- 10 Fitzgerald and Hemingway
In 2005, critical work on both writers was quite varied: questions range from war to philosophy, from genre to gender, and from aesthetics to ethics. Unusually, no single work or genre dominated critical attention for either writer, although the focus tended toward the 1920s and 1930s, possibly heralding a change from previous years' focus on later works. Hemingway received a great deal of attention from cultural scholars investigating broad questions in 20th-century America; Fitzgerald scholars sought new research avenues, intellectual approaches, and critical forms in ways truly exciting to the field. The long-awaited fourth volume of FSFR was particularly rich and has set a new standard for breadth and depth in Fitzgerald criticism. Scholarship in both fields seems finally to have shrugged off the hint of defensiveness that has characterized even the best work in the last several years. As always, we must emphasize the necessity for selectivity in what follows; both writers continue to receive tremendous critical attention.
i Text Letters, Archives, Annotations, and Bibliography
The latest volume of the Cambridge Edition of the Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald is My Lost City: Personal Essays, 1920-1934. The editor, James L. W. West III, models the collection on a proposal Fitzgerald made to Maxwell Perkins in 1936 for a book of his nonfiction pieces. While many of the essays are minor in subject and scope, readers should welcome having accurate texts of the essays published in The Crack-Up [End Page 201] and of pieces such as "How to Waste Material." The explanatory notes for these essays, which are much a product of their times, are especially strong.
Helen DeVinney provides transcriptions of communication between Fitzgerald and a new figure from his 1936 struggle with depression in "Evidence of a Previously Unknown Fitzgerald Nurse: Correspondence from F. Scott Fitzgerald to Pauline Brownell" (FSFR 4: 190-96).
The most important publication of the year in Hemingway studies is Under Kilimanjaro (Kent State), Hemingway's account of his 1953-54 African safari. While a truncated version of this "African Journal" (as the work has been known) was published under the title True at First Light in 1999, this edition by Robert W. Lewis and Robert E. Fleming provides an accurate text of an unfinished Hemingway book for the first time in a version both accessible to the general reader and of true value to the specialist. This work illustrates clearly why Hemingway's posthumous works should be edited by trained textual specialists and university presses and not by members of the Hemingway family or commercial publishers. One hopes that other Hemingway works, most notably A Moveable Feast and The Garden of Eden, will receive the same treatment.
As an addition to the catalogues of Hemingway's library, Hilary K. Justice provides "Music at the Finca Vigía: A Prelimary Catalog of Hemingway's Audio Collection" (HN 25, i: 96-108). Hemingway's taste in music appears to have been as eclectic as his taste in books.
Matthew J. Bruccoli (with the able assistance of Judith Baughman) presents a new collection of Hemingway texts in Hemingway and the Mechanism of Fame: Statements, Public Letters, Introductions, Forewords, Prefaces, Blurbs, Reviews, and Endorsements (So. Car.). As the subtitle indicates, Bruccoli has gathered a wide-ranging assortment of Hemingway's writings on the works of other writers, public figures, and public events. While many of the pieces have appeared in other collections, this is the most complete assemblage of such pieces by Hemingway available and a welcome addition for scholars. Bruccoli's notes are very good, as is his introduction, though he does tend to overemphasize the self-promotion aspect of many of these pieces.
In the vein of Bruccoli's The Only Thing That Counts, Albert J. DeFazio III's Dear Papa, Dear Hotch: The Correspondence of Ernest Hemingway [End Page 202] and A. E. Hotchner (Missouri) collects all but one of the letters written between the author and his close friend and associate. This work gives us an interesting glimpse into Hemingway's life in the late 1940s and 1950s and into the ways in which...