A Farewell to Arms (Paperback)

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Product Overview

By turns romantic and harshly realistic, Hemingway's story of a tragic romance set against the brutality and confusion of World War I cemented his fame as a stylist and as a writer of extraordinary literary power. A volunteer ambulance driver and a beautiful English nurse fall in love when he is wounded on the Italian front.


Publisher Simon & Schuster
Mfg Part# 9780684801469
SKU 30121135
Format Paperback
ISBN10 0684801469
Release Date 4/10/2007
Dimensions (in Inches) 8H x 5.25L x 1T
Author Info
Ernest Hemingway
Hemingway played football in high school and was a lifelong sportsman, obsessed from his youth with hunting and fishing, but had no formal education after Oak Park High. He drove an ambulance in France in World War I and also served (and was wounded) in the Italian army. After the war, he was a reporter for the "Toronto Star". In the 1920s, he settled in Paris as part of the group of American expatriates who formed Gertrude Stein's circle. She was an enormous influence on his writing, teaching the virtue of the simple declarative sentence. He was also influenced by Ezra Pound, whom he revered, and became friends with F. Scott Fitzgerald (a stormy friendship, which did not endure). His first American publication was the group of stories, "In Our Time" (1925), in which the concerns and values of the so-called "lost generation" were articulated for the first time: their postwar disillusionment; their cynical, stoic endurance in the face of pain; their brutal honesty; and their distance from emotional involvement. Hemingway moved back to the U.S. in the later '20s, and began to write novels; his first great success was "The Sun Also Rises" in 1926. He moved to Key West in 1928; from that base, he often visited Spain, where he became an aficionado of bullfighting, and went on safari in Africa. He covered the Spanish Civil War as a reporter, then moved to Cuba in the 1940s, where he kept an estate until a group of revolutionaries killed his beloved dog. Hemingway had four wives and fathered three sons. He became one of the century's most influential writers. (Nabokov once commented that Hemingway wrote about "bells, bulls, and balls.") His fame culminated in a 1952 Pulitzer Prize for "The Old Man and the Sea", and the Nobel Prize in literature in 1954. All his life, he had phobias about taxes, telephones, and speaking in public: He accepted the Nobel Prize in absentia. ("A writer should write what he has to say, not speak it.") A heavy drinker, Hemingway was ill, both physically and mentally, for several years at the end of his life; his debilitated physical state was worsened after a plane crash en route to his fifth African safari, in which he was seriously injured, including a ruptured liver and kidney, broken bones, a concussion, first-degree burns, and vision and hearing loss. Delusional and unable to write, he endured a variety of treatments, including shock therapy at the Mayo Clinic. Finally, depressed and frustrated, he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head with a double-barreled shotgun weeks before his 62nd birthday.
"One cannot help thinking that 'A Farewell to Arms' is a symbolic title; that it is Hemingway's farewell to a period, an attitude, and perhaps to a method also....Pity, love, adventureousness, anger, the emotions on which his earlier books were based, almost to the entire exclusion of ideas, are less violently stimulated in a world at peace. The emotions as a whole are more colored by thought: perhaps they are weaker and certainly they are becoming more complicated. They seem to demand expression in subtler and richer prose."
From the Publisher
Editors Note By turns romantic and harshly realistic, Hemingway's story of a tragic romance set against the brutality and confusion of World War I cemented his fame as a stylist and as a writer of extraordinary literary power. A volunteer ambulance driver and a beautiful English nurse fall in love when he is wounded on the Italian front.
Annotation An American ambulance driver in Italy during the First World War is wounded and taken to hospital, where he falls in love with an English nurse. While he convalesces the couple is deliriously happy, but then he is commanded back to the front. She tells him that she is pregnant, and they decide that their only course is a farewell to arms: escaping from the war to neutral Switzerland.
First Line In the late summer of that year we lived in a house in a village that looked across the river and the plain to the mountains.
Annotation 3 Hemingway's second full-length novel, published in 1929, calls on his own experiences during World War I, when he worked for the Red Cross in Italy, was wounded after only six weeks on duty, and recuperated in a hospital in Milan, where he had a romance with a nurse. The blend of fact and imagination in A FAREWELL TO ARMS, however, is artful; Hemingway, who returned home after his brief experience, had to research the combat scenes, which were so convincing that many readers refused to believe he had not actually been a soldier in the trenches. The hero of A FAREWELL TO ARMS, Frederic Henry, is an American serving in the Italian army as an ambulance driver. Convalescing from a leg wound, he falls in love with an English nurse, Catherine Barkley, who becomes pregnant. After Frederic participates in the bloody defeat at Caporetto and the horrifying retreat from the area by what is left of the army, he and Catherine decide that their only course is a "farewell to arms": he deserts, and they make their way to neutral Switzerland. There the tragic love story is played out, far from the front. When the novel ends, Frederic is alone, walking in the rain--another of Hemingway's existential heroes, forced to confront the emptiness and sterility of his life. In A FAREWELL TO ARMS, Hemingway used to great effect the prose style he had perfected in his previous work: the spare, staccato sentences that were so influenced by his friend Gertrude Stein. His naturalistic, unsentimental storytelling seems to make only more tragic the love story that is at the novel's center, and the bleak failure of hope and heroism behind Frederic's desertion.
Product Attributes
eBooks Kobo
Book Format Paperback
Number of Pages 0332
Publisher Scribner Book Company
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