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Hemingway Wrote 47 Endings to “A Farewell To Arms”

“After a while I went out and left the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the rain.”

It is one of the most celebrated and tragic endings in literature, but records show that Hemingway wrote 46 other alternatives. From the New York Times

In an interview in The Paris Review in 1958 Ernest Hemingway made an admission that has inspired frustrated novelists ever since: The final words of “A Farewell to Arms,” his wartime masterpiece, were rewritten “39 times before I was satisfied.”

Those endings have become part of literary lore, but they have never been published together in their entirety, according to his longtime publisher, Scribner.

A new edition of “A Farewell to Arms,” which was originally published in 1929, will be released next week, including all the alternate endings, along with early drafts of other passages in the book.

The new edition is the result of an agreement between Hemingway’s estate and Scribner, now an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

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