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The posthumous editing of Ernest Hemingway's fiction

Susan M Seitz, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Abstract

This work is a textual analysis of the editing of the posthumous fiction of Ernest Hemingway, including The Nick Adams Stories, Islands in the Stream, and The Garden of Eden. Through a study of the manuscripts of these works, I argue that in his posthumously published fiction, Hemingway was experimenting both stylistically and thematically, and that the editing of these manuscripts has functioned to suppress these new directions. In each of these three works, Hemingway's posthumous editors have been responsible for poor copyediting, substantial cuts of lines, scenes, and whole chapters, the addition of manuscript material that Hemingway had discarded, and transposed scenes and dialogue. Such editing has resulted in published texts which do not represent Hemingway's intentions in these works as he left them. In addition to these textual issues, I demonstrate that Hemingway was exploring new territory both in his prose style and in his view of the relationship between men and women. In his later work, Hemingway was reconsidering the male-female relationship and was exploring androgyny and the reversal of gender roles. The editing of the posthumous works has not allowed these new considerations in Hemingway's writing to appear. Rather, the texts have been edited to make the posthumous works conform to the received Hemingway canon, and do not allow for the new developments in both Hemingway's style and his treatment of the male-female relationship. I conclude that until a uniform editorial policy is applied to Hemingway's posthumous texts, we will never have a clear version of Hemingway's final works as he intended them. ^

Subject Area

Literature, American

Recommended Citation

Susan M Seitz, "The posthumous editing of Ernest Hemingway's fiction" (January 1, 1993). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. Paper AAI9329667.
http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI9329667

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