry Brenner, University of Montana