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A Farewell to Arms: The Hemingway Library Edition Kindle Edition
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|Kindle, July 10, 2012|| |
Written when Ernest Hemingway was thirty years old and lauded as the best American novel to emerge from World War I, A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse. Set against the looming horrors of the battlefield—weary, demoralized men marching in the rain during the German attack on Caporetto; the profound struggle between loyalty and desertion—this gripping, semiautobiographical work captures the harsh realities of war and the pain of lovers caught in its inexorable sweep.
Ernest Hemingway famously said that he rewrote the ending to A Farewell to Arms thirty-nine times to get the words right. This edition collects all of the alternative endings together for the first time, along with early drafts of other essential passages, offering new insight into Hemingway’s craft and creative process and the evolution of one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century. Featuring Hemingway’s own 1948 introduction to an illustrated reissue of the novel, a personal foreword by the author’s son Patrick Hemingway, and a new introduction by the author’s grandson Seán Hemingway, this edition of A Farewell to Arms is truly a celebration.
“A Farewell to Arms” stands, more than 80 years after its first appearance, as a towering ornament of American literature." (The Washington Times)
"This special edition of [Hemingway's] classic World War I novel, first published in 1929, contains several features that illuminate how Hemingway constructed his timeless tale of love and war." (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
"A Farewell to Arms is a gem....To see Hemingway go from bold pronouncements and overwriting to his signature stripped-down style isn't just instructive, it's practically intrusive (but fun!)" (NPR.org)
About the Author
- ASIN : B007BP3FK4
- Publisher : Scribner; Hemingway Library ed. edition (July 10, 2012)
- Publication date : July 10, 2012
- Language : English
- File size : 11545 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 144 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #87,430 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Top reviews from the United States
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The Hemingway Library Edition of "A Farewell to Arms" I received as a gift also came with an Appendix that included the thirty-nine other endings Hemingway considered for the novel. Many are quite telling and a two were used in the serialized versions that appeared in Scribner magazines before the actual publication of the book. I simply love this book.
The story itself, for me, kind of meanders, and I find the ending a cop out. I know those who revere Hemingway think he is being sardonic, with lots of deliberate underlying subtext and philosophy. To me, it feels like he just couldn't think of a better ending, so he did this and just stopped writing.
As I said: It's Hemingway. If you like it, this edition adds insight and makes the work more meaningful.
The book is really good and I plan on buying more of his library editions as well.
NOTE: I have to re~read some of Hemingway's sentences more than once because his writing style is different. Maybe because it is an old way of constructing sentences? Not sure. He writes in short sentences and uses commas a lot. I am hoping his books will improve my own writing, such my Outlook messages to my project teams at work. I could use improvements.
I’ll say I was more impressed in the format of this book which included singer of his alternative ending drafts. It gave me a better perspective on Hemingway’s strive for efficiency in his word choice and some insight into his intention for this story. Oddly, the story itself doesn’t clarify that intention - only in reading the alternative drafts can you know his intention.
A farewell to arms... early in the book I was leaning to thinking this was a critique of war. A hopeful commentary that we will leave war behind us. But sadly, no, only lightly addressed. Instead, especially after considering some of his alternative titles, I think it simply refers to the tragedy of this story. The arms of his lover, and subtly perhaps to the passage of any meaning in life. Everything is wonderful. And then it ends.
Top reviews from other countries
A Farewell to Arms tells a story set in World War One. An American named Frederick Henry joins the Italian army as an ambulance driver. Caught in a chaotic retreat, he witnesses summary and arbitrary justice meted out by military policemen. Realising his own side is as lethal as the enemy, Henry deserts. The story then follows Henry through his desperate escape bid.
The writing of Henry’s story mirrors the breaking of rules in his life. As a narrator, Frederick Henry ignores all the civilised writing rules drummed into the aspiring author - repeated words, frequent adverbs, passive voice, limited vocabulary, confusing sentences, liberal use of intensifiers such as “very”, which intensify weak adjectives such as “nice”.
