Before engaging in an analysis of The Garden of Eden, it is essential to recognize that this novel presents a set of difficult problems centered on its identity as a posthumously edited work. As with all of Hemingway's posthumously published work, it is impossible to say with any degree of certainty the things that may usually be said about a novel's design, themes, and characters, or to offer perceptive analysis of the author's intent and technique. All of Hemingway's posthumously published work was printed without Hemingway's approval or supervision; all of it has been edited by others. The difficulties presented by this state of affairs are most pronounced in the case of The Garden of Eden.
Hemingway began writing the novel shortly after World War II; by 1947, the manuscript included one hundred typed pages and nine hundred handwritten pages. At Hemingway's death, the manuscript amounted to some fifteen hundred pages. In order to put this fragmented, incomplete manuscript into some kind of publishable form, radical cutting was deemed necessary by Hemingway's publishers. Approximately two-thirds of the manuscript was discarded, major characters, plot lines, scenes, settings, and themes were completely eliminated. Dialogue was taken from the mouth of one character and put in the mouth of another; important details were changed for no apparent reason. So much was cut and changed that some observers have argued that publication was a grave...
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