Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Farewell to Arms: Beginning

The next book I will be reading is A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway.  This book was written in 1929 and was Hemingway's first best-seller.
It is a love story between Lt. Henry, an American ambulance driver serving in the Italian army during World War I and a British nurse: Catherine Barkley. 
An interesting fact: in the first editions of the work, certain swear words (I'm too much of a lady to name them here!) were replaced with dashes.  This book has been adapted for stage, screen and radio, including a 1932 screen adaptation which was nominated for an Academy Award.
I have read one piece of Hemingway's before: The Old Man and the Sea.  I was in high school and any ironic symbolism was completely lost on me and I hated it.  I thought it was the stupidest story and for a long time I used that and Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath as proof that most American literature was horrid.  However, having said that, I am much older (and I hope, wiser) now and with a little relevant life experience and appreciation for hidden messages in literature, I think I have a decent chance of enjoying this one.
I'm reading a hard-copy version of this, specifically the 2003 paperback version published by Scribner.  The copy is a little worn around the edges, but since I bought it for two dollars at a book sale, I don't really mind.  This merely allows me to feel more comfortable folding down page corners and leaving it splayed open on the coffee table while I get another cup of tea.  This copy has 332 pages, and because it's much easier to read than Faust, I'm anticipating that I'll get through it pretty quickly.
Happy reading!

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