Friday, October 11, 2013

Hemingway's Letters From The Paris Period Reveal A Complex Character On The Verge Of Fame


Steve Paul at the Kansas City Star offers a piece on the letters of one of my favorite writers, Ernest Hemingway.

On Dec. 18, 1924, the 25-year-old writer Ernest Hemingway shipped a quick note to the literary editor Robert McAlmon, a friend and fellow Midwesterner living and working in the creative ferment that was Paris in the '20s.

"Am rushing you the Krebs," Hemingway wrote. "Hope it's all right. Gertrude thinks its (sic) a good story anyway. ... Anyhow this story is as good as I've got ..."

"The Krebs" referred to one of Hemingway's great early works of fiction, the short story titled "Soldier's Home." Harold Krebs, the central character, is back in the Midwest, home from the recent war, a gloomy young man unsure what to do next. He sits at his parents' breakfast table, reading The Kansas City Star and not really listening to his nagging mother. It's poignant and moving in its portrait of a soldier emotionally incapacitated by his experience.

By that point in his budding career, Hemingway had begun to garner serious attention for short stories he had published and he was determined to keep it up. "Soldier's Home" would appear in McAlmon's "Contact Collection of Contemporary Writers" in mid-1925 and in Hemingway's first U.S. story collection, the ground-breaking "In Our Time," later the same year. You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: 

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