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47 Alternate Endings Added To New Edition Of Hemingway's A Farewell To Arms

A Farewell To Arms is one of Hemingway’s bleakest novels, and, depending on what study group you read it in, it is either an epic effort with a surprise ending, or a whiny, longer-than-it-should be novel with a quite unnecessary ending. Either way, the ending of A Farewell To Arms is stark and memorable, but in a new addition, if the ending does not please audiences, those masses may choose from a variety of other possibilities Hemingway once considered for the book.

Hemingway famously gave an interview stating he had written 39 endings to A Farewell To Arms before he wrote one he was pleased with. Now, over eighty years later, Hemingway’s grandson, Seán, has uncovered 47 ending to the book. According to New York Times, in the new edition of the title, set to be published by Scribner next week, all 47 of the “found” endings will be included, along with the original book jacket.

Some of the endings are only a short sentence or two and some feature entire paragraphs, however, regardless of level of completeness, they will all be bound together in the appendix of the new edition, alongside alternate titles that were also rejected by Hemingway. One of the endings, suggested by famous modernist writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, was initially hated on by the author in A Moveable Feast.

“(The world) kills the very good and very gentle and the very brave impartially… If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.”

The endings have been available since 1979 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, but adding them to an easy-to-browse edition will, at the very least, spark many a debate in literary classrooms, where Hemingway primarily lives on.