In a 1958 interview with the Paris Review, Hemingway famously stated that the ending to ‘A Farewell to Arms” had been written “39 times before I was satisfied.” It was later discovered that the number of endings was actually 47, all of which will be published in a new edition of the 1929 masterpiece this week.
For those of you who have not read ‘A Farewell to Arms,’ you can probably guess given the theme and autobiographical nature of the novel, its not a happy ending. Perhaps the new edition will provide readers with some insight in what the novel may have been like with more optimistic or compassionate final words.
The endings range from several sentences to paragraphs, and among them, is one suggestion by friend and literary icon F. Scott Fitzgerald. Another, the so-called ‘Nada Ending” concludes with, “That is all there is to the story. Catherine died and you will die and I will die and that is all I can promise you.”
Longtime publisher Scribner will be releasing the new 330 page edition, whose cover bears the novel’s original artwork.