Christopher P. Stephens, Bookman

Chris Stephens has been a book dealer since 1965 - earlier if you count childhood buying and selling.

Stephens has sold major collections to university libraries all over the world. He has operated appealing bookstores in Mt. Carroll, Illinois, Hastings on Hudson, NY and several in NYC, NY. He is a wholesale dealer to other bookstores all over the world.

Chris loves books.

Stephens now maintains a lively internet operation out of his new home in Scranton, PA.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ernest Hemingway

A story about Ernest Hemingway made a big impression on me. It may not be a true story, but maybe it doesn't matter whether or not it's true.
In the story, Hemingway is working as a journalist in Europe. He writes fiction on the side but it hasn't been published. E.H. brings a couple of promising stories to an agent or a publisher, in Paris I think. The agent or publisher LOVES the stories. He's crazy about them. He finds out Hemingway has more at home.
"More manuscripts? Like these? You're kidding!" say the agent or publisher.
"Boxes full," says Hemingway.
"By god, Man, can you get them to me right away? Jumping Jehosophat! I need to see everything you have. I'll publish it all! This stuff is dynamite!"
Hemingway was understandably eager to accommodate the guy. He called his wife, one of the early ones, and told her to pack up all of his writing. "Bring everything," he told her. "Put all my stories into a suitcase, that big one. Bring it to me here. Yes! Now. Get the train to Paris." He spoke too loudly because he was so nearly overcome. Then his voice dropped. "This is the Big Break," he told her.
Whichever wife it was, probably Elizabeth, obediently gathered up everything. Drafts. Masterpieces. Copies. Discards. She put every single thing Ernest had written into a satchel. She boarded the train with satchel in tow, got off the train in Paris and hurried to the office where the men were eagerly waiting.
No manuscripts. In all the excitement she'd forgotten the satchel on the train.
That satchel was never recovered. All was lost.
Later Hemingway divorced that woman. If the story is true, then no wonder.
The part that impresses me is this: Ernest Hemingway continued to write after the disaster. He didn't yield to discouragement. He kept on writing.

links to Ernest Hemingway material
Still Images of Ernest Hemingway
videos of E.H.

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