"The exhibition focuses on the Nobel Prize-winning author's fiction and his thoughts on the art of writing -- not the hunting, fishing, bullfighting and war reporting exploits that often claimed the headlines," notes curator John Delaney, who is leader of the Library's Rare Books and Manuscripts cataloging team.
The theme of the exhibit came from a passage in A Moveable Feast, Hemingway's posthumously published memoir of his early days in Paris.
"Sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going," he wrote, "I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, 'Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.' So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say."
The first "true" sentences of all Hemingway's fictional works are presented in the exhibition and supported by original letters that he wrote to his editors at Charles Scribner's Sons about his writing. Enlargements of selections from his 1958 interview on the art of fiction appear throughout the gallery, and visitors can see all of his books in both first and current editions.
Eleven original oil paintings whose images were used on Scribner paperback editions from the 1960s through the 1980s add sparkle to the exhibit. Several cases are devoted to related topics, such as Hemingway and Reading, Hemingway and Publicity, and Hemingway and Critics.
An additional feature of the exhibit is a touchscreen-operated kiosk where visitors can choose from a number of audio clips to listen to Hemingway reading his Nobel Prize speech, a poem, or part of a work in progress.
Visitors to the gallery will receive, while supplies last, a 20-page booklet, "Hemingway at One Hundred: A Publisher's Perspective," an illustrated article by Charles Scribner III, son of Hemingway's last publisher and former Princeton trustee.
The exhibit is free and open to the public from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday and from noon till 5:00 pm Saturdays and Sundays through January 9, 2000.