Hemingway story from 1956 to be published for the first time

17:22 • 02.08.18



It may sound like many other Ernest Hemingway stories – with themes of Paris, wartime, battle talk over a bottle of wine – but A Room on the Garden Side, a story written by the American novelist in 1956, is set to be published for the first time, the Guardian reports.


Not seen by many beyond scholars and academics over the last six decades, the story takes place in Paris’s Ritz hotel and is narrated by a character called Robert, who shares the author’s own nickname, Papa. Robert and his entourage of soldiers, who are all due to leave the city the next day, drink, quote Baudelaire and debate “the dirty trade of war”.


“I did it to save the lives of people who had not hired out to fight,” the narrator explains. “There was that and the fact that I had learned to know and love an infantry division and wished to serve it in any useful way I could … I also loved France and Spain next to my own country. I loved other countries too but the debt was paid and I thought that the account was closed, not knowing the accounts are never closed.”


Hemingway had a particular fondness for Paris’s Ritz hotel, which also appears in The Sun Also Rises. In 1944, as the German occupying forces fled Paris, Hemingway, who was working as a war correspondent, arrived at the hotel in a Jeep with a group of soldiers and announced to the staff that he was there to liberate them – but was informed that the German dignitaries who had been occupying the building had already left. Hemingway then commandeered the bar and ordered champagne for everyone.


“When I dream of afterlife in heaven, the action always takes place in the Paris Ritz,” Hemingway would later say.


With other Hemingway papers, A Room on the Garden Side has been housed in the Library of Congress and the John F Kennedy library in Massachusetts.

Six decades after it was written, A Room on the Garden Side is set to be published in the summer edition of the Strand magazine, a literary quarterly that has previously published obscure works by the likes of Raymond Chandler, John Steinbeck and HG Wells.





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