And yet the rules of good writing lurk, the demanding sense that these words are shaped. This “bad” writing aspires to excellence. In the famous opening paragraph, Hemingway uses repeated words like “the” to give rhythm, as in a spoken conversation. The use of “the” also serves to conduct us into Henry’s world, where mountains he describes are “the” mountains which narrator and reader both seem to be looking at, rather than any old range of hills introduced to us at the beginning of a story.
From then on every untutored line has a hidden quality. Take, for example, the following exchange:
“I went everywhere. Milan, Florence, Rome, Naples, Villa San Giovanni, Messina, Taormina——” “You talk like a time-table. Did you have any beautiful adventures?”
“Milano, Firenze, Roma, Napoli——”
A timetable might not seem like great writing, but there is undeniable beauty in simple place names. Place names, for example, are hugely influential in song writing, the music journalist Nick Coleman suggesting that apart from love, “pop is better on cities than anything else.”
The writing of A Farewell to Arms might have the literary quality of a timetable, but that doesn’t mean it can’t aspire to the sort of poetry informing thousands of songs.
A Farewell to Arms is a perfect combination of form and content, of what is said and how it is said. As in James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice and Saul Bellow’s The Adventures of Augie March, A Farewell to Arms is a remarkable writing achievement in the form of not very good writing
It has to be remembered that Hemingway started his literary career as a journalist, and as with many other such writers he took across what he learnt from writing for papers and magazines into his stories, thus cutting down on extraneous pieces and concentrating on the immediate. He was to come to call this the iceberg theory, where the story remains relatively simple on top, with all the meanings and other elements that you can take away from a novel buried under the surface. His aim was to create tales that were visceral and immediate and took you straight into the scenes and feel them, in effect virtual reality in book form.
In this novel then the author used his own experiences from being a Red Cross ambulance driver in Italy in the First World War and embellishing that with things that he had heard or had known about. There was quite a bit of research then whilst creating this story, even including checking on the weather reports and communications with others who also served in the country. Here then we meet American Lieutenant Frederic Henry, who whilst recuperating in hospital after sustaining injuries falls in love with English nurse Catherine Barkley. We do know who some of the characters here were based on, and although having a dalliance with a nurse whilst suffering injuries, Hemingway was spurned by her when he wanted to marry her, unlike in this story. We can thus see certain semi-autobiographical elements being used as inspiration and a starting point for some of the things that happen here.
As we follow the tale we have scenes of romance as well as war, with explosions, death, shootings and trying to stay alive, along with medical drama, bravery, cowardice and the meaning of loyalty, and even a childbirth. This novel then encompasses so much more than just a simple war experience, and that has helped it remain so popular and worth reading. The writing is simplistic as such, with some great descriptions of the landscape and the weather, with the main elements not gone into in great detail, thus leaving us as readers to experience them more intimately and obviously the more you have lived the greater the effect. As we can also see in the appendices, Hemingway had great difficulty in coming up with a satisfactory ending, but the one he ultimately used I believe was the best one, as it leaves an indelible impression on you long after you have finished the book.
What does war mean to a young man? To the protagonist Mr Henry, who serves as an ambulance driver in the Italian territory. It is unsound and unreasonable. He first gets wounded in the knee, gets himself treated and risks his life by going back to the front. When the army is in retreat, he almost gets himself shoot by high-rank officers, who do not reason nor do they care how many soldiers they have to shoot to kill.
Mr Henry decides to run away from such madness by jumping into a nearby stream and gets drifted away from the retreating army. With a floating log, he survives bad luck and comes back to visit his girl, Catherine. With the help of a barman, the young couple run away and seek refuge in Switzerland. The story concludes with the death of Catherine who dies of hemorrhage in hospital.
The story is written in the first person, with a linear storyline. Unlike For Whom the Bell Tolls, this is not punctuated with artistic effect which calls attention to the text itself; rather it has a smoothness that appeals to readers both contemporary and nowadays.
Though the delivery of my book is late for 5 works days, I am able to finish reading it in 2018, the 100th anniversary of the victorious ending of World War One, during which the fictionalized story took place and in which the author drew his experience. Deeply touching!