Hemingway Hit With Warning
In a decision that has been slammed by literary experts, legendary novelist Ernest Hemingway's works have been given trigger warnings when published by Penguin Random House.
The move, which will see the Nobel Prize-winning writer's novels reissued in 2022 and 2023, has been called “alarming” and “stupid” by those independently revising and reprinting the works.
“This book was published in 1926 and reflects the attitudes of its time,” the warning reads. “The publisher’s decision to present it as it was originally published is not intended as an endorsement of cultural representations or language contained herein.”
One of Hemingway's most acclaimed works, 'The Sun Also Rises', is about a group of American ex-pats in Paris in the 1920s and touches on issues such as sexuality and violence.
Ulster University Professor Richard Bradford, who wrote a 2018 Hemingway biography titled, “The Man Who Wasn’t There,” told the Daily Telegraph: “The publisher’s comments would be hilarious, were they not also alarming.
"They seem to imply that, because it's a literary classic, they're willing to take a deep breath and warn readers with delicate sensibilities that something in it might unsettle them," he continued.
"Scrutinise any novel or poem written at any time, and search for a passage that could create unease for persons who are obsessed with themselves, and you'll find one. And then every publication will need to carry a warning like this, the verbal equivalent of photos of cancer-ridden lungs which now decorate cigarette packets," Bradford added.
Hemingway isn't the only author to come under scrutiny, with other authors having warning labels put on their work, and in some instances, works being edited to remove material that could be considered offensive today.
For example, Ian Fleming's James Bond novels have been recently edited. “A number of updates have been made in this edition, while keeping as close as possible to the original text and the period in which it is set,” The Daily Telegraph reported in February.
The new trigger warnings have been met with backlash from the literary world, however, some believe that it's necessary to ensure a sense of inclusivity within the publishing world.