“On the Early Letters of Ernest Hemingway: Teasing, Typing, Editing”

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Edward Allen


Ernest Hemingway has rarely seemed a reliable pen pal, not through any fault of his own, but because the evidence for determining any such identity has been hard to assemble. In 2011, Sandra Spanier and Robert W. Trogdon published the first volume of Hemingway’s collected letters, and in doing so, prompted a reevaluation of his epistolary habit; one that requires careful editing and close textual scrutiny. Taking the first volume of the new Letters as a case study, this essay offers an interpretative approach to matters of textuality, typographic expression, and mechanical accident that lie at the heart of Hemingway’s early life-writing.

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Author Biography

Edward Allen, University of Cambridge (UK)

Research Fellow in English,

Jesus College,

University of Cambridge