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To Use and Use Not

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.”

1958年,欧内斯特·海明威(Ernest Hemingway)在《巴黎评论》(Paris Review)访谈中坦言,他那部讲述战争年代的杰作《永别了,武器》(A Farewell to Arms)的结尾,他重写了39遍才算满意。对于写作中受挫的小说家来说,这句话至今仍是一种启迪。

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.

这一新版是海明威遗产基金会和斯克瑞伯纳双方协议的结果。斯克瑞伯纳目前隶属于西蒙与舒斯特出版集团(Simon & Schuster)。

It is also an attempt to redirect some of the attention paid in recent years to Hemingway’s swashbuckling, hard-drinking image — through fictional depictions in the best-selling novel “The Paris Wife” and the Woody Allen film “Midnight in Paris,” for instance — back to his sizable body of work.

此举也是力图扭转近年来畅销小说《巴黎妻子》(The Paris Wife)、伍迪·艾伦(Woody Allen)的电影《午夜巴黎》(Midnight in Paris)等虚构作品将海明威塑造成的那种虚张声势、酗酒莽汉的形象,让人们对海明威的注意力放回到他数量可观的作品上。

“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,” Seán Hemingway, a grandson of Ernest Hemingway who is also a curator of Greek and Roman art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, said in an interview. “But he is a writer who has captured the imagination of the American public, and these editions are interesting because they really focus on his work. Ultimately that’s his lasting contribution.”

欧内斯特·海明威的孙子、纽约大都会博物馆希腊与罗马艺术部负责人肖恩·海明威(Seán Hemingway)在采访中说:“我想,对写作有兴趣、刚开始写作的人都会兴致勃勃地看一部杰作,看看它是怎样写成的。他也是一位俘获了美国公众想象力的作家,这些不同版本令人感兴趣,因为它们集中展现的是他的工作。这终究是他永恒的贡献。”

The new edition concludes that the 39 endings that Hemingway referred to are really more like 47. They have been preserved in the Ernest Hemingway Collection at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston since 1979, where Seán Hemingway studied them carefully. (Bernard S. Oldsey, a Hemingway scholar, listed 41 endings in his book “Hemingway’s Hidden Craft,” but Seán Hemingway found 47 variations in manuscripts preserved at the Kennedy Library.)

这个收入海明威所说的那39种结尾的新版,实际上收了47种结尾。自1979年以来,这些资料被保存于波士顿的约翰·F.肯尼迪总统图书馆(John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum)中的欧内斯特·海明威藏区,肖恩·海明威在那里做过仔细研究。(海明威研究专家伯纳德·S.欧德塞[Bernard S.Oldsey]在他的著作《海明威的秘技》[Hemingway’s Hidden Carft]一书中曾列举41种结尾,但肖恩·海明威在肯尼迪图书馆收藏的书稿中发现了47种。)

The alternate endings are labeled and gathered in an appendix in the new edition, a 330-page book whose cover bears the novel’s original artwork, an illustration of a reclining man and woman, both topless.


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. And since modern authors tend to produce their work on computers, the new edition also serves as an artifact of a bygone craft, with handwritten notes and long passages crossed out, giving readers a sense of an author’s process. (When asked in the 1958 Paris Review interview with George Plimpton what had stumped him, Hemingway said, “Getting the words right.”)

对于热爱海明威作品的读者来说,这些结尾就像惊鸿一瞥,让人陶醉地看到这部小说也可能以另一种基调结束,有的更直率,有的更乐观。由于当代作家大都使用电脑写作,这个新版《永别了,武器》也像是一种手工制品,展现了一种业已失传的手艺,上面有手写的注释、笔记和划掉的长段落,让读者感觉像在看作家写作的过程。(1958年《巴黎评论》那次访谈中,采访者乔治·普林顿[George Plimton]问海明威什么是他的挑战,他说,“用对词。”)

The endings range from a short sentence or two to several paragraphs.


In No. 1, “The Nada Ending,” Hemingway wrote, “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.”


The “Live-Baby Ending,” listed as No. 7, concludes, “There is no end except death and birth is the only beginning.”


And in No. 34, the “Fitzgerald ending,” suggested by Hemingway’s friend F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway wrote that the world “breaks everyone,” and those “it does not break it kills.”

而34号结尾叫“菲茨杰拉德结尾”,是因为灵感来自海明威的朋友F.司各特·菲茨杰拉德(F. Scott Fitzgerald)提的建议。海明威写道:这个世界“击倒了每个人”,有些人“即使没有被击倒,也会死”。

“It kills the very good and very gentle and the very brave impartially,” he wrote. “If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.”


Hemingway also left behind a list of alternate titles, which are reprinted in the new edition. They include “Love in War,” “World Enough and Time,” “Every Night and All” and “Of Wounds and Other Causes.” One title, “The Enchantment,” was crossed out by Hemingway.

海明威还留下了一系列可供选择的书名。新版中也收了这些书名,其中有《战争中的爱情》(Love in War),《世界够了,时间也够了》(World Enough and Time),《创伤与其他事业》(Of Wounds and Other Causes),还有一个被海明威自己划掉的标题《魅力》(The Enchantment)。

Patrick Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway’s only surviving son, said in an interview from his home in Montana that when Scribner suggested the raw material be published, he agreed.

海明威唯一还在世的儿子帕特里克·海明威(Patrick Hemingway)在蒙大拿州的家里接受采访时说,听说斯克瑞伯纳出版社提议出版这些原始材料,他就同意了。

“They do give insight to how Hemingway was thinking,” said Patrick Hemingway, who is 84. “But it is absolutely true that no matter how much you analyze a classic bit of writing, you can never really figure out what makes talent work.”


Susan Moldow, the publisher of Scribner, said that while Hemingway is a perennial strong seller, especially for schools and libraries, “the estate is constantly wanting to present the work afresh.”

斯克瑞伯纳出版人苏珊·莫尔多(Susan Moldow)说,虽然海明威作品的销量经久不衰,尤其受学校和图书馆欢迎,“遗产基金会仍然想让他的作品保持新鲜感”。

“This is one of the most important authors in American history,” she said. “And fortunately or unfortunately you need to keep refreshing or people lose interest.”


After reading the various endings, Ms. Moldow added, she didn’t question the author’s decision; the actual ending — cool and passionless after an epic tale of war and love, with the protagonist leaving a hospital in the rain — has stood the test of time.


“Ultimately,” she said, “I think we have to be glad that he went with the ending that he went with.”

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