“This is a novel about a lady” runs, rather unexpectedly, the original opening to The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway’s career-making novel based on his youthful peregrinations though Spain. It seems that Hemingway intended to begin the book with the famous Lady Brett Ashley character, until late in the process of refining his most durable novel. Originally published in 1926, The Sun Also Rises is set to be released, according to the New York Times, by Scribner later this month in a new edition that includes deletions, material from early drafts, and even alternates to the now iconic title. Other false starts (or more likely true, very true, but discarded starts) peered into the life of the doomed young matador Pedro Romero and other characters, before Hemingway finally decided to launch his tale with the boxing prowess of Robert Cohn (the middleweight champion at Princeton).
The re-release will also include Papa’s personal account of his own visit to Pamplona’s San Fermín festival–an experience he drew on heavily in the writing of the novel. Astute readers expecting a similar experience in Pamplona today may find themselves surprised, however. The official rules of festival now insist on appropriate footwear and, what’s more, prohibit drinking.