LITERATURE

The Letters of Ernest Hemingway. Vol. 5: 1932–1934

Cambridge Univ. Jun. 2020. 840p. ed. by ed. by Sandra Spanier & Miriam B. Mandel. ISBN 9780521897372. $39.95. LIT
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The fifth in a projected 17-volume series, edited by scholars Spanier and Mandel, this collection presents letters written between January 1932 and May 1934, when Ernest Hemingway completed Death in the Afternoon and Winner Take Nothing. Correspondents include family members, editors, and fellow literary lions; among them, Archibald MacLeish, John Dos Passos, and Ezra Pound. During these years, Hemingway built his reputation as a sportsman: included here are reports of his hunting trips in Arkansas and Wyoming, his fishing exploits in the Gulf Stream, and his first African Safari. Letters to Maxwell Perkins, Jonathan Cape, and Arnold Gingrich reveal a shrewd businessman who knows the value of his work; others document his generosity to his mother and siblings, as well as to friends in need. In his private communications, Hemingway shares his thoughts on a wide range of topics, including politics, war, religion, and abortion. He also provides his point of view on his much-publicized feuds with Gertrude Stein and Max Eastman. Beginning in August, Cambridge will make all of the letters (as well as all future volumes) available electronically both to libraries and individuals. Libraries will have access thru the “Cambridge Core Collection.”
VERDICT A worthy addition to the ongoing effort to publish all of Hemingway’s letters, this volume will be welcomed by scholars, students, and general readers with a more than casual interest in the man and his work.

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