Ernest’s Hemming And Hawing

Andrew Sullivan —  Jul 14 2012 @ 1:39pm


This week a new edition of A Farewell to Arms was published – and this time, you can read all 47 alternate endings. The repackaged book also includes other possible titles, such as The Enchantment, Love In War, Every Night And All, and Of Wounds and Other Causes. Its publication gives insight into Hemingway's elusive comments during a 1958 Paris Review interview. When asked if he did much rewriting, he replied, "It depends. I rewrote the ending to Farewell to Arms, the last page of it, thirty-nine times before I was satisfied." Why did it take him that many tries? "Getting the words right."

Previous Dish coverage of the author here, here and here. Update from a reader offering some literary insight:


(Image: Hemingway in 1918 via Wiki Commons)