Category Archive '“The Sun Also Rises”'

10 Aug 2014

“The Sun Also Rises:” New Bonus Edition

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HemingwayPamplona
In Pamplona in 1927.

Scribner’s recently released “The Sun Also Rises: The Hemingway Library Edition”, an edition featuring bonus materials: two introductions by Hemingway family members; an essay on bull fighting in the ’20s; samples of early revisions; the discarded first chapters; possible titles considered by the author (such as RIVER TO THE SEA or TWO LIE TOGETHER); and some new photographs, including one of Hemingway’s ticket stub for the bull fights in Pamplona.

Ian Crouch tells us, at the New Yorker:

At the start, it seems, Hemingway was attempting to write a novel very different from what would become “The Sun Also Rises,” which made his name as one of “those ones with their clear restrained writing.” He imagined a book in which the “whole business” of life gets expressed, in all of its messy detours and associations. In the same draft chapter, Hemingway goes on: “Now when my friends read this they will say it is awful. It is not what they had hoped or expected from me. Gertrude Stein once told me that remarks are not literature. All right, let it go at that. Only this time all the remarks are going in and if it is not literature who claimed it was anyway.”

This minor manifesto, embedded in a draft of his first novel, conceives of a book with greater intellectual and artistic ambitions than Hemingway ever produced—one akin to the more abstract fictions of the modernists. The line that he struck through—“It is not what they had hoped or expected from me”—becomes a potentially radical departure that Hemingway never realized, and that was nearly lost to history. Yet “The Sun Also Rises” is far from being a lesser thing, for all of its restrained clarity. It is partly a book of “literary signs,” perhaps against Hemingway’s own intentions. But it is also a book—Gertrude Stein be damned—of remarks, both in the elliptical declarations that the characters make to one another, and in the weighted silences that linger between them. “I mistrust all frank and simple people, especially when their stories hold together.” That line, which belongs to the narrator, and to the author, was there from the beginning. It is an echo of Hemingway’s more eager and brash equivocations in the drafts, a claim that there was an unseen depth to his plainspoken prose. It is an author’s note, a statement of purpose—subtly and skillfully absorbed into the art of storytelling.

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Recently at HuffPo: 15 photos of Papa, with quotations. Amusingly, the version first published was loaded with spurious examples and had to be revised. Hemingway is laughing in Hell.


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