Most of the authors who answered TIME's questions on the state of U.S. writing (see above) were interviewed by correspondents. Ernest Hemingway answered his questions by mail. He requested that both TIME's questions & his answers be published "since this has to do with my trade. You can say that when you saw me I was unshaven, needed a haircut, was barefoot, wearing a pyjama bottom and no top." The questions, and his replies:

What do you find wrong with present-day writing—or good about it? Why aren't we getting more significant writing?

"Really good writing very scarce always. When comes in quantities everybody...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!