Reading & Literacy

A New Twist on an Old Classic: A Farewell to Arms

By Catherine A. Cardno — July 10, 2012 1 min read
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Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, today released a new edition of Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms (1929) that contains all of the known alternate endings drafted by Hemingway.

This is the first time that the alternate endings have been published in their entirety, according to the publisher. Indeed, although it was known that Hemingway created—and discarded—dozens of alternate endings for the book, the precise number was not previously known. Seán Hemingway, a grandson of Hemingway and a curator of Greek and Roman art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, has identified the 47 alternate endings that appear in the new edition, according to The New York Times.

As The New York Times writes, “For close readers of Hemingway the endings are a fascinating glimpse into how the novel could have concluded on a different note, sometimes more blunt and sometimes more optimistic.”

Considering how often A Farewell to Arms appears on high school reading lists, the new edition has the potential to expand classroom discussions of Hemingway’s volume and the art (and mechanics) of writing in new, and interesting, directions.

A version of this news article first appeared in the BookMarks blog.