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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: August 2020

Chapter 2 - Hemingway and Textual Studies

from Part I - The Textual Hemingway


Textual studies scholar Robert Trogdon, currently editing the Library of America edition of Hemingway’s 1922–1926 stories and novels, argues that textual criticism of Hemingway has largely been stunted for two decades. The main culprit has been the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act, which in 1998 added twenty years to the traditional limits of copyright to ninety-five years. As a result, major novels such as The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms are only now approaching public domain. Trogdon argues that in the meantime a surprising amount of textual corruptions have been allowed to pass from edition to edition through Hemingway’s publisher, Charles Scribner’s Sons, and through the Hemingway estate. Detailing several rather striking typos, printer-induced errors, and even dropped lines of dialogue, Trogdon makes the case for a scholarly edition that would not only correct this errata but also restore Hemingway’s original intentions at moments he was restricted by obscenity and libel concerns to alter his manuscripts and typescripts. One such famous moment was Scribner’s refusal to print the word “cocksucker” in A Farewell to Arms; another was Maxwell Perkins’s insistence that he change an attack on F. Scott Fitzgerald in “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” to a fictional name.

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