Hemingway and Joyce’s Juvenilia

post postmodernismI was reading today about how Hadley Hemingway lost her young husband’s writings on the train she was taking to Geneva. She was bringing them to him because someone was impressed with his writing and wanted to see more. All was lost and Hemingway lamented to Ezra Pound about his unfinished WWI novel and the rest of his Juvenilia. He was 23, like me.

Well, I was thinkin what would happen if I lost all my Juvenilia, nearly two years of work. I’d be pretty bummed, but hell sometimes I think of trashin the whole thing and startin over entirely. Because when I go back and read it and have to restructure each and every sentence, it’s a lot of work, ya know? It may be easier to restart.

Joyce sidelined Stephen Hero for a few years before it became Portrait of the Artist. He was 23 in 1905 when he became frustrated with it. Portions of it were reworked to deepen Stephen’s phychological complexity in the version finished nine years later. He noted later that Stephen Hero originally had too much of himself.

Now, I’ve been wary of these pitfalls in my Hot Love on the Wing, and my story ain’t no memoir. But it makes a dude think. We’ll just have to wait and see.

By Daniel Ryan Adler

Daniel Adler writes fiction and nonfiction and is finishing his MFA at University of South Carolina.

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