The impact of iceberg theory in literature: a close reading of the Sun also rises and invisible cities
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In Ernest Hemingway’s novels and short stories the priority to narrate the plot was evenly distributed between the content as well as the style of the writing. In a nutshell, he used a special writing style to hint at the inner meaning and purpose of the novel – without actually writing it out alphabetically. This unique style of Hemingway is widely known as the Iceberg theory. The purpose of this theory then becomes, to motivate the readers to through apparent surfaces into layers of possible ‘truths’ and subtexts as they repeatedly read the same work through multiple perspectives. Even though this theory is closely related to Hemingway’s prose, other famous authors around the world, such as Italian writer Italo Calvino, Japanese contemporary writer Haruki Murakami etc. also applied this device to narrate their fictions. In this paper, a close reading and in-depth analysis will be given to two novels by Ernest Hemingway and Italo Calvino. Their novels The Sun also Rises and Invisible Cities master the concept of deferring underlying signification or meaning to hindsight for the readers to decipher. The reason this topic is given a form of research in this paper is to show how the Iceberg theory serves the readers a unique writing style separate from other potentially relevant theories such as intertextuality, heteroglossia and polyphony that not only holds a beautiful narrative to meet the thirst of the eyes but also several layers of philosophical truths that satisfy the needs of the mind.