Hemingway’s Garden of Eden Blooms in John Irvin Movie
The Garden of Eden is Ernest Hemingway’s last novel released posthumously. Begun in 1946, it took over fifteen years to write and was only published in 1986. The Garden of Eden has since bloomed into a movie of the same title.
Catherine proposes something to her husband David.
The exploration of Hemingway of reversed gender roles and taboo relationships in The Garden of Eden has made it a curiosity among Hemingway’s roster of works. It’s also become controversial in how it was edited with whole chapters removed and material that’s been discarded by Hemingway reintroduced in the final Scribner version. Two thirds of the contents of the manuscript had been removed with one subplot completely taken out.
Though it drew criticism, the publishing company’s move wasn’t really out of line. But since Ernest Hemingway is famous, it’s easier for the author’s publisher to get criticized for editing a great writer’s work. However, we all have to consider that Hemingway’s manuscript would still have had to go through the editing process even if he were alive in 1986. Editing is simply part of publishing and it was only unfortunate that Hemingway could not be consulted in regard to the final version of The Garden of Eden.
Catherine and David see Marita for the first time.
Now there’s this movie version of The Garden of Eden and just like the novel, it took its time in getting released. Directed by John Irvin with a screenplay written by James Scott Linville, one would wonder how diluted Hemingway is in this film version of his novel and if it does his work justice. It’s almost always that movie adaptations of novels are criticized for excluding a lot of details in the story, but fans have to understand that a complete novel usually cannot fit in just about two hours of film runtime.
The trailer of The Garden of Eden appears true to the basic story of Hemingway. It is basically already a summary of the whole story. Knowing how it is all going to end, you will simply want to watch the film to bask in the glory of the settings and to get immersed in the scenes. The story will drop audiences smack in the middle of three characters that get into a twisted knot, and show them how, like in all tangles, it helps if one or two strings are pulled free. Hemingway fans will want to watch this film for the sake of being taken back to a bygone era and be inspired just like how Hemingway himself was inspired as a writer. Historians do agree that much of what’s written in The Garden of Eden were taken from experiences of Hemingway in his journeys, relationships, and writing attempts.
Marita is enticed by the thought.
Ever so descriptive and detailed in his writing, Hemingway as an author always takes you on sensual trips to places and time periods that can only be experienced in his work. Reading Hemingway is like hopping aboard his mind and experiencing his world through his senses. Director Irvin attempts to replicate the Hemingway experience in the film with its vivid close ups and panoramic vistas of European locations, but in film one can only go so far as it’s already a visual medium unlike books which call for much imagination. So what will basically carry this film is Hemingway’s premise-of how a writer who gets into a crazy sensual adventure he has never dreamed of walks away still intact in the end. Audiences will also want to see the performance of the main characters played by Jack Huston (David Bourne), Mena Suvari (Catherine Bourne), and Caterina Murino (Marita).
Book cover of Ernest Hemingway’s The Garden of Eden (Wikipedia image) and movie poster.