Date of Submission

Spring 2016

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Literature; Written Arts

Project Advisor 1

Alex Benson

Abstract/Artist's Statement

A study of the writing process is important to discussing how literature is read, in order to understand both what bears a text and what has been created. My senior project endeavors to find a link between craft and content, author and audience, and writing and reading. I believe this link to be the revision process, which is not only a necessary step in the creation of a text but is an art form in and of itself, much like writing is. Through studying Ernest Hemingway’s handwritten manuscript edits to his 1933 short story “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place,” I am able to see how omissions, deletions, inclusions, and replacements all work together to form the final product. The revision process reveals the iterations a text has undergone to grow to what it is upon publication; this middle part of a text’s journey connects inception to production, giving the piece of literature a fuller story.

“A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” comes into greater focus once the author’s revisions are considered and placed against its final form. Both thematically and aesthetically, Hemingway uses contrast, omission, and nothingness to all give greater dynamism to his story. With this in mind, authorial intent becomes equally relevant when discussing the writing process as it is when discussing the story itself. Revisions to a story are usually hidden, relegated to drafts prior and rarely uncovered. My project invites the reader to see the story’s incubation period, thus adding depth and rendering the text less superficial. By tracking Hemingway’s revision process his story gains layers, which serve as inclusions into the text that go beyond what is immediately present on the page.

This joint study of written arts and literature is born out of an interest in the before and after, or the in-progress and the complete.

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