Later this month a new edition of Ernest Hemingway’s novel ‘A Farewell to Arms’ will be published with 47 alternate endings, drafts of the title, and several unpublished episodes.
The author’s descendants have signed a deal with the writer’s long-time publisher Scribner to release a never before seen edition of ‘A Farewell to Arms’, originally published in 1929, The New York Times reports.
In an interview in The Paris Review in 1958 Ernest Hemingway mentioned that he wrote the ending words of his novel “39 times, before I was satisfied.”
Yet these alternate endings have never been published together. Having studied the drafts, carefully preserved in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, Hemingway’s grandson Seán Hemingway found that there are in fact 47 endings to the novel.
“I think people who are interested in writing and trying to write themselves will find it interesting to look at a great work and have some insight to how it was done,” Sean Hemingway is quoted by The New York Times as saying.
For example ending number one “The Nada Ending,” reads as follows: “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.”
Along with the alternate endings and unpublished episodes the new book will also feature alternative titles including The Enchantment, Love In War, Every Night And All, Of Wounds and Other Causes.
The new book will also bare the original artwork on the cover.
The novel is semi-autobiographical. Hemingway was a Red Cross volunteer in World War I and served in Italy. There he was wounded and spent a long time in a hospital in Milan where he had an affair with a nurse.