Synopses & Reviews
A chance meeting in the University of North Carolina campus library in 1944 began a decades-long friendship and sixty-year correspondence. Donald Justice (1925and#8211;2004) and Richard Stern (1928and#8211;2013) would go on to become, respectively, the Pulitzer Prizeand#8211;winning poet and the acclaimed novelist. A Critical Friendship
showcases a selection of theirand#160;letters andand#160;postcards from the first fifteen years of their correspondence, representing the formative period in both writersand#8217; careers. It includes some of Justiceand#8217;s unpublished poetry and early drafts of later published poems as well as some early, never-before-published poetry by Stern.
A Critical Friendship is the story of two writers inventing themselves, beginning with the earliest extant letters and ending with those just following their first major publications, Justiceand#8217;s poetry collection The Summer Anniversaries and Sternand#8217;s novel Golk. These letters highlight their willingness to give and take criticism and document the birth of two distinct and important American literary lives. The letters similarly document the influence of teachers, friends, and contemporaries, including Saul Bellow, John Berryman, Edgar Bowers, Robert Lowell, Norman Mailer, Allen Tate, Peter Hillsman Taylor, Robert Penn Warren, Eudora Welty, and Yvor Winters, all of whom feature in the pair's conversations. In a broader context, their correspondence sheds light on the development of the mid-twentieth-century American literary scene.
"The first of more than a dozen volumes bringing together the complete extant correspondence of this crucial modernist writer, this scrupulously edited and annotated book reveals a warm, amusing, and sensitive Hemingway. They begin with little Ernest around age 8, telling his father that he 'saw a mother duck with seven little babies,' and end with Hemingway at age 23, writing to such luminaries as Gertrude Stein, Sherwood Anderson, and Ezra Pound. Readers see his gradual emergence as a fiction writer, able to assert to his friend Ezra: 'I know what I'm after in prose.' Those familiar with the gruff, humorless, and word-chary sportsman of popular legend will be surprised to find a charming and compulsive correspondent whose garrulous voice works irresistible magic on the English language, with the young author revealing a keen eye for detail and a talent for reportage. Though clearly intended for an academic audience, the delight of these letters and the sheer quantity of useful editorial material including excellent introductory essays, extensive notes for each letter, a chronology of Hemingway's life, maps of his journeys, and personal photographs should entice even the most ardent Papa-reviler to delve into the spontaneous words of a creative genius. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"The collected Hemingway letters will be enthusiastically welcomed by the scholarly world as well as the legion of Hemingway enthusiasts around the world. He is not only one of the most important twentieth-century writers in the world, but a fascinating and frank letter writer. This collection will be an invaluable addition to the world of letters."
-Noel Riley Fitch
"And so begins the ambitious--and highly anticipated--publication of the Letters of Ernest Hemingway, a vast collection that proves to be both a revealing autobiography and the passkey to his literary works. This first volume is a vibrant portrait of the artist as a young man, striking all the notes that will resonate as themes in the epic life and epochal literature that lie ahead."
-A. Scott Berg
"A rich trove of literary correspondence, this Cambridge edition of all of Hemingway's known letters is as elegant and proper a solution as one could wish to a daunting challenge: how to make this treasure available to all interested scholars and readers for generations to come."
-Charles Scribner, III
"This Cambridge edition of all of Hemingway's known letters is as elegant and proper a solution as one could wish to such a daunting challenge: how to make this treasure available to all interested scholars and readers for generations to come. I think that Papa Hemingway would be pleased. His favorite dictum seems most fitting on this splendid occasion: 'Il faut, d'abord, durer.' [First of all, one must endure; or as my Dad translated it with supreme economy: 'First: last'] Along with his books, Hemingway's most personal thoughts and expressions will now endure beyond his wildest dreams."
-Charles Scribner III
Hemingway's letters, most previously unpublished, allow an unprecedented insight into his mind and a vivid record of his turbulent life.
With the publication of this authorized collection, readers will have access to the complete letters of Ernest Hemingway for the first time. This first volume documents in rich and lively detail the formative years of a gifted artist with an outsized personality who would both reflect and transform his times.
With the first publication, in this edition, of all the surviving letters of Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), readers will for the first time be able to follow the thoughts, ideas and actions of one of the great literary figures of the twentieth century in his own words. This first volume encompasses his youth, his experience in World War I and his arrival in Paris. The letters reveal a more complex person than Hemingway's tough guy public persona would suggest: devoted son, affectionate brother, infatuated lover, adoring husband, spirited friend and disciplined writer. Unguarded and never intended for publication, the letters record experiences that inspired his art, afford insight into his creative process and express his candid assessments of his own work and that of his contemporaries. The letters present immediate accounts of events and relationships that profoundly shaped his life and work. A detailed introduction, notes, chronology, illustrations and index are included.
About the Author
Sandra Spanier is Professor of English at Pennsylvania State University and General Editor of the Hemingway Letters Project.Robert W. Trogdon is Professor of English at Kent State University.
Table of Contents
1. General Editor's introduction Sandra Spanier; 2. Foreword Linda Patterson Miller; 3. Introduction Robert W. Trogdon; 4. Note on the text; 5. Acknowledgments; 6. Abbreviations and cue-titles; 7. Chronology; 8. The letters, 1907-1922; 9. Roster of correspondents; 10. Calendar of letters; Index.