Dateline: Torontoby Ernest Hemingway
Dateline: Toronto collects all 172 pieces that Hemingway published in the Star, including those under pseudonyms. Hemingway readers will discern his unique voice already present in many of these pieces, particularly his knack for dialogue. It is also fascinating to discover early reportorial accounts of events and subjects that figure in his later fiction. As William White points out in his introduction to this work, "Much of it, over sixty years later, can still be read both as a record of the early twenties and as evidence of how Ernest Hemingway learned the craft of writing." The enthusiasm, wit, and skill with which these pieces were written guarantee that Dateline: Toronto will be read for pleasure, as excellent journalism, and for the insights it gives to Hemingway's works.
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By 1924 the by-line "By Ernest M. Hemingway" had become familiar to readers of the Toronto Star Weekly and its companion publication the Toronto Daily Star. From February 14, 1920, until September 13, 1924, Hemingway's pieces appeared in the Star Weekly, and from February 4, 1922, until October 6, 1923, he also contributed to the Daily Star. They were journalism, not short stories or imaginative fiction, but they played an important part in the development of a major American author.
When Hemingway began to write for the Toronto Star, he was completely unknown: his work had been published only in high school periodicals, in Oak Park, Illinois, and in the Kansas City Star, where he was an anonymous cub reporter. By the time his last article was printed in the Canadian newspaper, he had published only a few short stories and two little books in limited editions, Three Stories & Ten Poems (Paris, 1923) and in our time (Paris, 1924); however, his literary career had started. Yet before this career began, Hemingway's work with the Toronto Star Weekly and the Toronto Daily Star gave him a chance to make a living from his writings, while still in his twenties; an opportunity to see more of the world, especially Europe, at first hand while covering political, social, and military activities; and a few important years, while he was still impressionable and growing, to flex his not-yet literary muscles. From these years in Toronto, and reporting for Toronto readers as their foreign correspondent, came the creative writer and the author of some of the finest short stories and novels of our time.
In reprinting these 172 identifiable articles -- most of them signed "By Ernest M. Hemingway" -- I have relied on the original published texts in the weekly and daily Toronto Star editions. As is the usual newspaper practice, the manuscripts were destroyed shortly after they were set in type in the print shop, so we shall never know exactly what Hemingway wrote, and what the Toronto copyreader added, deleted, or changed. I have not "corrected" Hemingway in the way Emily Dickinson's early editors "corrected" her poetry, though I have changed typographical errors made by linotype operators and missed by proofreaders; and where editors have missed Hemingway's notorious misspellings, such as in German placenames, I have silently spelled the word correctly. To have left it in its original wrong form would have achieved nothing. Though the star editors or copyreaders may have added commas in Hemingway's sentences, I have changed punctuation only on a few occasions where necessary for clarity or understanding or identity. In a very few cases I have added a word in square brackets for the same reasons. In the rare cases of doubtful grammar, I have made no changes. Hemingway may well have been writing idiomatically, or, even then, before he had fully developed his narrative style, valuing the way in which he said a thing more highly than grammatical niceties.
As for the titles, they were almost always newspaper headlines written on the Toronto Daily Star or Star Weekly copydesks according to the place and space of the articles on the newspaper page. They were rarely, if ever, by Hemingway himself. Thus, for bibliographical and historical purposes, I have put the original headings in the Table of Contents, and I have given the pieces more convenient and shorter titles in place of head lines. I have deleted all Subheads in the stories. They, too, were not written by Hemingway but usually by the copyclesk purely for typographical reasons to break up the large pages. In datelines on all out-of-Toronto news stories, I have retained the names of cities from which they were filed but removed the dates, for the more important dates of publication in the Star appear immediately below the titles.
"By Ernest M. Hemingway" -- the "M." was not dropped until later -- appears on all but thirty-five of the dispatches, a few times misspelled, and twice "E. M. Hemingway." One piece is by-lined "Hem." On twenty-four occasions the articles were unsigned; W. L. McGeary, librarian of the Toronto Star, to whom we are deeply indebted, has used office records and other verifiable evidence to attribute many of these to Hemingway. I am also greatly indebted to Randall Scott Davis of La Crescenta, California, for discovering and identifying fourteen unsigned Hemingway contributions to the Toronto Star and the Star Weekly and two contributions with the by-line "By A Foreigner." In addition, Hemingway used as a pseudonym the name of his then-newborn son, John Hadley, six times, usually because he had other signed pieces in the same issue of the Star. For the same reason he once used the by-line Peter Jackson, an invented name.
Unsigned pieces and those with by-lines other than "By Ernest M. Hemingway" or "By E. M. Hemingway" are noted in the Table of Contents. I have included one short piece entitled "Miss Megan George Makes Hit: 'A Wonder' Reporters Call Her," published in the Daily Star, October 6, 1923, which Professor Carlos Baker has attributed to Miss Isobel Simmons of Oak Park, Illinois -- because it carries Hemingway's by-line.
Here, arranged chronologically between the covers of one volume for the first time, are all of Hemingway's writings for the Toronto Star. Twenty-nine of these articles appear in my own By-Line: Ernest Hemingway (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1967). In spite of the novelist's well-known resistance to efforts to collect his newspaper articles, no apology need be made for his reporting as reporting. Given Hemingway's own rules for seeing what he saw and putting his pieces together in his own way, sometimes in an unorthodox way, it is fine stuff of which the Toronto Daily Star and the Toronto Star Weekly were proud. And much of it, over sixty years later, can still be read both as a record of the early Twenties and as evidence of how Ernest Hemingway learned the craft of writing.
Meet the Author
Ernest Hemingway did more to influence the style of English prose than any other writer of his time. Publication of The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms immediately established him as one of the greatest literary lights of the 20th century. His classic novella The Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953. Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. He died in 1961.
- Date of Birth:
- July 21, 1899
- Date of Death:
- July 2, 1961
- Place of Birth:
- Oak Park, Illinois
- Place of Death:
- Ketchum, Idaho
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