Review: The Garden of Eden

By Ernest Hemingway

Photo by Stas Kulesh on Unsplash

On this morning there was brioche and red raspberry preserve and the eggs were boiled and there was a pat of butter that melted as they stirred them and salted them lightly and ground pepper over them in the cups.

They were stiff and built for hard wear but the washings softened them and now they were worn and softened enough so that when he looked at the girl now her breasts showed beautifully against the worn cloth.

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.

“You see,” she said. “That’s the surprise. I’m a girl. But now I’m a boy too and I can do anything and anything and anything.”
[…]
He held her close and hard and inside himself he said goodbye and then goodbye and goodbye.

“When I drink I want to say things I should never say,” the girl said. “Then don’t say them.” “Then what’s the use of drinking?” “It isn’t these. You’ve only had one.”

“Except for the fact that I feel I’ve probably done a great wrong to you that I must try to set right I feel very well,” Catherine said.

Maybe she knows what she’s doing. Maybe she knows how it can turn out. Maybe she does know. You don’t. So you worked and now you worry. You’d better write another story. Write the hardest one there is to write that you know. Go ahead and do that. You have to last yourself if you’re to be any good to her. What good have you been to her? Plenty, he said. No, not plenty. Plenty means enough. Go ahead and start the new one tomorrow. The hell with tomorrow. What a way to be. Tomorrow. Go in and start it now.

David had finished writing and he was empty and hollow-feeling from having driven himself long past the point where he should have stopped.

“People that can’t blush are worthless.”

--

--

Chief Editor at The Aleph Report (@thealeph_report), CEO at Press42.com, Cofounder & associated editor @tech_eu, former editor @KernelMag.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Alex Barrera

Chief Editor at The Aleph Report (@thealeph_report), CEO at Press42.com, Cofounder & associated editor @tech_eu, former editor @KernelMag.