Date of this Version
Documentary Editing, Volume 20, Number 2, June 1998.
ISSN 2476-1796 (electronic); ISSN 2167-1451 (print)
The archivally correct cardboard boxes of the Hemingway Collection pulse with energy. Hemingway's estate included at his death nearly twenty thousand pages of holograph, typescript, carbon, and proof. Those pages make up more than eight hundred manuscripts of published and unpublished work, and vividly show the composition process of twentieth-century American literature's most influential prose stylist. They represent as well one of the last and finest opportunities to study the composition process itself, now that the delete key has arrived to send all false starts, alternative endings, errors, and omissions into the ether, and to cloak the writer's additions and emendations as original decisions rather than hard-won improvements.