It might read like a short story itself, but after almost sixty years since it was written, Ernest Hemingway’s story A Room on the Garden Side is finally about to be published. Book lovers will be able to read it in the summer edition of the quarterly magazine, Strand, that, in the past, has published obscure works by writers like John Steinbeck, Raymond Chandler and HG Wells.
Much like several of his other stories, Paris forms an integral part in this narrative too. According to a report in The Guardian, the story is narrated by a character called Robert and unfolds in Paris’ Ritz hotel. The protagonist shares his nickname with the author, Papa.
“Hemingway’s deep love for his favourite city as it is just emerging from Nazi occupation is on full display, as are the hallmarks of his prose,” Strand’s managing editor Andrew F Gulli wrote in an editorial note while introducing the story, as quoted by a report in The Guardian.
“Steeped in talk of Marcel Proust, Victor Hugo, and Alexandre Dumas, and featuring a long excerpt in French from Charles Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal, the story implicitly wonders whether the heritage of Parisian culture can recover from the dark taint of fascism,” Kirk Curnutt, a board member of the Hemingway Society wrote.
War has served as a central theme for many of Hemmingway’s stories. His celebrated novel A Farewell to Arms is narrated by Frederic Henry, an American serving as a lieutenant in the Italian Army. The story revolved around the First World War and another famous work of his, For Whom the Bell Tolls is set during the Spanish Civil War. Several stories were published posthumously after he killed himself in 1961.