“‘It depends. I rewrote the ending to A Farewell to Arms, the last page of it, 39 times before I was satisfied'” (Anthology 1333).
“Write drunk, edit sober”
Although people have been saying that this quote isn’t really his, I like to dwell in my fantasy world and pretend he did. That is the quote that rang through my head the whole time I was reading the revisions and when I read that he rewrote it 39 times (that we know of). Editing is essential for Hemingway and I do wonder whether he actually edited sober.
“Getting the words right” (Anthology 1333).
Earlier today I was attempting to create a program flyer for the residence halls and what was suppose to take me 30 minutes took me two hours because I couldn’t find the right word order or words to convey the message in the most crafty, swift, and sweet way. The pictures depict only two of my six versions. There was another one that had “cupcake-feasting and diversity-discovering” caption, so believe me, I know the feeling.
“… To which [refers to the comparison between A Farewell to Arms and Romeo and Juliet] bears and affinity of having an unhappy outcome that results not from any weakness within the characters themselves from circumstances over which they have no control” (Anthology 1335).
I never enjoyed Romeo and Juliet after reading the actual play, yet I always loved A Farewell to Arms because of its tragic ending. Either way, after reading this passage about circumstances that cannot be controlled, it gave me a little sympathy involving the story.
“That is all there is to the story. There is supposed to be something which controls all these things and not one sparrow is forgotten before God…” (Anthology 1338).
I really like this ending. It has that religion element and it’s actually from Luke 12:6 . All these endings share in common subtle hopelessness, however it is shown through different ways. This one is seen as an unseen force/divine entity, which basically states that it was out of his hands and he was not in control of that destiny. Another thing is why Hemingway chose this verse despite what the rest of the verse looks like (see image below). If we are more important than sparrow, surely death will come.
“At first the nights are the worst times. You learn the wisdom of the priest at the mess who has always loved God and if so is happy and you are sure nothing can take God away from him. But how much is wisdom and how much is luck to be born that way? And what if you are not built that way? One thing that you learn is that the night which at the start is a bad time and the worst lonely time gets to be a good time” (Anthology 1339).
This is so cryptic, and that was mainly why I was drawn to it. The parallel statements in the beginning and the ending of the quote are what tie this idea together, initially saying that the nights are at first terrible but then is the time of day that becomes a good time. It took me forever to extract that meaning, because I am still not even sure how this means this. Hemingway is known for injecting a deeper meaning into simple phrases–like the tip of an iceberg. The middle part of the quote talks about a priest’s blind faith and how some people are able to live that way, but others need that physical aspect. in their lives.
“… in that moment of waking it was all the way it had been and nothing is gone and that was the last time it ever was that way…” (Anthology 1352).
I love this ending and it is my favorite one because it describes the point of no return. That waking moment is when one is still putting together what has happened and what I need to do, essentially, it is putting together your current frame. Every morning, we wake up and then thoughts flood our head regarding our ongoing occurrences. But that brief moment right before all those thoughts flood your mind, there is that moment of peace for Fredric, where he finds himself thinking nothing was gone, but it is the last time he ever will think like that. Hemingway expresses vast complex feelings using minimalist words, something I’ve always aspired to do, and it amazing me how much emotion he can convey with this one line.
Word Choice & Specificity
“John kicks the ball vs. The ball is kicked by John….In the second sentence? Subject: ball, verb: is, object: none (John isn’t even an object!)” (Anthology 1365).
But is it always a good thing to keep verbs in their active form? Sometimes the emphasis doesn’t fall on the object of the passive sentence but rather the subject. I just didn’t appreciate how this page completely disregarded the use of the passive voice as if it were something no one should ever use. I do agree that emphasis could be lost in the passive voice, but meaning.
“If you can think of one word to replace several, use the word” (Anthology 1368).
Ah. This. All of my essays contain much wordiness so another reason (out the many) why I love editing my first drafts is because I can cut back on the redundancy. My mom used to read over my essays when I was in high school and she always said,”mija, estas rebuznando.” Rebuznando is the word for donkey noises, and it’s an idiom in Spanish used to describe wordiness.
“2. If your professor allows it, use the occasional contraction. But bring too promiscuous with them will cheapen the effect” (Anthology 1372).
I was actually taught to never ever use contractions in any turned in essay because it removes the seriousness from the paper. Even if your professor allows it, it’s like when a job says a cover letter is optional–you definitely turn one in. Optional sometimes doesn’t mean optional, and I personally don’t think contractions should be optional.