Back to Hemmingway. Although the author was understandably miffed that even such mild obscenities as “balls” weren’t permitted in a novel about war and sex, he caved in order to get the work published.And then (get this) he grabbed up a few copies and reinserted the vulgarities by hand. Mr. Trex knows of at least two corrected texts that survive today. One copy went to French literary translator Maurice Coindreau; the other to Irish novelist and poet James Joyce. Joyce’s copy now resides at SUNY-Buffalo’s library in upstate New York.
Wouldn’t Hemingway love writing in this modern atmosphere of obligatory and gratuitous obscenity? Well, maybe not. Where’s the shock value?