| March 7, 2017

Literature, Personal Development & Philosophy, Podcast

Podcast #284: This Will Make a Man of You

Last summer, I had Lesley Blume on the show to talk about her book Everybody Behaves Badlywhich gives the story behind the story of Hemingway’s first big novel, The Sun Also Rises. On today’s show, I talk to an author of another book about this landmark novel, who, instead of providing the historical context of The Sun Also Rises, explores the ideal of manliness Hemingway was trying to get at in the book. His name is Frank Miniter, he’s a journalist and the author of previous books like The Ultimate Man’s Survival Guide. His latest is called This Will Make a Man of You: One Man’s Search to Find What Makes Men

Frank and I discuss Hemingway’s project of creating a new myth of manliness that combined traditional notions of masculinity with modern sensibilities, how Frank Sinatra killed the rugged gentleman and made “cool” a defining feature of modern manliness, and what the running of the bulls can teach us about rites of passage into manhood. We end our conversation talking about Hemingway’s attraction to and repulsion from bullfighting, and why the matador was Hemingway’s ideal symbol of manliness. 

Show Highlights

  • How Frank became interested in Hemingway, and particularly Papa’s code of manhood
  • The attributes of a “Hemingway Man”
  • How the idea of “cool” kills the old-school gentleman
  • How our culture of cool influences society’s idea of manliness
  • How Hemingway was, in a modern way, trying to capture traditional ideals of manhood
  • What Hemingway’s main characters often  have in common
  • Does suffering make for the best learning?
  • The purpose of Robert Cohn in The Sun Also Rises
  • The religious themes in The Sun Also Rises, and Hemingway’s Catholicism
  • The history of Pamplona’s running of the bulls
  • Frank’s own experience running with the bulls 13 times
  • What makes for an effective rite of passage
  • Why Americans don’t respond well to the running of the bulls or bullfighting
  • The background and cultural significance of bullfighting in Spain
  • How matadors, in many ways, encompass Hemingway’s ideal of manhood
  • Why culture today looks down upon codes of honor and manhood
  • Why everyone should meld the traditional and the modern to form their own code

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

this will make a man of you book cover frank miniter

This Will Make a Man of You is one of my favorite books that I’ve read this year. Frank does a great job making explicit what Hemingway made implicit in The Sun Also Rises. I had several “a-ha” moments while reading the book. Pick up a copy on Amazon. While you’re at it, pick up a copy of The Ultimate Man’s Survival Guide to brush up on your man skills.

Connect With Frank Miniter

Frank’s website 

Frank on Twitter

Frank on Facebook

Tell Frank “Thank you!” for being on the podcast via Twitter

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Podcast Sponsors

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Blue Apron. Check out this week’s menu and get your first three meals free by going to blueapron.com/manliness.

The Great Courses Plus. They’re offering my listeners a free one-month trial when you text “AOM” to 86329. You’ll receive a link to sign up and you can start watching from your smart phone… or any device immediately! (To get this reply text, standard data and messaging rates apply.)

And thanks to Creative Audio Lab in Tulsa, OK for editing our podcast!

Recorded on ClearCast.io.

Read the Transcript

Coming soon!

Last updated: April 6, 2017

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