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Three decades after Ernest Hemingway’s novel A Farewell to Arms was published, the author reflected on his 1929 masterpiece to the Paris Review, recalling that the ending was revised “39 times before I was satisfied.”
In fact, it was more like 47 times. A new edition of Hemingway’s classic war novel, to be released next week, collects for the first time all the potential endings, offering inter-war period literature fans a chance to choose the one they like best, the New York Times writes.
Some drafts are short, just one or two crisp sentences, while others stretch for several paragraphs. Each potential ending bears a revealing name, like the curt, one-sentence “Nada Ending,” or the “Fitzgerald Ending,” so-called because it was the suggestion of Hemingway’s friend F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Drafts of other passages in the book are included as well, as is a list of titles Hemingway considered. The new edition of the 1929 novel, the Times asserts, offsets the recent pop culture perception of Hemingway as a macho hard-drinker with a different image: a ruthless editor.