The Letters of Ernest Hemingway: Volume 2, 1923-1925 by Sandra Spanier, Albert J DeFazio III & Robert W Trogdon (edd) - review by Justin Beplate

Justin Beplate

Talking Bull

The Letters of Ernest Hemingway: Volume 2, 1923-1925

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The second volume of Hemingway’s Letters covers three formative years in the writer’s life – from 1923, and the frank admission to one editor that ‘I want, like hell, to get published’, to the end of 1925, when, buoyed by the modest success of his short-story collection In Our Time and the machinations of influential friends, he plays off several major publishers for the rights to his first novel, The Sun Also Rises. These are the early years immortalised in A Moveable Feast, the years of getting known in the glittering expatriate circles of 1920s Paris literati, of forming and breaking those crucial alliances that would launch his career as a writer.

The first volume of the Letters closes with a disastrous setback to Hemingway’s literary aspirations – the theft of all his manuscripts, left unguarded by his wife, Hadley, in a suitcase at the Gare de Lyon – and the second opens with another, no less crushing blow: Hadley’s pregnancy. Fatherhood

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