Our new exhibition

On display now through February 28, 2012:

“A Quieter and Less Eventful Life”:

Ernest Hemingway on Writing and Other Pursuits

This exhibition has, as its heart, Ernest Hemingway’s thoughts on writing and the writing life. Especially in letters to his friends and literary colleagues, Hemingway could be extremely candid about his writing process, how the business of literature operated, and how he attempted to strike a balance between his writing and his personal life. In the documents on display here, one can see apparent contradictions emerge in Hemingway’s desire to have the contemplative life of a fiction writer – the “quieter and less eventful life” he alludes to, only somewhat ironically, in an Esquire article from 1935, and the other components of his extremely active life: his passions as a sportsman; his life as a husband and father; together with his interests in crafting a public persona for himself as war correspondent and literary lion.

It has been 10 years since our initial acquisition of the Hemingway collection assembled by the Speiser family, and made possible through the generosity of Edward S. Hallman (1930-2007) and Ellen Speiser Katz. Since then, thanks to continued support from the Donald C. Easterling-Edward S. Hallman Foundation, the University of South Carolina Libraries have been able to acquire a number of important Hemingway items, especially Hemingway letters that concern writing and the profession of authorship, and that are on display here, many for the first time.

The majority of items in this exhibition come from the Speiser and Easterling-Hallman Foundation Collection of Ernest Hemingway. Items from other collections in the Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections are so noted.



About Jeffrey Makala

The Irvin Department of Rare Books & Special Collections is located in the Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library at the University of South Carolina. The department preserves and makes accessible rare materials and special research collections supporting teaching and research across a wide range of disciplines.
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