Hemingway’s multiple endings to ‘A Farewell to Arms’ part of new edition Tuesday
I just love this book. The ending is perfect, but I would enjoy reading the alternatives.
Those who admire Hemingway’s work now can get a look inside his creative process for writing those endings. This edition of A Farewell to Arms, from Hemingway’s longtime publisher Scribner (now a division of Simon & Schuster), boasts the same handsome art deco jacket design as the first edition. It includes an illuminating introduction Hemingway wrote for the 1948 edition of the book, as well as a new and rather oblique “personal foreword” by Hemingway’s only surviving son, Patrick, and a thoughtful new introduction by grandson Sean Hemingway, a curator of Greek and Roman art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
This edition’s most notable aspect is those 39 — or 41, or 47, depending on who’s counting — alternative endings, as well as early drafts of other portions of the book, omitted passages, and more than 40 alternative titles.
The book includes photos of several of those manuscript pages, handwritten or typed, marked with Hemingway’s cross-outs, arrows, interpolations, all in a neat, small hand…
…One that Hemingway tried and abandoned after it was suggested by his frenemy F. Scott Fitzgerald has a marginal scribble: “Kiss my a—. E.H.”
Oh, the body language—restrained, yet open to each other! This is romantic!
Soldier’s kiss goodbye, World War I
Love, betrayal and courage: Private letters reveal the story behind the mastermind of The Great Escape Roger Bushell
Anyone who knows me will tell you that possibly my favorite story of all time (in both book and film) is The Great Escape. I first read the book as a child at my grandparents’ home, and I loved it. While I did have rather odd reading taste for an elementary school-aged girl, my choices during that visit were limited to the books on my grandparents’ shelves. My grandfather was a really interesting man, aspects of whom will forever pepper heroes of my own books. I remember discussing the book with him in the living room of the log cabin he and my grandmother built. (Mind you, they did not have it built. They did it themselves. My grandmother helped stripped the bark from the logs.) The Great Escape was my grandfather’s book, and he was, I think, pleasantly surprised by my interest in war stories—an interest which continues to this day. A later viewing of the film version sealed the deal for me. I mark my coming of age by which of the main characters I was in love with at various points of my life.
I am stunned and thrilled to discover that new details have emerged to flesh out the story and, in particular Roger Bushell, who conceived this amazing plan and brought it to fruition under the most impossible of circumstances. His own love life had better plot twists than most romance novels. Romantic! (And tragic.) AND there was a fourth tunnel! If you click the link within the above referenced article, there is yet another bittersweet love story at the end.