- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 29, 2004

NEW YORK - A newly discovered handwritten letter and short story by Ernest Hemingway will be auctioned in December, but custodians of his estate have not granted permission for the works to be published.

The two-page letter and five-page story, based on an incident at a bullfighting ring and written in 1924, were discovered last year by the son of Donald Ogden Stewart.

The works, based on Mr. Stewart’s experience, cannot be published without permission of the Hemingway estate, which so far has withheld it.

They can be sold as artifacts, however, and Christie’s in New York said Monday it plans to auction them Dec. 16. They are expected to sell for $12,000 to $18,000, said Patrick McGrath, a Christie’s books and manuscripts specialist.

The story, “My Life in the Bull Ring With Donald Ogden Stewart,” apparently was inspired by an incident in 1924, when Mr. Stewart, a well-known writer and close friend of Hemingway’s, encountered a bull in Pamplona, Spain.

Hemingway wrote a lighthearted story based on the event and mailed it to Mr. Stewart, along with a letter written on stationery from the Hotel Perla in Pamplona.

A humorist himself, Mr. Stewart was not impressed with Hemingway’s effort and seemed to have put the story aside.

The work apparently was forgotten until last year when Mr. Stewart’s son, Donald, discovered the story and letter among his father’s papers. His father died in 1980.

Donald Stewart sought to publish the document in Vanity Fair and said the Ernest Hemingway Foundation had given him permission to publish the story and the letter for $500. The magazine’s editors later learned the Hemingway estate had refused permission for publication.

The foundation, independent from the estate, has some right over unpublished Hemingway material. But after the death in 1983 of Hemingway’s widow, Mary Hemingway, joint permission of the estate and the foundation became necessary before previously unpublished material could be used.

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