Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hemingway's Early Letters Challenge Myths

Linda Patterson Miller, the Penn State 2011-2012 laureate, offers her view of Hemingway as a young letter writer.

Hemingway did not become an established writer until after 1922 (he was still essentially unpublished except for his newspaper pieces), but his early letters reveal that he was very much aware of himself as a writer in the making. After working as a cub reporter at the Kansas City Star for six months, Hemingway wrote his father on April 16, 1918, to express his understanding that professional newspaper writing demanded immediacy and precision, along with endurance. He was “bushed! . . . mentally and physically,” he told his father, from months of “[h]aving to write a half column story with every name, address and initial verified and remembering to use good style, perfect style in fact, and get all the facts and in the correct order, make it have snap and wallop” and “see it all in your mind’s eye,” while “a boy snatches the pages from your machine as fast as you write them.”

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:


You can also read more about Hemingway's early letters via the below link:


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