Privately owned for decades, the materials include a short story featuring F. Scott Fitzgerald, personal effects and rough drafts
By Molly Enking, Daily Correspondent, September 26, 2022 3:13 p.m.
A veritable treasure trove of papers, artifacts and photos linked to Ernest Hemingway is now accessible to scholars and the public for the first time. As the New York Times’ Robert K. Elder reports, the archive—part of the new Toby and Betty Bruce Collection at Penn State University Libraries—represents “the most significant cache of Hemingway materials uncovered in 60 years.”
Objects featured in the trove include Hemingway’s earliest known short story (written at age 10), hundreds of photographs, four unpublished short stories, manuscript ideas, letters, clothing and personal effects. The writer was a notorious “pack rat,” saving “everything from bullfighting tickets and bar bills to a list of rejected story titles written on a piece of cardboard,” says Sandra Spanier, a literary scholar at Penn State, in a statement.
Hemingway left the materials in storage at one of his favorite bars, Sloppy Joe’s in Key West, Florida, in 1939. They remained there until his death by suicide in 1961.
In the spring of 1934, a young man who wanted to be a writer hitchhiked to Florida to meet his idol, Ernest Hemingway.Arnold Samuelson was an adventurous 22-year-old. He had been born in a sod house in North Dakota to Norwegian immigrant parents.
“We did a group read of the only novel Hemingway set in Key West, ‘To Have and Have Not,’ published in 1937. Over Hemingway daiquiris in a quiet resort bar, we discussed meanings of the title, the social criticism of the wealthy, the way Hemingway wove in the history of Cuba and Key West, the violence, the attitude toward women, and the flaws in the narrative structure. We were brilliant.”