Ernest Hemingway’s Very First Published Stories, Free as an eBook


“I like the ear­ly stuff”: the clas­sic mas­cu­line com­ment to make about the work of a well-known cre­ator, demon­strat­ing as it does the cul­tur­al con­sumer’s ded­i­ca­tion, purism, judg­men­tal rig­or, and even endurance (giv­en the rel­a­tive acces­si­bil­i­ty, in the intel­lec­tu­al as well as the col­lec­tor’s sens­es, of most “ear­ly stuff”). Now you have a chance to say it about that most osten­si­bly mas­cu­line of all 20th-cen­tu­ry Amer­i­can writ­ers, Ernest Hem­ing­way. Above, see the cov­er of a cov­et­ed edi­tion of the then-young “Papa“ ‘s very first book, 1923’s Three Sto­ries & Ten Poems. The print run num­bered only “300 copies, put out by friend and fel­low expa­tri­ate, the writer- pub­lish­er Robert McAl­mon,” writes Steve King at Today in Lit­er­a­ture. “Both had arrived in Paris in 1921, Hem­ing­way an unpub­lished twen­ty-two-year-old jour­nal­ist with a recent bride, a hand­ful of let­ters of intro­duc­tion pro­vid­ed by Sher­wood Ander­son, and a clear imper­a­tive: ‘All you have to do is write one true sen­tence.’ ”

Instead of shelling out to a rare-book deal­er for Three Sto­ries & Ten Poems — admire the sac­ri­fice involved though a true Hem­ing­wayite may — you can read even more of the Old Man and the Sea author’s ear­ly stuff in the free e‑book embed­ded just above: 1946’s The First Forty Nine Sto­ries. It con­tains not just “Up in Michi­gan,” “Out of Sea­son,” and “My Old Man,” those three sto­ries of Hem­ing­way’s bound debut, but, yes, 46 more of his ear­li­est pub­lished pieces of short-form fic­tion. Today in Lit­er­a­ture quotes one notable con­tem­po­rary reac­tion to Three Sto­ries & Ten Poems, from a time before Hem­ing­way had become Hem­ing­way, much less Papa: “I should say that Hem­ing­way should stick to poet­ry and intel­li­gence and eschew the hot­ter emo­tions and the more turgid vision. Intel­li­gence and a great deal of it is a good thing to use when you have it, it’s all for the best.” And who could have writ­ten such an astute ear­ly assess­ment of the ulti­mate lit­er­ary man’s man? A cer­tain Gertrude Stein.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

18 (Free) Books Ernest Hem­ing­way Wished He Could Read Again for the First Time

Sev­en Tips From Ernest Hem­ing­way on How to Write Fic­tion

Ernest Hem­ing­way Cre­ates a Read­ing List for a Young Writer, 1934

Ernest Hemingway’s Favorite Ham­burg­er Recipe

Col­in Mar­shall hosts and pro­duces Note­book on Cities and Cul­ture and writes essays on cities, lan­guage, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

by | Permalink | Comments (9) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (9)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • david e says:

    “first pub­lished” is an inter­est­ing term. about 20 years ago hem­ing­way’s old high school dug through its archives and print­ed up HEMINGWAY AT OAK PARK HIGH which includes the jour­nal­ism and poems he wrote as a stu­dent in 1916–1917. it isn’t as pol­ished, but its a great insight into how typ­i­cal­ly ‘high school’ papa’s writ­ing was before his first world war report­ing tough­ened up his style.

  • Faisal says:

    Can I order Hem­ing­way set to my kin­dle.

  • Faisal says:

    I like and appre­ci­ate this offer itis a great help for me thanks ,

  • Ifeanyichukwu Aniebo says:

    I love Hem­ing­way. His style of writ­ing con­tin­ues to chal­lenge and inspire me to cre­ate and devel­op my own. But when I think of how he end­ed his life, I won­der whether all the strug­gle is worth it. I wish some one can detail for me the joy he had in life. It will reas­sure and encour­age me. And that reminds me. Is Open­cul­ture only for the Amer­i­c­as, Europe and Asia? Pray what about Africa? Or in oth­er words, what about Me?

  • SeanP says:

    There is a book, Papa Hem­ing­way, from the per­spec­tive of a friend of Hem­ing­way’s dur­ing the last, I believe, ten years of his life. Its a won­der­ful read and real­ly shows the type of per­son he was. Beyond sim­ply the idea of a man in pain, it shows him human, men­tor­ing and befriend­ing a younger writer and their inter­ac­tions.

  • kimnik says:

    Note: The ver­sion of “Up in Michi­gan” in the 1946 “first 49 sto­ries” col­lec­tion is not quite the same as the ver­sion pub­lished in 1923.

  • susan blank says:

    I Have this book for sale. Any­one inter­est­ed?

  • peter cunningham says:

    If you still have the book, I’d be inter­est­ed in pur­chas­ing.

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.