'Across the River and Into the Trees' is Published

Across the River and Into the Woods has a frame story of 50-year-old Colonel Cantwell duckhunting in Trieste.

The first chapter is set in the present, then using the technique of stream of consciousness interior monologue, Hemingway presents an extended flashback that begins in the second chapter and continues through to Chapter 39. The final six chapters return to the present time.

Cantwell has heart disease and on the Sunday in the a duck blind in Trieste he remembers his final weekend in Venice with the 18-year-old Renata, as well as his war experiences. At the end of the novel, as he leaves the duck blind, Cantwell suffers a series of fatal heart attacks.

Banking on Hemingway’s reputation, Scribners ran an initial printing of 75,000 copies of Across the River and Into the Trees in September of 1950 after it had already appeared in Cosmopolitan magazine in the February-June issues of the same year. Generally slammed by the critics as sentimental, boorish and a thin disguise of Hemingway’s own relationship with a young Italian woman named Adriana Ivancich, the novel actually contains some of Hemingway’s finest writing, especially in the opening chapters. The critics were expecting something on the scale of For Whom The Bell Tolls and were disappointed by the short novel and its narrow scope.