Apprenticeship and Paris

Ernest Hemingway broke into print in the publications of the Oak Park High School. After journalistic jobs on The Kansas City StarThe Toronto Star, and The Cooperative Commonwealth, he arrived in Paris in December 1921 to serve his literary apprenticeship with the expatriate little magazines and small presses, forming connections with Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, Ford Madox Ford, James Joyce, Sylvia Beach, Robert McAlmon, and William Bird.

Ernest Hemingway
Wood cut portrait of Ernest Hemingway, by Henry Strater from the Three Mountains Press edition of in our time.

He used his early sketches and stories to perfect his understated, objective style and utilized material -- hunting, fishing, boxing, bullfighting -- that was then considered sub-literary. His first two books were published in Paris in 1923 and 1924. These small volumes now bring up to $100,000 each.

Hemingway achieved professional status in America with the publication of In Our Time by Boni & Liveright in 1925; he wroteThe Torrents of Spring, a parody of Sherwood Anderson, in order to break his contract with that firm. The book was published in 1926 by Charles Scribner's Sons who remained his publisher. The Sun Also Rises, also published in 1926, established Hemingway as a major writer and as the leading spokesman of the so-called "lost generation."

Although Maurice Speiser did not become Hemingway's lawyer until the Thirties, the Speisers collected retrospectively and assembled the key books and periodicals from his apprentice years.

Click on any image below to see a larger version.

"Sepi Jingan"
Tabula, 22: 1 (Oak Park, High School, Oak Park IL, November 1916), 8-9. Original wrappers.

The Double Dealer, A National Magazine from the South, 3:18. New Orleans, June 1922. Original wrappers.

Printed together are the poems "Portrait" by William Faulkner and "Ultimately", by Ernest Hemingway.

Little Review Exiles' Number.
Margaret Anderson and Ezra Pound, eds., The Little Review, A Quarterly Journal of Arts and Letters, 9:3. New York, Paris, London, Spring 1923. Original wrappers.

With Hemingway's vignettes for "in our time" (pp 3-6).

Three Stories and Ten Poems.
Paris: Contact Publishing Co., 1923; one of 300 copies. Original grayish-blue wrappers.

Hemingway's first book was this small volume published by Robert McAlmon. It was a prestige publication, not a commercial one: "all I received from it," Hemingway later wrote, "was the enmity of McAlmon, because it sold out while his own volumes remained in stock."

"Indian Camp".
Ford Madox Ford, ed., The Transatlantic Review, 1:4. Paris, etc, April 1924. Original wrappers.

Before the Great War, Ford had published some of Ezra Pound's early Imagist poetry in his English Review. This new international post-War little magazine, funded by the Irish-American literary philanthropist John Quinn, drew such contributors as Pound himself, Havelock Ellis, Djuna Barnes, and Gertrude Stein. Hemingway was delighted to have a story included, and by the fourth number was acting as Ford's associate editor.

in our time
Paris: Printed at the Three Mountains Press and for sale at Shakespeare and Company, 1924. Number 131 of 170 copies on rives paper, with wood-cut portrait by Henry Strater. Original tan printed boards.

Hemingway's second book was handset by another wealthy amateur publisher, Bill Bird, in the Inquest series edited by Ezra Pound and printed at Bird's Three Mountains Press. It was only thirty pages long, and only 170 complete copies were produced, but the distinctive style of Hemingway's single-paragraph stories drew immediate critical attention. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote to his New York editor Maxwell Perkins that the book was "remarkable + I'd look him up right away. He's the real thing."

Contact Collection of Contemporary Writers.
Paris: Contact Editions: Three Mountains Press, 1925. Original wrappers.

With Hemingway's "Soldier's Home" (pp. 77-86). Other contributors included Joyce, Pound, Ford, Stein, and William Carlos Williams. Printed at Dijon by Maurice Darantiere, printer also of Joyce's Ulysses.

Ezra Pound, ed., The Exile, number 1.
Paris, Spring 1927. Original wrappers.

With Hemingway's "NoTheomist Poem" (p. 21).

"Big-Two Hearted River" 
Ernest Walsh and Ethel Moorhead, eds., This Quarter 1:1. Paris, May 1925. Original wrappers.

With Hemingway's story "Big Two-Hearted River" (pp. 110-28 ) and his "Homage to Ezra" (pp. 221-225).

In Our Time; Stories.
New York: Boni & Liveright, 1925. Original cloth, in dust-jacket.

This first New York commercial edition of Hemingway's writings shared its title with the original Paris edition, but intercut Hemingway's original spare paragraphs with more conventional full-length stories from the "Nick" sequence. Hemingway was very disappointed by its initial sales and blamed Liveright for a short print-run, poor publicity, and inadequate distribution.

In Our Time; Stories.
Paris: Crosby Continental Editions, 1932. Original white wrappers.


Today is Friday. 
With drawing by Jean Cocteau. The As Stable pamphlets, no. 4. Englewood, N.J.: The As Stable Publications, 1926. Number 253 of 300 copies. Original white wrappers, with printed envelope.

The Sun Also Rises.
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1926. First edition, original cloth in dust-jacket.

Hemingway's novel was published on October 22, 1926. Reviewers noted the "masterly cunning" of his technique and welcomed his apparent conversion from the aestheticism of Joyce and Stein. Among the book's critics was his Paris friend John Dos Passos, who complained in the Communist magazineNew Masses that, "instead of being the epic of the sun also rising on a lost generation," Hemingway's novel was "a cock-and-bull story about a whole lot of tourists getting drunk." The book's success with New York critics and readers gave Hemingway new opportunities for placing his short stories in American magazines.

The Sun Also Rises
New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1930.
Original black cloth with red paper labels lettered in black on spine and upper cover. White pictorial dust-jacket printed in red, green, and purple by "S". 

The Sun Also Rises
New York, The Modern Library, 1930.
Original blue cloth, spine & upper cover stamped in gold. In red and white pictorial dust-jacket, lettered in black.

London: Jonathan Cape, 1927. Original cloth.

The Sun Also Rises was retitled for the London edition.

The Torrents of Spring: a Romantic Novel in Honor of the Passing of a Great Race.
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1926. Original cloth, in dust-jacket.

Soon after completing The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway turned to this book-length parody of Sherwood Anderson, completed in only ten days over Thanksgiving 1925. It represented his effort to break free from the shadow of his old mentor. It was also a strategic move in publishing terms. He was bound by contract to offer his next book to Liveright but was being wooed by Fitzgerald's editor at Scribner's, Maxwell Perkins. Anderson was one of Liveright's leading authors, and the firm could hardly publish Hemingway's parody. The strategy worked, and Perkins added Hemingway to his stable.

"Kiki", [Alice Prin] 1901-1953.
Kiki's Memoirs. Translated from the French by Samuel Putnam; introduction by Ernest Hemingway. Paris: Edward W. Titus, 1930. Original cream paper wrappers.