Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway, an American author and journalist who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954, once lost a suitcase containing all but two of his manuscripts. The incident occurred when Hemingway was in Switzerland in 1922, before any of his fiction had been published.

The author had met with journalist and editor Lincoln Steffens who wanted to see more of Hemingway’s work, so Hemingway asked his wife, who was in Paris, to bring him his manuscripts. She packed all of the papers that she could find, but while she was waiting for her train at the Gare de Lyon she left her suitcase unattended for a short time, during which it was stolen.

When Hemingway complained about his loss to American poet Ezra Pound, Pound referred to the incident as a stroke of luck. The poet said that when Hemingway rewrote the stories, he would remember all of the good material, but forget all of the bad material. In this way his so-called problem would actually perfect his work.