This long-awaited Library of America edition brings together for the first time in one volume the now legendary writings from Ernest Hemingway’s breakthrough years in Paris. Featuring newly edited texts and several previously uncollected writings, it reveals as never before the astonishing artistic evolution that led the young journalist and expatriate author to transform the short story and the novel and to perfect the famous prose style that has influenced writers ever since.
In his work for the Toronto Star and Hearst’s International News Service, Hemingway began to hone his gift for concise description. That journalism is represented here by a selection of thirty-one articles from 1920 to 1923, some never before republished, on subjects ranging from trout fishing to the rise of fascism in Italy. Hemingway’s exploration of new modes of storytelling is on display in two early stories, “A Divine Gesture” (1922) and “Up in Michigan” (1923)—the former reprinted here for the first time since its original publication—and in the rare Three Mountains Press edition of in our time (1924), a haunting series of vignettes of violence and alienation now recognized as a landmark of literary modernism.
At the center of this volume are Hemingway’s first three full-length works—the story collection In Our Time (1925), the scathing satirical novel The Torrents of Spring (1926), and his masterpiece, The Sun Also Rises (1926). All are presented in corrected texts newly edited by Hemingway scholar Robert W. Trogdon. In Our Time introduces Hemingway’s alter ego, Nick Adams, and a wide range of characters, many drawn from life. “The End of Something,” “Soldier’s Home,” “Cat in the Rain,” “Big Two-Hearted River,” and the other celebrated stories in the collection retain their extraordinary vividness and an unsettling ability to make their spare economy of language bear the weight of all that is left unsaid. Set apart in Hemingway’s work by its tone of high-spirited nonsense, The Torrents of Spring, written in just ten days, is a bridge-burning parody of work by his mentors Sherwood Anderson and Gertrude Stein. In The Sun Also Rises, based on his experiences in Paris and Spain, Hemingway solidified his role as the preeminent literary voice of the Lost Generation. This new text corrects numerous errors, restores key changes made to Hemingway’s original punctuation, and reinstates references to real people removed by his editor for fear of libel.
Rounding out the volume is a generous selection of letters to a brilliant array of correspondents, including Anderson, Stein, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos, Sylvia Beach, Edmund Wilson, and Maxwell Perkins. A newly researched chronology and detailed notes offer vital context for understanding Hemingway’s many allusions to persons and events.
Robert W. Trogdon, editor, is professor of English at Kent State University. A scholar of twentieth-century American literature and textual editing, he has published extensively on the writings of Ernest Hemingway. He served as an editor for The Cambridge Edition of the Letters of Ernest Hemingway.
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