Press/Journalists
Press Release
May 27, 1999
National Archives Celebrates Ernest Hemingway's Centennial Birthday

Washington, DC. . .Ernest Hemingway is described as one of the most influential American authors of the 20th century. To celebrate his life and work during the 100th anniversary of his birth in July, the National Archives and Records Administration presents a variety of free public programs and will display a portion of the manuscript of The Sun Also Rises, the first novel that established Hemingway as a literary force. A major collection of Hemingway's manuscripts, letters, scrapbooks, notebooks, photographs, and memorabilia is preserved at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, MA. For further information relating to these and other programs, the public may call the public events line at (202) 501-5000. The hearing impaired should call TDD (202) 501-5404 for information.

From July 7 through July 28, a display of Hemingway's manuscript for his first major novel, The Sun Also Rises, will be on view in the Rotunda of the National Archives Building. In "one sprint of six weeks," as Hemingway described it, he filled a series of French notebooks with a draft of the novel, which he later reworked. One of these notebooks will be shown, along with loose pages of a typed manuscript for Chapter 1—one of several false starts to the book. The cover of the notebook bears Hemingway's name, Paris address, and the title he initially considered for the book, "Fiesta," which became the title of the British edition. In an unpublished foreword, Hemingway reveals that he considered naming the book "The Lost Generation," and explains the origin of the phrase that Gertrude Stein related to Hemingway in describing the disillusioned surviving generation of World War I. In 1926, the American edition was published with the title The Sun Also Rises, a quote that Hemingway chose from Ecclesiastes.

Ernest Hemingway's last posthumous work, True at First Light, published on this centennial anniversary, will be the subject of a July 8 lecture by the book's editor, Patrick Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway's son. Written when he returned from his 1953 safari, the book blends autobiography and fiction, chronicling Hemingway's adventures in Africa and memories of his earlier days in Europe. 8:30 P.M. Room 105. On July 27, Frederick Voss, historian and curator at the National Portrait Gallery, will come to the National Archives to discuss Picturing Hemingway: A Writer in His Time. This book, written by Voss and Hemingway biographer Michael Reynolds, accompanies the Portrait Gallery's exhibition on view June 18 - October 3. Noon. Room 105.

For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.

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