Ernest Hemingway did more to change the style of English prose than any other writer of his time. Publication of The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms immediately established Hemingway as one of the greatest literary lights of the twentieth century. His classic novel The Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953. Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. His life and accomplishments are explored in-depth in the PBS documentary film from Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, Hemingway. Known for his larger-than-life personality and his passions for bullfighting, fishing, and big-game hunting, he died in Ketchum, Idaho on July 2, 1961.
The subtitle of this monumental collection refers to the home (Lookout Farm) that Hemingway owned in Cuba from 1939 to 1959. That time frame accounts for most of the short fiction, published and unpublished, that followed the major collection issued in 1938, The First Forty-Nine. There are 60 stories in all. Of the 21 not included in the 1938 collection, the seven heretofore unpublished pieces will interest readers most. Three are especially good. ``A Train Trip'' and ``The Porter'' are self-contained excerpts from an abandoned novel that match in tone and appeal the early Hemingway work in which he explored the adolescent sensibility exposed to an adult world that is exciting but at the same time threatening and morally complex. Drawing from the author's experiences in Europe during World War II, ``Black Ass at the Crossroads'' is excellent in its detailing of violent action, portraying an ambush of German soldiers from the point of view of an American infantry officer, depressed and angry over the suffering he has inflicted in the course of battle. The other previously unpublished pieces include a Spanish Civil War story reminiscent of Hemingway's play, The Fifth Column; two quite touching stories about a father's disappointments with a troubled son; and a long section comprising four chapters from an early version of the novel, Islands in the Stream. Intrinsically readable, the collection is also significant in drawing together much that was unavailable or difficult to access. (December 2)
A thoughtfully arranged, comprehensive edition of Hemingway's short fiction justifies publication. This is not it. At best, it offers convenience rather than creativity or even completeness: it omits five stories published two years ago. It reprints the ``the first 49'' stories (1938), adds 14 subsequently published, and appends seven hitherto unpublished. What is lacking is a fresh reordering of the storiesthematic, chronological, or stylistic. Further, three of the unpublished pieces are not stories but excerpts from novels. None of the new material is artistically significant. Yet each bears the hallmark of Hemingway's geniuswhich will survive even this. Arthur Waldhorn, City Coll., CUNY