in which i narrowly avoid the zeitgeist

I thought this was a provocative headline: “How Hemingway Gradually—Then Suddenly—Defined the Zeitgeist.”

Well, the article was not about Hemingway, in toto, defining anything; it’s about how much the phrase “gradually and then suddenly” is being used these days.

The phrase is from The Sun Also Rises:

“How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked.

“Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually and then suddenly.”

But then I worried that maybe I was one of the people turning this phrase into a cliche. I was definitely aware of the phrase (I’ve read the book several times), and I was fairly sure I’d used it somewhere.

But, fortunately, a couple of quick searches produced no relevant results. Whew.

Once again, I have my finger far from the pulse.

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