New Label Slapped on Hemingway Novels

( – Born in 1899 near Chicago, Illinois, Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway began his writing career as a reporter for The Kansas City Star while still a teen. The talented artist went on to write a wealth of famous novels, including “The Sun Also Rises” — his first success — “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “A Farewell to Arms,” and “The Old Man and the Sea.” Recently, Penguin Random House republished some of his books, adding warning labels for readers of his works.

The Daily Telegraph reported that the publisher included warnings to readers about “cultural representations” of the time. For “The Sun Also Rises,” the company made it clear that the novel reflected “the attitudes” of the world in 1926. The publisher also added that the republishing didn’t necessarily mean Penguin Random House endorsed the book itself. A similar warning was added to a collection of Hemingway’s short stories entitled “Men Without Women.”

Professor Richard Bradford scoffed at the publisher’s warning labels, stating anyone looking for a “passage” in a written work that “could create unease” will undoubtedly discover one. He believes with that logic, every publication would have to have a “warning like this,” comparing the action to warnings on packs of cigarettes. Bradford thinks the labels are a mix of “stupidity and bullying.”

Hemingway wasn’t the only author receiving a blanket warning on his works. An article in Telegraph from February talks about a similar move. At that time, Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels were the target. The publisher edited several of his works to remove “ethnicities.” The publisher stated that “modern readers” might be offended, so updates were made to the novels, but the company tried to maintain the “original text” and setting as much as possible.

Considering the warning label on Hemingway’s works, it appears at least that his words were left untouched.

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