Looking for a Happy Ending to Hemingway's 'A Farewell to Arms’

Page 1 draft by Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway did an interview in The Paris Review in 1958 and made a comment that has either  inspired or frustrated frustrated novelists ever since. He said that the final lines of his wartime classic, A Farewell to Arms, were rewritten “39 times before I was satisfied.” When asked in the interview with George Plimpton what had eluded him, Hemingway said, “Getting the words right.”

We didn't know what those other endings looked like (and some may have suspected that he made the whole thing up) but the newest edition of A Farewell to Arms: The Hemingway Library Edition is the 1929 classic plus all the alternate endings, along with early drafts of other passages in the book.

I'm not sure if the new edition would have helped Pat in the very fine film (and the book The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel).  Pat is on a plan of self-improvement that includes reading the works of American literature that his wife teaches her students. A Farewell to Arms pisses him off and he takes it out personally on Hemingway (also Sylvia Plath). He wants happy endings. 

I know Pat would have been more pissed with the nada ending: ”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.”

One ending (#34 of the actual 47 that have been found) was suggested by F. Scott Fitzgerald: "The world breaks everyone, and those it does not break it kills. It kills the very good and very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.”