All 47 endings to Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell To Arms will be included in a new edition of his 1929 masterpiece published by Scribner next week.
The Nobel Prize-winning American author, talking to The Paris Review in 1958, two years before he shot himself at the age of 61, admitted that the final words of A Farewell to Arms, his semi-autobiographical novel about events during the Italian campaigns of World War I in the ambulance corps, had been rewritten “39 times before I was satisfied”.
Now the New York Times is reporting that a new edition of the novel will include all the alternate endings, along with early drafts of other passages in the book, which will appear after an agreement between Hemingway’s estate and Scribner (an imprint of Simon & Schuster). The real number of different endings is 47, something discovered by Seán Hemingway after studying the author's collected writings at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.
When he was asked by Paris Review interviewer George Plimpton what had been the reason for so many endings, Hemingway replied: “Getting the words right”.
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